Parika Lake

Be sure to click on these photos for larger versions.

1. This is looking toward Baker Gulch just after crossing the Colorado River near the trailhead.

2. Just after entering the trees, the trail follows this road.

3. Not much farther, the trail leaves Rocky Mountain National Park and enters the Arapaho National Forest.

4. The trail here changes to a more familiar path.

5. The creek in Baker Gulch.

6. Point 12442 I think.

7. The trail passes across this jumble of rocks.

8. Then I found an area with a bunch of Blue Columbine.  What a pretty flower.

9. Wow, look at the Paintbrush along the trial.

10. The trail continues through the forest.

11. This slope was just filled with young trees.

12. This is the Grand Ditch.  The Grand Ditch was completed in 1934 and was constructed to divert about one third of the water shed from the east side of the Never Summer range across the continental divide for irrigation of crops on the eastern plains.

13. This is the bridge that crosses the Grand Ditch.  On the way up to Parika Lake, the trail uses part of the Grand Ditch service road.  However my map showed much more Ditch road usage than there really was.  The actual ditch road usage was only about 100 feet.  I was a little reluctant to cross the ditch at this point because this crossing wasn't in the same place as the crossing on my map.  But I took it anyway and it turned out to be the correct thing to do.  There was plenty of water in the Ditch this year, or at least at this location.

14. The peak just right of center is Bowen Mountain I think.

15. The second log bridge I had to cross.  This was actually more stable than it looks.

16. The junction to Baker Pass.  The map appears to be wrong here too.  It shows this junction before the last stream crossing.

17. The third log bridge, just past the Baker Pass junction.  This one taxed my balance the most, but I made it across okay.

18. The stream I just crossed.

19. Point 12442.

20. Point 12442.

21. From here on, the wildflowers were amazing.  That's Farview Mountain in the background.

22. This is looking back toward Mount Nimbus, Mount Stratus and the left side of Baker Mountain.

23. Paintbrush!

24. That's Baker Mountain at the left edge.

25. Ah, here it is.  Parika Lake.  The center of the picture is mid way between point 12442 and Farview Mountain.

26. That is Parika Peak to the left.

27. Here is a panorama of the whole area.  I spent some time soaking it all in and had some lunch.  Super Size It!  (363kB).

28. This marmot was really interested in what I was having for lunch.  Either that, or I was sitting in his front yard and he wanted me to go.

29. Yikes!  That wasn't in the picture just a couple minutes ago.  I was finished with my lunch so decided it was time to go.  By the time I got back to the ditch, it was raining pretty good.