Caroline: "So, when people ask you what you did today, what are you going to say?"
Cheryle: "Well, today I stuffed a giraffe's foot into a crying baby's mouth."
True story. I did. But.... I think it will make more sense when I tell you how that all came about....
I love the Rockies, and I love hiking - especially traverses or loops, where you don't travel the same path twice. And recently, while googling I don't know what, I stumbled across a cool blog written by someone who has done tons of trails and who records the trips in amazing detail. A fairly recent post of his described hiking the Twin Lakes / Arnica Lake loop in a clockwise direction.... Which, if you read about it in any guidebook, is touted as a horrible, scenery-poor, sensory-depriving trudge.... However, the blogger's account was super positive, so since I've been into and out of the lakes a couple of times already, with Hwy 93 as both the starting and ending point, I thought I'd see if I could con a few friends into joining me on this random-blog-recommended, ass-backward variation of the circuit.
|The "guinea pigs" - Caroline & Tim - thanks guys!!|
|Ummm, so far, the scenery is pretty nice!|
|Meadows just before Lower Twin Lake.|
|Lower Twin Lake|
|Lower Twin Lake - pretty!|
|Upper Twin Lake|
|The Twin Lakes from Arnica Summit|
|Arnica Lake from Arnica Summit|
As it turns out, it is a most excellent way to do this four-lake extravaganza! Beginning at the Altrude Creek trail is pleasant - the forest foliage is varied, the meadows are mucky but open and lush, and approaching Lower Twin Lake from its outlet is stunning! Upper Twin makes a good lunch spot, and then taking some time to enjoy the stellar views from Arnica Summit is a no-brainer. From Arnica Summit, it is mostly downhill, bottoming out at Vista Lake.... where we saw a small pack of wolves!!
|If you look close, you can see a couple of them|
on the log in the lower centre of the pic.
|Hard to see - these pics were taken from across the lake.|
|18km later and everyone is still HAPPY!!|