Hiking Sandbeach Lake, RMNP August 28, 2011

Bob & Sue & Dave & Patty hiked to Sandbeach Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park in the Wild Basin area.

It is truly a sandy beach. The trail arrives at the lake at the north-east end, near the inlet streams. A decent footpath leads around the east side to the south-east edge outlet, where there is a stunning view looking back north.

Day totals - 9 miles round-trip, about 1800 feet of elevation gain.

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

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  Trailhead, parking lot is right at the Wild Basin entrance to RMNP. UCLA Highlander with ranger station in background. Starting up the trail. About a half mile up the trail, gorgeous views of the Copeland valley to the south. Marsh and stream / ponds below, looking south-east.

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  Wildflowers Squirrel on the log chittered at me then ran away. Tiny blue berries. Edible? Dunno. Lots of tiny wildflowers along the trail. 1.4 miles in, 3.1 miles to go.

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  Pretty babbling brook alongside the trail. Hunters Creek and info on the native trout species. Tiny mushroom (maybe 1/4 inch tall) on the mossy bank of the creek. Did we mention it's mossy here?

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  Foot bridge over the creek. Looking upstream up Hunters Creek. There is a footpath on the right (to Lyric Falls etc according to Lisa Foster's awesome book on RMNP hikes) Looking downstream. Bob Dave on the trail. Most of the trail is well-maintained.

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  Tons of moss up here on the trail. Very humid! Info on the trout in this lake. Bob with Sandbeach Lake in background. Sue Sandbeach lake,looking south.

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  Looking south-west. The inlet stream is to the right. Patty, Bob, Dave - lunch break! Fresh Rapsberries at 10,000 feet. It really is a sandy beach, time to sun bathe!

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  Lunch in the shade, lie in the sun... ah this is a good life. The inlet stream on the north-east edge of the lake. Pretty babbling brook. Pretty flowers everywhere.

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  Footpath around east edge is mostly obvious, fades a bit here and there. On the footpath around the east side of the lake, found this. Looks like somebody is teaching how to build a lean-to. From the south-east edge of the lake (outlet) looking north-east to the sandy beach at bottom.

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  Still a little snow up above tree-line. The outlet stream. No obvious trace that this was once dammed up.

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