15 August 2010, summer hike of Montgomery Pass and Zimmerman Lake

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  Zimmerman Lake parking lot, trailhead sign (trailhead is on north side of Highway 14) Beginning of the trail. Wildflowers along the trail. Kodak moment along a babbling brook near the bottom. Very shady trail - notice the moss on the trail!

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  About 9/10 of the way up is a trail sign that in snowshoe season is about waist high, now way up in the air! Here's what it looked like when we snowshoed up here in February Just across the trail from this trail sign are the remains of an old cabin.

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  Nearly at treeline is a gorgeous vista to the north. Montgomery Pass. You can tell from my hair blowing that it's windy! The hike is 2 miles each way, 1000' elevation gain, top is at 11,000 feet. Looking north-west, over the far snow-covered peaks is Steamboat. Looking south-west into south side of North Park Looking down into North Park and Walden. Here and in the valley floor, there's more brown/rust dead beetle-kill trees than green healthy trees :-(

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  Looking north from Montgomery Pass. I think the right high peak is Clark Peak. Too windy today to try it, our ears were starting to hurt already. Fresh digging - gophers? Marmots? Brilliant colored mushrooms. Back down to the babbling brook, several small waterfalls. Back at Zimmerman Lake parking lot, foot trail goes off to the south-east, to Joe Wright? Don't know.

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  Joe Wright Reservoir and Creek rules. Southwest side of the parking lot is the Zimmerman Lake trailhead. Only 1 mile and just under 500' of elevation gain - same steepness as Montgomery Pass trail. Back in April when we snowshoed up here for snowcaving , this sign was at knee level. On the way back we stopped here to find the "Loop Trail". No hiking trail that we could find, though in winter you can snowshoe anywhere.

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  Same shot as from April 2010 but grass instead of snow now! At Zimmerman Lake, Loop Trail off to the left. Northwest corner of Zimmerman Lake looking east. Looking south-east, a few fisherman on the lake in small one-person rafts. This is where we snow-caved in April.

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  Bob's at the bottom of the ridge looking up. Wind drops a lot of snow here, and the steep ridge makes it easy to dig caves here. This is one of the "primo" spots for snow caving on Cameron Pass. This great area for snow-caving is a short way along the Loop Trail, at the north-east edge of Zimmerman Lake.

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  Go left (north) off the main Loop trail just a few feet to the ridge drop-off. Notice blue trail marker on big fallen tree. Lots more virulent-colored mushrooms. Elk prints? too big for deer! More bright bronze colored mushrooms.

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  East side of the lake, three fisherman floating on the lake. Yet another gorgeous babbling brook. Very clear water! No pollution here. Gorgeous wildflowers everywhere. Crossing the brook as we headed back down.

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  Across the road from Zimmerman Lake parking lot is a moose! Bob walked across the road to get better pictures. She wasn't afraid and just kept eating. Further up the road are a couple bull moose, only the antlers are visible here.

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  Man we feel priviledged to live here in Colorado and be able to see such wildlife up close.

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