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Snowshoe: Nymph / DREAM / Emerald Lakes Part 2 for the non-polar bears!

  • Jan 19, 2013 · 7:30 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

We tried to do this one on Jan 12th, and while a few people who are hearty enough to live like polar bears still went, most of us didn't want to endure the single-digit temps! So this is rescheduled for those of us who prefer the snow on the ground, with blue skies and sunshine above us! The forecast in Estes Park as of Jan 13th for this time around is calling for "Bright Sunshine" (Accuweather verbatim) and a high of 41*!

Also, my work schedule is changing. This will be the last weekend hike that I personally will conduct until further notice (until I get more seniority). My hikes will now occur on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. But weekend hikes will continue... they will just be conducted by other organizers in our group.

The Plan

We will do an easy to moderate snowshoe to Nymph, Dream, and Emerald Lakes in Rocky Mountain National Park, followed by lunch in Estes Park.

Hike Description:

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.

FYI:

Since I live in NW Lakewood, we will meet at the Ward Road PNR, with a secondary carpool location at the Westminster Center PNR (on the west side of hwy 36). We will then converge both carpool trains, as well as 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

  • Ward Road carpoolers arrive at Ward Rd PNR at 7:30am
  • Westminster carpoolers arrive at Westminster at 7:45am
  • Again, Westminster and Ward Road carpoolers will converge at the Stone Cup in Lyons at 8:45am. If you plan to skip the Ward Road or Westminster carpool locations, please meet us at the Stone Cup in Lyons by 8:45am.
  • 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):

Ward Road PNR Carpoolers> 7:30am: Meet at Ward Raod PNR, Located off I-70 & Ward Road.

Ward Road PNR Carpoolers> 7:45am: After quick introductions and loading up, we will depart promptly at 8:45am.

Westminster Center PNR Carpoolers> 7:45am: 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> 8am: After quick introductions and loading up, we will depart promptly at 8am.

Stone Cup Carpoolers> 8:45am: Meet at Stone Cup in Lyons, 442 High St. Please get your coffee and use restroom ASAP so we can start loading up at 8:55am.

Stone Cup Carpoolers> 9:05am: After quick introductions and loading up, we will depart promptly at 9:05am.

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 lunch afterwards. While it's ok to not be able to continue with us for the post-hike lunch, 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! ).

8:45am: 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.
9:05am: Depart promptly from Stone Cup (this means foot on the pedal, not time to load up)
10:05am: Arrive at Bear Lake Trailhead Parking Lot

10:20am: 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 (Possibly Smokin Dave's BBQ in Estes Park?)

3:30-4pm (estimated): leave restaurant

4:30-5pm (estimated): Arrive back in Lyons to drop off Stone Cup carpoolers

5:15pm-5:45pm (estimated): arrive back at Westminster Center Park N Ride

OR
5:30-6pm (estimated): arrive back at
Ward Road PNR

Again, these are estimated times

Round-Trip Length:

Approximately 3.6 miles roundtrip – (1.8 miles each way)

Elevation Gain:

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.)

Skill Level:

Easy to Moderate

Dogs Allowed:

No (RMNP doesn't allow it, and leashes pose a risk to expensive camera equipment on tripods)

What to bring:

The Basics:

  • 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
  • Refer to the Seasonal Newsletter under the DISCUSSIONS tab above for a detailed snowshoe gear list.

Looking forward to meeting everyone! -Erin

CANCELLATION POLICY:

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 18th... IF THERE IS A WAITING LIST, YOU MUST CANCEL EITHER YOUR "YES" OR "WAITING LIST" RSVP BY 8PM ON FRIDAY, JAN 18TH 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!



Join or login to comment.

  • Erin S

    Awesome bluebird day with great people!
    No snowshoes necessary. There was some post-holing, but not enough to make snowshoes necessary to carry. We ended up with some decent wind gusts (30mph?) starting at Dream Lake, making it colder than anticipated. Us Sun Bears are so glad we didn't go when the Polar Bears went the week prior! Can't imagine being there at 30* colder than it was for us!

    January 23, 2013

    • Erin S

      And everyone posted such awesome, amazing photos to boot! I was in awe by many of them!

      January 23, 2013

    • James B.

      Us Polar Bears didn't need snow shoes either, and we had better photo opportunities, with new snow clinging to the trees and covering the landscape, Plus misty clouds moving around the peaks. It was a beautiful winter wonderland!!!

      January 23, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thanks Erin for organizing

    1 · January 20, 2013

  • Dana

    It was a great day, and great group of people, thanks Erin.

    1 · January 20, 2013

  • Don B.

    It was a fiiiiiiiiine day! The company always makes the day even better. Thanks, Erin.

    1 · January 20, 2013

  • DJ

    Beautiful day with lots of sunshine, blue sky and random humorous post holing by many.

    1 · January 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Super beautiful, good company! So much fun :)

    1 · January 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hello, I would like to change my carpool location to Ward PNR. Thank you :)

    January 18, 2013

    • DJ

      So you are bringing your Hummer then?

      January 18, 2013

    • Erin S

      I wish I had a Hummer! I could go anywhere in one of those!! Just a Ford Expedploder! ;)

      January 19, 2013

  • Mingo

    Just heard that estes was having their winter festival so lunch may be a bit more difficult

    January 18, 2013

    • Erin S

      We'll make it work! :)

      January 18, 2013

    • Erin S

      We'll all be hungry after the hike.

      January 18, 2013

  • Dana

    Thank you Erin.
    Now I know where I am going. I look forward to meeting you at Ward Rd @7:30.

    January 18, 2013

  • Dana

    Hi, Erin.
    I go back to read the post again. It says Ward rd carpoolers meet at Westminster center @7:30, so, what time I should be at Ward road or I should just drive to Westminster center @ 7:30?

    January 18, 2013

    • Erin S

      Dana, you have 3 different location choices on where to meet us based on what's most convenient for you. Each location choice listed above has a corresponding time for you to arrive. Go ahead and make a choice then let me know where you are meeting.

      January 18, 2013

    • Erin S

      Sorry about that Dana! Thank you for pointing it out! I made the corrections.

      January 18, 2013

  • DJ

    Erin - I saw this after the RSVP closed, any chance of joining the event?

    January 18, 2013

    • Erin S

      Hi DJ.. Sorry about that, I entered the closing date for the wrong date apparently. It's open again. :)

      January 18, 2013

  • Dana

    Erin.
    Just check the ward road PNR car pool is meeting at I-70& Ward Road at 7:30am tomorrow morning, not Westminster center. On your post it says at Westminster center. I paste your post below.

    Ward Road PNR Carpoolers> 7:30am: 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)

    January 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Does anyone have some extra spikes I could borrow?

    January 14, 2013

  • James B.

    Us polar bears had sunshine just a little bit colder! Snowshoes might not be necessary because the trail is well used and snow packed. Most of us polar bears did not use snowshoes even with new snow the night before. Crampons or traction devices that attach to your boots are helpful when walking across the lake ice, but not necessary. Off trail snow shoes would be necessary.

    January 14, 2013

    • Erin S

      Thanks for the update Jim! I know alot can happen between this past Saturday, and this coming Saturday... I would suggest for everyone to bring snowshoes as insurance as well as bungy cords or whatever you use to strap them to your pack.

      January 14, 2013

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