Thursday, August 13, 2009
The Flowers of Herman's Gulch
Herman's Gulch is a valley and cirque high above Interstate 70 near the Continental Divide. I hiking trail leads up from the highway to a series of glacial lakes (tarns) above tree line.
Herman's Gulch is famous for its vast arrays of wildflowers. This plus its close proximity to Denver and the dog friendly rules make it a very popular place on the weekends.
It is worth braving the crowds because the trail winds through a wide variety of scenery, from pine forests and waterfalls to high meadows and then all the way to the rocks and tundra above the tree line.
While at the lake we saw a huge marmot flee into his hidey hole under a rock. He was pretty upset with all the people around him, whistling his displeasure for the world to hear. I tried to get down into the hole a bit so I could take a picture of him, but even though the marmot was large and the hole was small, I never did see him in there.
We also got very lucky weather wise, with a little bit of rain as we started out, and then clear skies and warm weather all the way to the top and back. I've been chased out of tree line by lightning more times than I can count, so I was pretty glad that Thor decided to let us stay and enjoy the high mountain scenery for a while.