October is one of my favorite months to photograph the subalpine lakes in Rocky. Often the lakes have just started to freeze or may still be open so you can get some amazing reflections as well as shiny ice. Be sure to dress extremely warm if you shoot sunrise, and know your trails well as they often get snow covered. Pro tip: don't take your gloves off to take the shot. Your fingers will thank you greatly. Great spots would be Dream, Mills, Loch, Haiyaha, Helene, Two Rivers, and a hand full of other lakes in the Bear Lake area.
Contributed by Jared Gricoskie of Yellow Wood Guiding.
Celebrate the Completion of the Alberta-Haiyaha Trail Project Free guided hike on Public Lands Day, Saturday, September 29
The Rocky Mountain Nature Association (RMNA) and Rocky Mountain National Park are pleased to announce the completion of the four-year project to rehabilitate and improve three miles of trails in the popular Alberta Falls and Lake Haiyaha region of the park. Work on a few finishing touches is wrapping up now and a celebratory, free, interpretive hike is scheduled for Saturday, September 29, which is also Public Lands Day.
This trail network, which links Alberta Falls and Lake Haiyaha, is easily accessed from the popular Bear Lake and Glacier Gorge trailheads, and is a popular area in the park. The trail continuing on to Lake Haiyaha was unimproved, and hikers had difficulty finding the route to the lake. This section of trail was never formally designed or constructed, and increasing use caused significantly deteriorating trail conditions, resource degradation and erosion. These problems have been carefully corrected.
The project greatly increased visitor safety and improved the trails’ usability and beauty, while protecting the area’s fragile and valuable natural resources and retaining a primitive character. The properly constructed trails, which incorporate significant sections of labor-intensive dry-laid stone, are expected to last for at least 100 years.
Over the last four years, the Rocky Mountain Nature Association (RMNA) raised more than $400,000 to support this ambitious trail restoration and construction project. Contributors included nearly 1,000 generous private donors, the Colorado State Trails Fund, the Gates Family Foundation and more.
Rocky Mountain National Park staff, volunteers, and RMNA’s own American Conservation Corps worked hard to make the needed improvements. This was a tremendous group effort—many thanks to all who pitched in time and money.
“There can be no better use of our collective efforts on behalf of Rocky Mountain National Park than to enhance the opportunity for public enjoyment of this pristine landscape while also improving its protection,” said the Rocky Mountain Nature Association’s Executive Director, Charles Money.
According to park superintendent Vaughn Baker, “We appreciate the support of our partner, Rocky Mountain Nature Association, to fund much needed projects like this. The park’s trail crew with critical assistance from a variety of other groups like the American Conservation Corps, the Texas Trail Tamers and the Southeast Utah Group National Park Service trail crew accomplished great work. Hikers will be pleased with the end-result.”
Please join RMNA and park staff on Saturday, September 29 at 8am for a free, guided, interpretive hike on these improved trails. Learn about the work that was done, the challenges involved, and how it will protect this resource for the enjoyment of all! This event is free, but reservations are required and space is extremely limited. Please call 970-586-0108 to learn more and reserve your spot.