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NOTE: Meeting time is 7:40am at Westminster PNR (on the West side of Hwy 36), not 7:30am. (meetup only does 15-minute increments to schedule the time)
We will do an easy to moderate snowshoe to Nymph, Dream, and Emerald Lakes in Rocky Mountain National Park, followed by lunch & [optionally] watch the big Broncos game at a sports bar in Estes Park (or Pizza Bar 66 in Lyons if we can leave the Bear Lake parking lot by 1:15pm).
The trail to Nymph, Dream, and Emerald Lakes features some of the most beautiful scenery in the park, and, because the trail is relatively short and easy to navigate, it is not difficult to understand why the lakes are also among the most popular in the park. The hard-packed snow on the lower trail can make snowshoes superfluous, unless there has been fresh snow. From the parking lot, it is only 0.5 mile to Nymph Lake, so it is not a difficult hike. However (there is always a caveat, isn’t there?), the trail starts at 9,440 feet, it is uphill, the snow can be unpredictable (though it is usually firmly packed). For an average, fit adult, it is a stroll in the park and well worth the view. It is 3.6 miles total distance on an in/out trail, and 635 feet elevation gain, from the Bear Lake parking lot.
We will meet at the Westminster Center PNR (on the west side of hwy 36). We will then pick up a few extra people at the Stone Cup in Lyons where we will have a coffee and bathroom break before taking the 1hr drive to the trailhead
Westminster carpoolers arrive at Westminster at 7:40am Again, Westminster and Ward Road carpoolers will converge at the Stone Cup in Lyons at 8:40am. If you plan to skip the Ward Road or Westminster carpool locations, please meet us at the Stone Cup in Lyons by 8:40am. It is not recommended to meet at the trailhead, as cell service is limited and it will be difficult for you to locate our group. IMPORTANT! Please READ: When you RSVP, you will be taken to a screen asking you a series of 5 questions... this is REQUIRED and your RSVP is not complete until these questions are answered. It shouldn't take you more than 1-2 minutes to answer these.This makes my life easier as an organizer, makes your experience more enjoyable & your hike more organized, and if you do not answer these questions, you could potentially be left behind at carpool locations and other areas! One of the questions asked is to let us know which carpool location you will arrive at, which is where attendance will be taken, so without knowing where you will meet us, and if you are falling behind, you will be left behind if you haven't provided that info. There are additional required questions aside from this one. If your plans later change, you can update your RSVP without losing your place to update your answers.
Itinerary for the day (all times are estimated):
Westminster Center PNR Carpoolers> 7:40am: Meet at Westminster Center PNR, Located off Hwy 36 at the Sheridan exit, on the WEST side of Hwy 36 (NOT the side with the parking garage)
Westminster Center PNR Carpoolers> 7:55am: After quick introductions and loading up, we will depart promptly at 7:55am.
Stone Cup Carpoolers> 8:40am: Meet at Westminster Center PNR, Located off Hwy 36 at the Sheridan exit, on the WEST side of Hwy 36 (NOT the side with the parking garage)
Stone Cup Carpoolers> 9:00am: After quick introductions and loading up, we will depart promptly at 9am.
Carpool info, how to plan for it in advance:
Since there is a fee to get into the area, we will try to coordinate so that each car has someone with a park pass. If without a park pass, the cost is $20/ vehicle, Valid for seven consecutive days, including date of purchase (or you can purchase an Annual Park Pass on the day of the hike for $40).
If you plan to be a driver, double-check those thoughts after knowing that Bear Lake Road is currently a dirt road (formerly concrete) while under construction. We appreciate anyone still able to drive. (I will take myself and 6 others in my Expedition)
Due to the construction, we will need to pack ourselves into as few cars as possible.
We will be going to a sports bar for lunch afterwards and to watch the Broncos game. While it's ok to not be able to continue with us for the post-hike lunch &/or game, please just be sure to plan your carpooling accordingly if you plan not to go. It's never fun when someone has to drag the whole car back to the PnR because one person isn't participating in the post-hike reflection & social time when everyone else in that car would like to go (we do have a good time at the dinner, I must say! You will be missing out if you don't go! http://img2.meetupstatic.com/7721728740974823239/img/smileys/tongue.gif). 8:40am: Arrive at Stone Cup to consolidate carpools, grab coffee, and use restrooms. Cars being left behind at the Stone Cup will park on High Street (the street in front of the Stone Cup), and there is no time limit for parking there.
9:00am: Depart promptly from Stone Cup (this means foot on the pedal, not time to load up)
10:00am: Arrive at Bear Lake Trailhead Parking Lot
10:15am: get on trail
11:30-11:45am: we will stop at Emerald Lake for a snack break
1:00-1:30pm (estimated): arrive back to car
2:00-2:30pm (estimated): arrive at Apres-hike restaurant for lunch / Broncos game
6pm (estimated): leave restaurant after Broncos game
6:45pm-7pm (estimated): arrive back at Westminster Center and Ward Road PNR's
Again, these are estimated times
Approximately 3.6 miles roundtrip – (1.8 miles each way)
Approximately 635' total, with a starting elevation around 9,440'
Start-End Elevation: 9,440' - 10,075' Estimated time on the trail: 2.5-4 hours (allow additional time to gear up / down at car before & after hike)
(3.6 miles at an estimated pace of 1-1.5mph -averaged with stops. I could personally hike this in 1.5hrs.. IF I wanted to compete in a sport and not care about what scenery I am missing on the trail, but this is not what the group is about. I started this group for those of us who felt like minorities on the "hike as an Olympic Sport" meetups.)
Easy to Moderate
No (RMNP doesn't allow it, and leashes pose a risk to expensive camera equipment on tripods)
What to bring:
Crampons/ spikes Snowshoes (rentable at Sports Authority the night before for $10+ tax) plenty of water snacks comfortable clothing (do NOT use cotton socks or even cotton blend socks! Use wool only!) sunscreen camera of your preference hiking poles are always suggested for beginner hikers or those with knee / back issues. Hiking poles with suspension- Bonus! (Target & Walmart sell them. $100 poles from the big outdoor stores are not necessary. Mine were from Walmart for $14 and have suspension springs. As of 11/12/12, the Wheat Ridge Walmart at I-70 & Youngfield still has a good inventory of "trekking poles" for $19.97 per pair, located in the sporting goods area in the aisle near the camping chairs) $1 for your Parks pass provider + gas money for your driver and the ability to remove your trash from their vehicles. Most drivers do their best to present a clean car for your comfort... please return the respect to that driver. Patience, smiles, positive attitude, and a good time http://img2.meetupstatic.com/1723755200050492932723/img/smileys/biggrin.gif Refer to the Seasonal Newsletter under the DISCUSSIONS tab above for a detailed snowshoe gear list. Looking forward to meeting everyone! -Erin
I'm really laid back, and everything above that I have mentioned are just more "good practices" rather than rules (such as how to set up your carpooling). But here is where I have to set some rules:
REMEMBER: PLEASE CHECK THE EVENT BY 7PM ON FRIDAY, JAN 11th... IF THERE IS A WAITING LIST, YOU MUST CANCEL EITHER YOUR "YES" OR "WAITING LIST" RSVP BY 8PM ON FRIDAY, JAN 11TH TO "NO" IF YOUR PLANS HAVE CHANGED AND YOU DECIDE NOT TO ATTEND.
IF THERE ISN'T A WAITING LIST, NO WORRIES. PLEASE STILL CANCEL AS SOON AS YOU KNOW THOUGH. IF IT'S AFTER 10PM ON FRIDAY, PLEASE CANCEL ON HERE AS WELL AS SEND ME A TEXT (WITH YOUR NAME) THAT YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO MAKE IT SO THAT I KNOW WE AREN'T WAITING FOR YOU. MY EMAILS ARE SOMETIMES DELAYED ON MY PHONE FOR HOURS, HENCE A TEXT IS BETTER. BUT AGAIN, IT IS REQUIRED THAT YOU CANCEL ON HERE AS WELL AS SEND ME A TEXT IF YOU CANCEL AFTER 10PM (WHICH IS THE TIME THAT I CHECK FINAL ANTICIPATED ATTENDANCE). AN EMAIL / TEXT CANCELLATION ALONE IS NOT A CANCELLATION. EVERYONE WILL RECEIVE AN EMAIL WITH MY PHONE NUMBER BEFORE THE EVENT.
BY RSVPing "YES", YOU ARE AWARE THAT THIS IS A PARTICIPATE AT YOUR OWN RISK EVENT, AND THAT YOU ARE LIABLE FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY!