Shadow Mountain Lookout

Shadow Mountain is a "West Side" hike near Grand Lake.  It doesn't have the rugged scenery of many "East Side" hikes, but gives you great views of the big lakes in the Grand Lake area, and the west side of the continental divide from the fire lookout tower at its summit.  I had no idea how bad the pine beetle infestation was before this hike.  As you'll see in some of the pictures from the lookout tower, much of the forest is dying.  While the trees are dying though, the wildflowers are thriving.  I saw the greatest variety and numbers of wildflowers on this hike than any other hike this year.

Be sure to click on these thumbnail photos for larger versions.

1. This is the trail near the trailhead.

2. More of the trail along the east shore of Shadow Mountain Lake.

3. Shadow Mountain Lake.

4. Another picture of Shadow Mountain Lake.

5. There were wildflowers everywhere.  Here is some fireweed along the trail.

6. Wildflowers.

7. Wildflowers.

8. The trail was not in the closed area, but apparently right next to it.

9. Daisies.

10. Blue Columbine.

11. Fireweed.

12. Soapberry.

13. Mountain Harebell.

14. Strawberry Blite.

15. Yarrow.

16. The trail shortly after leaving the lake shore.

17. The trail.

18. Bluemist Penstemon.

19. Part of the trail climbs a ridge line.

20. The trail.

21. More of the trail winding through the forest.

22. Western Golden Ragwort.

23. Shadow Mountain Lookout.  The view from down here isn't so good, so you need to climb to the top of the lookout.

24. No one is here but the chipmunks.

25. The southern end of Shadow Mountain Lake.

26. The far lake is Lake Granby.

27. The pine beetle infestation is really spreading.

28. Many trees are dead already.

29. The islands in Shadow Mountain Lake.

30. A panorama of the lakes.  Super Size It!  (262kB).

31. Looking toward the town of Grand Lake.

32. Zooming in a little.

33. More of the town of Grand Lake.

34. More of the town of Grand Lake.

35. Trail Ridge Road near the Grand Lake entrance.

36. Trail Ridge Road north of Grand Lake and the pine beetle infestation.

37. After the hike, I drove over to Shadow Mountain Dam, at the outlet end of Lake Granby.  With my long lens, I could see Shadow Mountain Lookout.