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"finding plan B not so bad" Top 5 Page for this destination Rocky Mountain National Park Favorite Tip by richiecdisc

Rocky Mountain National Park General: 47 reviews and 53 photos

  the advantages of hiking in late September
by richiecdisc

Fondest memory: My ace in the pocket was the climb of Longs Peak. I had not quite made it to the top in 1994 despite a very early start and it sounded like a perfect overnight trip. It was, she said, but not in September. Longs Peak at that time is a technical climb requiring crampons and ropes. Squashed, I asked if she had any suggestions and she said the mountain lakes were perfect that time of year. She gave us a backcountry planner and off we went to look for plan B.

We chose Odessa. It sounded like an amazing place to pitch the tent and a befitting end to what had been an incredible round of backpacking that summer. We tacked a second day on at another camp for our hike out to form a short circle. It was not the grueling hike I had envisioned as the finale but it was tough to argue with the scenery on the way up, greatly enhanced by the glow of aspens as they began to earnestly turn to gold. Late September indeed did have some advantages. It was a tougher walk than it looked on paper but we easily managed it and in short time too.

We arrived to an empty paradise and grabbed the top spot in the two-site campground. September was looking good and the lake was stunning. The spot was treed but you could see the lake from it. A small forest kitchen had us looking for elves. The pit toilet was in a group of boulders fairly far back but it afforded great views as it was not covered. Since the walk was so short we really got to enjoy the spot and did some exploring. There was a trail along one side of the lake that likely led to a climb of one of the peaks but we were more in the mood to relax than exert ourselves further. It was one of nicest afternoons of our trip with not one soul intruding on our solitude. Once the sun went down it got cold. That's how it is late September at 10,000 feet. Our warm sleeping bags never felt so good. (continued below in Fondest Memory)

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Dec 23, 2009
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