Cub Lake with all its lily pad glory
Aspen trees along the trail
Our trail friend who let us know -- he was there first, so he wasn't moving!

The hike to Cub Lake is awesome!   This is a perfect acclimation hike, or a perfect one to do if you are tired from doing a long hike the day or so before, and just want something pretty and easy, with a fabulous payoff at the end. We did this one after we had done Flattop & Hallett one day, then Black and Frozen the next, so we were ready for something not quite so grueling.  We started from the Cub Lake trailhead (rather than the Fern Lake trailhead which is longer and a little more steep).  The trail was pretty with the first part being open meadows all around you.  As you gradually ascend, you head into a beautiful  wooded area with aspen trees lining both sides of the trail.   Before you know it, you come around a curve and there it is:  an opening revealing what I think is honestly one of the prettiest lakes in the whole park.   Healthy green lily pads literally cover the lake, and forests and mountains surround it.  It's just breathtaking.  On this day, the weather was perfect.  Not too hot or cold, just crisp and clear.   We stayed long enough to take pictures, and visit with an older couple who had been coming to the park every year for the past 19 years.  I was so impressed that   

they were in their 70's yet still hiked up to Cub Lake their first day every year.  We shared lots of stories about our Rocky Mountain travels, and left feeling like we'd made new friends.  The trip back was fairly uneventful, except that when we got to the meadowy part of the trail, an elk was standing right ON the trail snacking on the grass on the side of the trail. We were  really close to him -- I took this picture without my zoom lens.  He gave us a couple of glances, but made it clear, he wasn't moving until he was finished.    So we had to wait for him.   I kept thinking of all the people who line the street on the Moraine to catch a glimpse of elk in the distance, and here one was so close we could almost touch him, and he wasn't the least bit put off by our being there.   Finally, he moseyed off, and so did we to finish up a most delightful little hike  :)  .

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