Rocky Mountain High

Powder Lake to Huffers Hill and back
(8.8 miles, +1,200/-1,200 feet).

Today was one of my favorite day hikes of all time and the family loved it too!

The Ute Trail is a nice flat trail surrounded by vast mountain snow fields that gently crosses alpine tundra.  I can really see why people fall in love with the Rockies.

The trail does have a bit of a climb at first, going through forest.

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DoubleSub and Half Cookie climbing through the woods

Pretty soon we started coming to snow fields, which are particularly fascinating to my San Diego raised sons.

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Snow feeding a stream
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Pasta Jay throws a snowball
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DoubleSub adjusts his gear

Slowly the forest started thinning, giving way to awesome surrounding views.

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Wow
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Pasta Jay at the pass
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Breaktime
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Pasta Jay checks out an alpine tarn
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More wow

There were alpine flowers everywhere.

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Yellow alpine flowers
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Pink and blue alpine flowers

We eventually got above trees line completely and passed large snow fields next to the trail

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No more trees
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DoubleSub tries some mountaineering
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What a great day!

Soon we reached the end of the trail at the Visitors Center where we climbed Huffers Hill at nearly 12,000 feet.

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Huffers Hill
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Wildflowers!
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Huffers Hill Panorama
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More wildflowers
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Pasta Jay at the tippy top
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A glacial pool in the distance
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Elk!

We then had some lunch and hiked the Ute Trail back to the car.

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