Hiking to Mills Lake

Mills Lake from Glacier Gorge Trailhead, 5.3 RT, 780′ Elevation Gain, 6.84 Difficulty Level, 9,940′ Max Elevation

(39 images)

This was my furthest hike to date!  Next time I know that I can push it just a little further.  Since this hike I have gotten a new pair of hiking boots, so I can’t wait to try them out!!

The hike was supposed to be with four women, but it ended up just being my sister-in-law and myself.  We had a fantastic time!  My brother wasn’t there rushing us to get to our destination, we got to enjoy a little lunch on the Estes Park River Walk without having to eat in the van on our way home – a win, win!

I also think that this was the most beautiful hike to date.  It helped that the leaves were in full Fall mode.  A week later I ended up hiking a portion of this same trail when my mom came for a visit, but the leaves were already falling from the trees.  I love how a landscape can change with light and weather!

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It turned out to be a beautiful, bright sunny day for a hike to Mills Lake.

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I was using a 2-8 neutral density filter for the first time, so pretty much left it around 2.  Since I was with someone who was not my husband, I really didn’t want to take time to really play with it.

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I would have loved to capture the falls with a slow shutter speed – one day…

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Oh, and because I had the ND filter on, I left my lens cap and lens hood at home.  Lots of lens flair in some images.

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No, this is not littering.  My sister-in-law dropped a trail mix wrapper (that was empty) when she was trying to get to my cell phone to take a picture of the chipmunk.  She picked it up when we left.

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He also decided that he wanted to check out the bag of nuts that I had in my pocket.

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estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, carol dunnigan photography, images, photography, hiking, trails, glacier gorge trailhead, mills lake, alberta falls-17

estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, carol dunnigan photography, images, photography, hiking, trails, glacier gorge trailhead, mills lake, alberta falls-18

The Loch wasn’t much further than Mills Lake from this point, so I know that it’s definitely possible for me to make it there one day.

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estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, carol dunnigan photography, images, photography, hiking, trails, glacier gorge trailhead, mills lake, alberta falls-22

Around this time in our hike, we ran across a group of kids on a field trip.  One woman had on a t-shirt that I’ve got from a local hospital.  The kids were from a school in the town that we live in!  Again – small world!

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estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, carol dunnigan photography, images, photography, hiking, trails, glacier gorge trailhead, mills lake, alberta falls-24

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We have arrived!

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These guys were from the National Geological Survey Team:

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We’re heading back to the trailhead…

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We stopped at Alberta Falls for a picture…

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Our beautiful view during our lunch on the Estes Park Riverwalk

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