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Crater Lake Trail
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It was early, and dark, when Suzy and I got up, Saturday, September 5th, 2009, for the drive over to the Monarch Lake Trailhead on the west side of the Indians Peaks Wilderness Area, for a hike up to Crater Lake in the Lone Eagle Cirque. A couple hours up the trail, we both had our cameras out for what I think is the second of three waterfalls along Cascade Creek known as Cascade Falls. Even with the low fall season waterflow rate, this was still a beautiful scene.

Probably the second of three waterfalls along Cascade Creek known as Cascade Falls


Hardly five minutes further up the trail, we found the third of the Cascade falls. Hidden in the morning shadows though, an afternoon without cloud build-up might be a better time to photograph it.

Third of the Cascade Falls along Cascade Creek


Still at the third falls, Suzy couldn't help taking a break to enjoying the view from the top. Not far from here, her sun glasses fell into the creek, never to be seen again.

Suzy sitting at the top of Cascade Falls, Cascade Creek


Roughly 40 minutes up from Cascade falls, we came across yet another falls.

Another falls along Cascade Creek


This time of year, the wildflowers were looking a little passed their prime, but I had to get a shot of this beautiful Gentiana Parryi. I hadn't noticed the bug at the top of the flower until I got home.

Gentiana Parryi wildflower along the Crater Lake Trail


Four and a half hours up the trail now, having arrived at the Lone Eagle Cirque and just a few minutes from Crater Lake, I took this photo of Lone Eagle Peak (11,940 feet) across Mirror Lake. While I could have spend the rest of the day exploring the cirque, we still had over 7 miles to hike back out and a long drive home ahead of us, so we eat a quick energy bar at Cater Lake and started back down.

Lone Eagle Peak (11,940 feet), from across Mirror Lake


Indian Peaks Wilderness Area Topo Map

Indian Peaks Wilderness @ SummintPost.org


Area Guide Books

Gerry Roach
Colorado's Indian Peaks: Classic Hikes and Climbs


Bob D'Antonio
Hiking Colorado's Indian Peaks Wilderness


Click for Estes Park, Colorado Forecast