The Art of Exploration · a diary of day trips, natural places, and miscellaneous adventures

Blue Lake

Sunday, July 23rd, 2017 in Colorado
Blue Lake

Today I continued my exploration of Indian Peaks Wilderness with a hike to Blue Lake, a gorgeous alpine lake situated in the cirque beneath Pawnee Peak, Mount Audubon, Paiute Peak, and Mount Toll. I took this photo about a mile before reaching the lake. It shows some of the abundant wildflowers that line the trail for most of its length.

Farther along the trail is this rock formation, which borders the hanging valley just below Blue Lake. The air is noticeably thinner by this point, as it is now above 11,000 feet.

And finally … Blue Lake! That’s Mount Toll in the distance. Another smaller tarn, Little Blue Lake, rests on the terrace above Blue Lake but that’s a trek for another day.

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Assortment

Grand Staircase
Grand Staircase
On Sunday we get a slow start. We eat a leisurely breakfast and then wander around Flagstaff for a while, exploring a few places we have yet to see.
Parade of Elephants
Parade of Elephants
The thing that struck me about Arches National Park was that it so plainly illustrates the vast number of ways there are to erode a rock. There were wind-warn rocks, water-sculpted rocks, and crumbling-from-beneath rocks.
Baldwin Home
Baldwin Home
After lunch, we stroll along Front Street past a cacophonus jumble of souvenir shops, t-shirt stands, art galleries, and surf-wear proprietors. My eye catches a few random storefronts—Rip Curl Surf Center, Whalers General Store, Billabong, Wyland Galleries.