June 20, 2014 Day Hike to Harvard Lake, Colorado
Eight members of the Westman Wilderness Club, Cheryl & Roger, Bill & Carol, James & Olwen and Janis & Alf decided to hike a trail into Harvard Lake near Buenos Vista, Colorado. The trail head was about 15 miles from our rented log Ranch House. We reached the trail head at about 9 :00 am. The morning was sunny and warm and the temperature went up as the day went on. Just to put everything in perspective, the altitude at the ranch house is about 8,000 ft above sea level and at the trail head it is over 9,000 ft. For us flat-landers getting used to breathing at this level took some getting used to. Everyone suffered the experience of waking up in the middle of the night and gasping for air. Trying to hike up swithbacks for another 1200 ft from trail head was a challenge. Our first casualty headed back to trail head in the early part of the hike. The next two headed back about 40 minutes before reaching the beautiful lake which was 11.5 kilometers from the start. The trail was beautiful and the valley could be seen below through the trees at many locations. Along the way we met two groups of about 12 young people returning from an overnight back pack trip. They were from Rocky Mountain High school. The prize of the day was when we arrived at Harvard Lake we were pleased to see one of the most beautiful little mountain lakes. A fly rod would have been handy as trout were jumping out of the water in their lust for insects.
After eating lunch, resting and taking pictures it was time to head back down. The trek down was much easier as there were only a couple of minor rises to climb. The rest of the hiking was down. It was then time to head back to the ranch for cold drinks. Seeing I left the parking lot first, I cannot figure out how James beat me back.
A great hike.