Backpacking 2002

This trip was planned as a 4 day, 3 night trip into the Rawah mountains.  The trip was supposed to be a group of 4, Hank, Kent, Larry, and myself.  We had planned this trip since last year.  We had all been looking forward to the trip as a good time was had by all last year.  Well except for the lack of fish Kent and Larry caught.  Oh well that is another story.

I received a call about a week prior to departure and was told Kent had some other business come up.  Now what could be more important than a trip into the wilderness for 4 days? – I give up!  About a day before we were all to leave I received another call.  Larry went golfing and strained his back.  The excuse from Kent sounded legit, but golfing, gees, give me a break.

Oh well time to pack as Hank and I were looking forward to the 4 days.  We planned to meet at the trailhead around 9:30 AM, as I live in Fort Collins and Hank lives in Winter Park.  The drive up the Poudre canyon is always pleasant and this morning was no exception.  I arrived at the trailhead a few minutes early and Hank arrive shortly thereafter. The day was sunny and warm as we headed out.

We had planned to hike up to timberline the first night, which is about 6 – 7 miles and about 2400 feet elevation gain.  The trail passes through aspen and lodge pole pine near the bottom.  As the trail climbs higher the terrain gives way to Engleman spruce and Limber pine.  We set up camp at about 10,800 on a grassy knoll.

Sunrise at 1st day camp site

About 10 AM we broke camp and headed for Bench Lake.  Bench Lake is at about 11,000 feet with few trees but beautiful scenery.  A coarse was plotted through the saddle in route to the lake.  We stopped a moment to take in the view looking back toward camp 1.

Looking south towards camp 1

We had hoped to be the only ones on the lake and we were not disappointed.  Our campsite was located about 100 feet from the lake near the outlet.

Camp 2

Camp 2, was only a couple miles and we arrived early.   Rockhole Lake was on our minds as this is where we had caught many fine fish in the past. 

Nice fish at 11,200 feet

Not much better than this!

Here fishy fishy fishy –

The next morning was great, sunrise at it’s finest, 11,00 feet.  The weather has been great, certainly one of the best trips into the Rawah’s that I can remember.


More --  just can’t get enough

This site was sooo nice, we opted to stay the 3rd night.  We hiked up to Rockhole Lake on day 3 and also fished Twin Crater Lakes.  Upper Twin Crater Lake had some large fish but the action was slow.  We went next door to Lower Twin Crater Lake and boy was it hot; 6 – 8 fish in about 15 minutes.  These fish were smaller 12 –14 inches, but really alive!

The next morning was a time for reflection, as our time was coming to an end.  Morning is always so peaceful and certainly my favorite time of the day.  I saw 6 elk the last morning on my hike around the lake.

A time for reflection --