Mills Lake, Black Lake RMNP Sept 5, 2011

Sue & Brenda & Roy hiked to Mills Lake and Black Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park in the Glacier Gorge area.

Along the way we went past Alberta Falls and Ribbon Falls.

Day totals - ~10 miles round-trip, about 1400 feet of elevation gain.

Click on a thumbnail photo for medium-resolution, click again for full-size.

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  Roy and Brenda, stopping to add sunscreen on the way up. Just after turnoff to Mills Lake, crossing Icy Brook. Looking upstream on Icy Brook. Getting close to Mills Lake (blue in center) Mills Lake.

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  At the edge of Mills Lake looking south and a little east. Crystal clear water. Mills Lake looking south. Mills Lake looking south and a little west. Roy and Brenda at Mills Lake. About 1/4 way down Mills Lake (towards inlet), surrounding mountains are simply gorgeous.

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  Definitely in the running for one of the prettiest lakes in RMNP. Near the inlet (south edge) of Mills Lake. Looking back down the lake (north). Water is so clear! Grey squirrel (center)

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  Zoomed in - we chatted in normal voices and he just continued to eat and ignore us. Nicely maintained trail - boardwalk through a marshy area. Brenda stops here for a nap (Glacier Gorge campsite, just across the river). Roy, as we continue up the trail to Black Lake. Stunningly beautiful valley with all the high peaks around.

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  Gorgeous rock formations. Tiny waterfall coming in from the side of the trail. Columbines! Columbine is the Colorado State Flower.

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  Still plenty of snow up high. Butterfly. Gorgeous water slide. Various sites differ as to whether this is Ribbon Falls or another set of falls further up is Ribbon. Zoomed in on upper part of this falls. Looking back down valley (north).

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  Most sites agree this is Ribbon Falls. Looking down valley at the medley of wildflowers. Closer in to Ribbon Falls. The trail is the steps on the bottom right curving up left. Roy Outlet of Black Lake, some boulder hopping here, there is a nice trail of huge boulders but trail is a bit faint- it's actually on bottom left going right (upstream).

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  We missed the trail, Roy is boulder hopping. Trail (looking downstream here) is actually the big square boulders on the bottom right. Black Lake looking right (south-west). Black Lake looking middle right. Black Lake looking middle left (south). Black Lake looking left. Notice the trail continues south-east.

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  Snowfield at the south-east end of Black Lake. Looking right again, gorgeous falls on the sheer cliffs. Roy at Black Lake. Alberta Falls, on the way down at mid-day. Pretty blue bird (center), Brenda says it's a jay of some kind.

  Looking downstream from Alberta Falls.

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