After getting rained out prior in the season, the Karch family returned for a trip into Ice Lakes Basin of the San Juan Mountains. We met under blue skies in Durango and drove to the trailhead at the end of S. Mineral creek road. The hike up entailed gaining 2,500 feet in 3.5 miles. Ted took many amazing pictures on the way while Andrea and Janet solved my brainteasers with ease. We reached our destination, the upper Ice Lakes basin and set up camp at 12,300 feet. This was the highest any of them had ever been and they were showing no signs of the lack of oxygen. Awesome work!
The Lake was the most vibrant blue any of us had ever seen; better than Canada’s Lake Louis by far. One lone hiker described it as “cheap Chinese turquoise colored.” I decided a quick dip was necessary, but, for some odd reason, could not convince anyone else to join me. Not sure why that was….
Books were read, naps were taken and scenery absorbed as the days previous hike wore on us. Dinner consisted of multicolored, funny looking cheese sauce and noodles. May have looked funny, but it sure tasted great. We all watched the sun go down, very slowly while the colors changed from blues to reds to grays. At one point during the night Ted got up to observe the stars. He said he was blown away by what he described as “more stars than night sky.”
The next morning we ate a leisurely breakfast and Ted put Starbucks to shame with his coffee and hot cocoa/ coffee combo drink. We then took a side hike to Fuller lake were we could look down at the 2 Ice Lakes. It was truly amazing the difference in colors from one lake to the next. After the hike, we returned to camp, packed up and began our hike back out. We made great time on the decent, while the weekend hikers were on their way up.
We parted ways back in Durango as Andrea was college-bound and Ted and Janet home-bound. Awesome outing together and see you next time!
Karch Family at entrance waterfall
Hiking in the lower basin (Photo: Ted Karch)
Andrea & Janet staying warm by any means possible (Photo: Ted Karch) Bedside view (Photo: Ted Karch)
Bedside View (Photo: Ted Karch)
Nightfall (Photo: Ted Karch)
Golden Horn and its reflection (Photo: Ted Karch)
Ted, Janet, Andrea and I in front of Ice Lake