This morning we left Buena Vista, crossed the Continental Divide at 12,095 ft through Independence Pass and dropped down into the Roaring Fork Valley and Aspen.
Along the drive we stopped at Cascades and the Grotto.
Snow and springmelt carved these winding paths through the rock.
A bull moose finding breakfast.
Today’s hike took us to American Lake, part of the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area, a 181,000 acre area of Elk Mountains that was preserved in 1980.
This trail puts almost all the effort at the beginning with switchbacks bringing all the elevation gain early. Those little zigzags on the screenshot upper right went right up the slope. The last 2 miles is a pleasant gentle rise in the tree line and crossing a talus field to arrive at the lake.
We walked around to the far side, spotting cutthroat trout along the way, and sat with this view for our afternoon lunch.
Back down we go…
Meal of the day: Lunch on American Lake. A very close second was an excellent meal at The Goat.
Best thing today: great company – thanks Lizzy and Ted for hosting us on a terrific tour that covered the whole Roaring Forks Valley.