Monday, July 6, 2015
We had planned on hiking from the Summit Lake trailhead. About a 5 mile loop and fairly easy hike. Unfortunately, the road to Mt Evans was closed due to construction so we had to start much lower at the Echo Lake trailhead. (Our 5 mile hike planned turned into 15 miles!) The weather was kind of cloudy/threatening and we did not really have all the right gear/clothing and I really did not think we would get anywhere near the top until we had to turnaround. So…we started hiking at around 7:15 AM.
Echo Lake at the start of the trail.
Lots of flowers on the hike!
About 4 hours later and through some beautiful terrain, we were at Summit Lake…where we had intended on starting!
The team at the summit of Mt Evans! We arrived around 1:30 PM.
Lots of mountain goats along the hike. This picture is from near the top.
It started to pour as we started our descent. We decided to take the road back to Summit Lake since it is about the same distance and an easier hike with the rain. We were worried about slipping on the rock and having bigger issues than being wet and cold. We reached Summit Lake and we were freezing. (It was about 35 degrees and pouring rain on us) Fortunately, they have an emergency shelter at Summit Lake so we went inside to warm up and get out of the rain. We tried to get a cell signal (unsuccessful) to call for a ranger/help as we were about 9 miles back to the car taking the safer route and the group was fairly cold and wet with some losing feeling in their legs. Again, fortunately, they had an emergency kit in the shelter with food so we ate a few items and decided to try to make the final 9 miles back in the cold before it got dark.
After hiking/running back down the trail for a couple miles, we hit the construction site and found a truck we could “rent” to get the team down the mountain faster. We picked up a few other hikers along the way (who had tried to “rent” the truck before us but could not find the keys) and were able to get everybody back to their vehicles safely. [HUGE THANKS for the truck rental!!]
Steve, Bo, Jenn, and Caiti at the end.