Saturday, October 25, 2014

Sprague Lake, Bear Lake and Alberta Falls in Rocky Mountain NP


My husband and I visited Rocky Mountain National Park in early October to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary.  I showed many photos of the beautiful autumn colors we were fortunate to see in the park in my last post at this link. During our visit we also hiked around a few of the beautiful lakes in the park.  Sprague Lake, a 13 acre lake located along the Bear Lake Roadhas a half mile walkway around it that offers scenic views of  the Continental Divide Peaks of Taylor Peak (13,158 feet), Otis Peak (12,486), Hallett Peak (12,713) and Flattop Mountain (12,324).  The lake is named after Abner Sprague, who, along with his wife, owned a resort in this area from 1910 -1940, and introduced their guests to the pleasure of high water fishing and hiking in this area.


The opposite view from Sprague Lake, as we walked its perimeter.


Another view.


As we walked around the lake, enjoying the scenery, we saw a couple in the distance who were exchanging marriage vows!  Just look at the beautiful mountains in the background as we approached where thye were standing!  (I blurred their faces with an editing program to protect their privacy)


About three miles away from Sprague lake is Bear Lake.  Bear lake's elevation is 9,450 feet, and the trail around it is 0.8 miles.  The top of Hallet Peak can also be seen from Bear Lake......


....as well as Longs Peak (14,259 feet)! I love how I am learning to recognize the mountains in the park, and I love this view



A close up of the summit of Longs Peak.


As you can see by the informational placard and the trail sign, Bear lake is the starting point for many trails.


We decided to take a trail through the woods to see Alberta Falls. I am not the best vertical climber, and the first part of the trail was easy, but I struggled towards the end as the trail began to climb higher, by about 200 feet to 9,400 feet.


Happily, I kept hiking, and at last was rewarded with the view of Alberta Falls! The scenic 30 foot waterfall thunders down a small gorge on Glacier Creek  If you would like to hear Alberta Falls you can watch a short video on my facebook page at this link. Alberta Falls is named after Alberta Sprague, the wife of Abner Sprague, both of whom were early settlers of Estes park and owned a resort lodge that was located in the early years near Sprague Lake.  Their resort was torn down in 1957 by the parks department to return the land back to a natural state.



My husband and I enjoyed sitting by the falls for awhile, enjoying the sound of the water and the late afternoon sunlight that made the trees glow.


This was the only wildlife we saw on the trails along the lakes and waterfall -- the Golden Mantel Ground Squirrel! They look like chipmunks, but do not have stripes on their head. They are used to seeing many people on the trails and can be brazen, begging for food, but we always follow the rule not to feed the wildlife--there is plenty for them to eat in nature.


The most exciting part of our visits to Rocky Mountain National Park is when we drive up to the highest peaks and walk on the Tundra Trails, but I'll save that for a future post.  If you'd like to see our trip up to the "Roof of the Rockies" last year, click on this link.  This visit we saw the remnants of a snow storm in the high elevations that was there from the week before. It was so beautiful!

See you back here soon!

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52 comments:

The Furry Gnome said...

Pretty spectacular scenery! What a place for a wedding!

diane b said...

The scenery is gobsmacking beautiful. It must have been such an exhilarating feeling walking that trail. Some of the mountain and lake scenes remind me of Switzerland.

Linda Kay said...

I never tire of the water, water falls, and the mountains. Thanks for sharing these pics!

Kris said...

Your photos never disappoint!!! So pretty. I saw your earlier anniversary post. Congratulations! So many throw in the towel way too early on in a marriage. We are the lucky ones, eh? The rewards are so great, and so many, in this season of our lives!
Hugs,
Kris

Felicia said...

Ok Pat here you are torturing me again. lol. we visited RMNP but did not have alot of time to investigate. Wish I could go back but probably will never make it.

I just love your images. TFS.

I see the snow poles in the last image. They are alot higher than the little ones here in Pa.

Pamela Gordon said...

This is a wonderful way to celebrate your 40th anniversary! The mountains and view and the waterfall are so beautiful. Thanks for sharing your photos with us.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Pat - You are so fortunate to live within driving distance of these gorgeous places. And now that Vinny is retired, you'll have even more time to explore. Your photos are just gorgeous - one scene more stunning than the last.

Barb said...

Pat, you had great weather and saw amazing sights on your trip to RMNP. I'm so glad you took us to the falls - I can almost hear the energy of the water.

AdriBarr said...

I swear, each of your travelogue posts is more glorious than the last. This move has just opened up an entire new world for you, and I am pleased to come along for the ride!

Claudia said...

Happy anniversary! You do know how to celebrate. I am not good with heights anymore but I still think I can live in CO. Such a beautiful state! You show it off so well.

The Gathering Place said...

Pat, what stunning scenery! Your photos should be published- they are beautiful. Thanks for sharing!!!

Betsy Adams said...

Hi Pat, You are SUCH a wonderful tour guide. I have a good friend who has visited all of those places, but he doesn't give the details like you do. I SO love your blog.

We have been to RMNP twice --but still haven't seen it all.. We tried to go to Alberta Falls once but couldn't get a parking place.... We need to go back!!!

Thanks for all of the great info.
Hugs,
Betsy

Cindy said...

Oh Pat, amazing photos wonderful scenery it makes me want to go on our road trip to this area. We just entered the border of Alberta last night and I'm so excited. We looked on the map and the lake and falls are out of our venture area however I was told we would see equally the beauti you shared today, thank you

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

How romantic was that, to get married in nature with the backdrop of water and mountains!
Thank you for linking to Mosaic Monday Pat.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

It is a very romantic setting indeed. And a wonderful time to get out and hike! Gorgeous photos...makes me want to visit again in the Fall! Enjoy your week. Sweet hugs, Diane

Susie said...

Pat, Are you and your husband used to the higher altitudes now? . I am glad you are exploring and loving your life there. Blessings, xoxo,Susie

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Happy Belated Anniversary -- couldn't be a more perfect place in my opinion. And of course you married at a perfect time of the year to celebrate it there (although I don't imagine you thought of that 40 years ago!:

Our kids can see Long's Peak from their yard, so I recognize that one.. And we are looking forward to seeing it and them soon.

Roses, Lace and Brocante said...

I love the mountains too and your photos are majestic and awe-inspiring Pat!
The walkways are wonderful and mean ordinary people can go for hikes and not get lost....hopefully!
My only concern would be bears - the mere thought of them frightens me, but I suppose like anything if you grow up in these surroundings you are aware. I've just remembered you were a New York girl - so do you think about/worry about bears at all?

We don't have any 'wild' animals in New Zealand so I'm not used to the thought of them and would have no idea what to do if I happened on one!?<:( scarey......

Have a happy week!
Shane

eileeninmd said...

Pat, you seemed to have followed some of our footsteps at these same spots. Beautiful scenic views and lovely photos..What a pretty scene for the wedding.. Great post, thanks for sharing. Have a happy week!

Michelle said...

We were fortunate to visit RMNP a few years ago. Such a place of beauty! You have captured it so well.

Shelia said...

Hi Pat! Oh, how wonderful and you took some gorgeous snaps! Thanks for popping in to see me and keep having fun because you can always decorate! :)
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Rajesh said...

Beautiful and scenic place. The landscape is amazing.

Lorrie said...

There's nothing like the Rockie Mountains for stunning scenery. I never tire of seeing the mountains in person or in photos. Your drive/hike took you to some really beautiful places.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Wow, spectacular shots of the mountains and lakes. I love how you are embracing your new state.

SmilingSally said...

Hi Pat,

So beautiful that it looks like a painting!

Thanks for being so faithful to Blue Monday, and for sharing your blue.

Happy Blue Monday!

Jo Ann May said...

Pat I always thoroughly enjoyed your sharing when you lived in New York but WOWSER! goodness this is outrageously amazing. Soooo beautiful!!! Thanks for sharing at Blue Monday. Have a great funfilled week, and happy belated Anniversary!

Ann said...

What I love most is your enthusiasm to see everything in the state you reside. I too love visiting Colorado where our Son and family live. I noticed that red speck in the waterfall picture!
ann

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

Majestic is the word that always comes to mind when I see your photos. You certainly do live in a beautiful part of our country. What a lovely place to celebrate your anniversary. Belated congratulations to you both.

Cindy @ Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home said...

Gorgeous photos and the squirrels so cute! Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY...
Blessings,
Cindy

Joy H said...

You have an awesome camera. Love the photos and a lot of them would make great posters or prints for hanging. Love the waterfall.
Joy @ Books and Life

Ida said...

What a gorgeous area you visited. The views are amazing.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone! Busy week of babtysitting so I'll comment back asap! :)

carol l mckenna said...

Happy Anniversary ! What a beautiful spot to celebrate! Gorgeous nature photography!

artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

Daniela said...

I always feel amazed and breathless facing your photographs, my dear Pat, thank you so much for these so precious moments !
I wish you much love
Dany

Donna said...

You visit the most beautiful spots...and what a heavenly spot to get married...

thesegreenwoods said...

Such beautiful scenery and indeed the perfect place for a wedding.

Mary Cromer said...

Absolutely breath taking gorgeous. So much looks like some place I have been too. Happy belated anniversary. We share our 45th in December~

EG CameraGirl said...

The scenery is stunning!

fredamans said...

Beautiful photos! I love Canada, it is home after all... what a great place to get married!

Karen said...

Fabulous scenery and a perfect place to get married!

annie said...

I love all your photographs and the wonderful record of life that you keep. But mostly what I appreciate is your love of life. It shows in the wonder and awe you convey in each post.
I am so glad you share all this.

Christine Graves said...

Beautiful photographs! I had to share this on pinterest too...just gorgeous!

Jeannie said...

I LOVE the mountains. It's my favorite vacation place.

Rambling Woods said...

Wow... What a beautiful place to get married at or to celebrate an anniversary. I love the mountains and clear crisp looking water... Wonderful for Nature Notes.. Michelle

bettyl-NZ said...

These are some breath-taking shots! What a wonderful place.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

I am so enjoying my return visit to Rocky Mountain National Park via your blog! Beautful pic's...as always!

ladyfi said...

The scenery is just fabulous!

Hazel Ceej said...

The blue mountain looks like one giant sapphire. Exchanging vows with that view - how lucky and so lovely!

Kc W said...

Your pictures are just wonderful -- so different from the scenery that I am surrounded by. I especially love seeing the chipmunks -- there are none in our are of southern California. Thank you for sharing!

Judy said...

Wow!! I love seeing all those mountain peaks against the sky!!!

Al said...

Spectacular - I must get back up there soon.

Spare Parts and Pics said...

An incredibly beautiful location! Thanks for taking us along and sharing these great photos!