The boys chose the HARDEST hike possible! (Okay, that's a lie, it was only a difficulty class 2 out of 5.) But it was absolutely beautiful and once I have feeling in my feet again I'm sure I will think it was worth it. The hike ending up being 11 miles round trip, with a total of about 3,300 feet elevation gain--in other words, straight up.
We began by trudging through willow bushes and deep mud in ice cold water (there was still frost on the ground and frozen puddles around us). Then we basically climbed on big rocks and boulders to the top of the gully, passed through some grassy areas at the top, and then summited Mt. Evans by climbing over another, more challenging mass of boulders. As you can imagine, going down was as hard as going up because we were constantly falling and scraping ourselves up! That, in combination with the effects of the altitude changing at a dramatic rate made for a long hike, both ways!
All in all though, it was a memorable trip and Zach took some awesome pictures -- all of which are posted below.
Jason and I heading out of one patch of willows and into the next. Our legs are totally scratched up!
My shoe after being completely submerged in mud pits!
In the middle of this picture it looks like a rock slide--and that is literally what we hiked up!
Along the way we saw some columbine, which is the Colorado state flower.
Mirror lakes at the foothills of the mountains.
The view from probably half way up the gully.
A darling pika!
View of Sawtooth Mountain and Mt. Bierstadt (one of the 14ers).
Another view of Sawtooth (right) and Mt. Bierstadt (left).
At the summit of Mt. Evans there is an observatory and people can drive to the last part of the hike on the highest paved road in North America.
The observatory (we were too exhausted to explore this area).
Jason and I at the summit (it was freezing!)
Jason and Zach at the summit.
A big thanks to Zach for the awesome pix!