We started out on this hike intending to do Nymph, Dream and Emerald Lakes. In coming to the park for 7 years, we realized we had never done these popular hikes. We had hiked a long hike the day before, so we wanted to do something easier paced to recover. When we got there, however, we were told that just past Dream Lake, the trail was closed for the day because they were doing some reconstructive work on it. We were pretty disappointed, but we headed up to Nymph and Dream anyway. It was a beautiful morning – sunny, but not too sunny. Cool, crisp. And the 2 lakes were gorgeous! Dream Lake was so crystal clear, we could see the veins on little fish swimming around in the water. I tried to see if I could get a picture of them, but my camera just wasn’t quite up to the task. The fish were just too squirmy, and too close to the same color as the water. It was great though just to hang around the lake for a while and enjoy the weather, the mountains, the sounds of water, the fresh smells. We loved it.
We decided we would take the trail from there to Lake Haiyaha, so off we went. The hike quickly angled up, up and away. Again, I was so blown away by the beautiful vistas showing through the trees as we ascended. We could see Glacier Gorge, Long’s Peak, and of course the lakes we had just been hanging out at. It seemed to go pretty quickly. I think it was only a couple of miles from Dream Lake. When we got there, we couldn’t believe how incredibly “bouldered” the trail became. I mean. . . you had to really focus on your climb over those boulders to find your footing -- or you could have found yourself in a world of hurt falling off some of those rocks. We were both commenting on how unique that all felt. Another unique thing we noticed – and we noticed several others noticing it – was this old, old, very twisted pine tree growing up between the boulders. They were commenting on how no one has ever been able to get a good picture of it because the only good angle you can get of it – ever – is facing right into the sun. Of course, I had to try – just like they did – but alas, we found out they were right, and we got the same “way too bright & sunny” picture (that doesn’t do it justice) that everyone else has, but we enjoyed trying. Lake Haiyaha itself was . . . well. . . I think one description of it noted that it was more interesting than photographable. That was pretty accurate. I didn’t even take a picture of it because it just wasn’t really very pretty.
On the way back, we got to a junction where we could either go back the way we came – or we could veer off and go on a longer, unimproved trail that would take you past the trails to the Loch, Sky Pond, and Alberta Falls. About 4˝ miles. We wanted to do that, but we were out of water, and it was fairly warm by then. We were deciding what to do when a true-life angel approached. He lived in the area, and when we asked him about the trail, and if we should try it without any water, he quickly responded that that wasn’t a problem because he had a pump, and if we followed him to the first stream, he would give us all the water we needed. So off we went, and by the end of the trail we felt like old friends. By the way, we were so amazed at how WONDERFUL that purified water from the stream tasted. It was so icy cold. We decided it was because it was God’s water, and of course it was going to be better than any ol’ tap water we had been carrying around all morning! We were so glad we went that way. It was beautiful and felt more private and “foresty”. We ended up going past Alberta Falls, but by this time the lighting was all wrong to get a great picture of those gorgeous falls. We were reminiscing about the look of those falls when we were there the last December. They were frozen solid, and snow was everywhere. Ahhhh. . . .we so love these mountains!!!!