After the enjoyable, but hectic at times, backpack of last weekend I wanted a more traditional backpacking trip: A long hike in and out, relatively few people, an emphasis on hiking and not camping.
D-low and I pored over the maps one weeknight (after having a couple of cold ones). We spied a loop that looked promising. It would involve alpine lakes, some off trail hiking and scaling a 13er: The Mummy Range of Rocky Mountain National Park.
Along with Ian "Skittles" Reese (another thru-hiker buddy in Boulder), we left to Friday night to camp out near the park.
On Saturday morning, we pulled into our trail head only to find it full. After some quick map consultation, we decided to make the hike a little bit longer and start at the Lumpy Ridge trail head with its easy trail access and more ample parking.
The start of the trip was pleasant. After a quick break at Gem Lake, we left the main part of the park and walked into Forest Service land. The trail in that park went through some shaded areas and had a series of ups and downs. The ranger in the back country office said it was "not recommended" because of the ups and downs. For us, it was just a quiet walk through forest.
The following morning, we walked up the ridge and made our way to Mummy Mountain.
The day was perfect with no clouds in the sky. The wildflowers were exploding. And the views were phenomenal. We did not see a soul.
At the summit, we could see our route for the rest of the day..along with ideas for future hikes. The distinct summits of Ypsilon and Fairchild beckoned. The lakes below looked inviting. And we were the first people on the summit in a few days. The Mummy Range is not visited often. IT is a bit off the beaten path, but the rewards are high for those who chose to go there.
We made our way off the mountain and encountered trail again. After a few miles, we again made our way back to the Lumpy Ridge area and enjoyed a change of scenery. We went from tundra to deep forest to meadows. What a variety in the weekend! The meadow part proved to be a great way to wind down the hike.
There will be more backpacking trips this summer. I can only hope they are all as perfect as this one.