Thunder Lake

I hiked to Thunder Lake two years ago.  It was snowing lightly and the clouds were hanging low.  Everything was pretty with the light dusting of snow, but visibility was limited and none of the grand views could be seen from Thunder Lake.  This year the weather was perfect.

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

1. The first part of the trail closely follows St. Vrain Creek.

2. This is the point where the trail crosses Sandbeach Creek.

3. Calypso Cascades.

4. Just past the major cascade there are some very pretty smaller cascades.

5. This is the first view of Mount Alice, one of the major peaks near Thunder Lake.

6. This is part of the area that was burned by the Ouzel Fire.

7. Fireweed.

8. As I was nearing Ouzel Falls, (very close) I noticed a deer just off the trail in the trees.  I stopped and waited a little bit, and it looked like the deer wanted to come down onto the trail but was hesitant because I was there. Can you see him?

9. I just waited a while more until the deer finally felt comfortable enough to come down.

10. This is Ouzel Falls as seen from the bridge that crosses Ouzel Creek.  The best view of the falls is hidden from here.  Since the falls was in shadow at the time, I didn't go back to get a picture.  Here is a link to a picture that I took last year of the falls.  Ouzel Falls Photo

11. Another small cascade near Ouzel Falls.

12. Shortly after I passed the split in the trail to Lion Lakes, I could hear thundering water in the distance.  It took a while before I could see anything but eventually saw an impressive waterfall on the hillside across the valley to the southwest.  It was Mertensia Falls!

13. Here is a close up of the waterfall.

14. I have arrived at Thunder Lake.  What a spectacular day!  The last time I was up here it was snowing and I couldn't see much.  Today I can enjoy the true beauty of the area.

15. I spent some time exploring the area and enjoying the wildflower displays.

16. There are wildflowers everywhere!

17. Lots of 'Little Pink Elephants'.

18. I continued to explore the area around the lake, taking pictures in all directions.  This is one of the pictures I took.  I didn't realize it at the time I took this picture, but I know one of these guys.  That's Erik Stensland from RMNP-Forums!  Later, shortly after I started down, we met on the trail and realized who each other was.

19. And finally, a panorama of Thunder Lake.  Super Size It!  (277kB).