Two high school friends were in town visiting and we decided go hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park and take in the views and autumn colors. I made a reservation to enter the park between 6:00 and 8:00 am. The car lots were full by the time we got there at 8:00 am, but we got lucky as someone pulled out just as we made it to the Bear Lake Trailhead.
We actually started hiking downhill towards the Glacier Gorge Trailhead to start the day. From here we took the fire trail between Glacier Knobs and past Glacier Falls to Mills Lake. It was a bit hazy from the smoke, but the views were still enjoyable. We then backtracked a bit and jumped on the Loch Vale Trail to see The Loch. Views of Taylor and Andrew Glacier didn't disappoint.
We backtracked again and then headed northwest to Lake Haiyaha. I had never been on this trail or visited this lake before. You have to do a bit of boulder hopping to get to the lake. We had a snack with some water and fed the chipmunks for a while. From here it was mostly downhill past Dream Lake, Nymph Lake, and Bear Lake back to the Bear Lake Trailhead.
We stopped at a new brewery in Estes Park, Colorado, to try the beers and so I could get a sticker. We also had a late lunch at Smokin' Dave's in Lyons, Colorado, that included some great barbecue. Once back at my residence, we cleaned up and sat around the fire pit catching up and having a few beers.