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Mount Ida @ 12,888 ft.

Katherine and I made it into Rocky Mountain National Park for a hike in some altitude. We have been talking about doing a 14'er sometime this summer, so we thought we would try a hike that started at a pretty high altitude with good altitude gain. Our original intent was to make it to peak 12,150, which is about a mile and a half from the summit of Mount Ida. There was only one turn off on the entire hike to go to Peak 12,150, and we missed it. We knew we missed it after the fact, so we decided to summit Mount Ida instead. The hike started at an elevation of 10,759 Ft. on the Continental Divide at Milner Pass. From there we hiked South of the Continental Divide towards the Pacific Ocean. We summited at Mount Ida 4.6 miles later at an elevation of 12,888 Ft.

The total elevation gain (there and back) was 2,496 Ft., which is much more than we have done in any other hike. We didn't spend much time at the summit because some clouds were rolling in. We wanted to make it below the tree level before any serious weather hit. Luckily, we made it all the way back to the car without getting any rain, but by the time we were half-way down the mountain, the summit was getting pounded with rain. We heard thunder a few times on the hike back, but never saw lightning. We saw several people hiking up while we were hiking down which we both thought was stupid. One person even asked us if the storm had passed the summit, in which Katherine and I both thought the person was an idiot for knowingly hiking into a storm.

Overall, it was a difficult hike that neither Katherine or I was prepared for. The 9.3-mile round trip hike took a total of 4 hours, 45 minutes. We were moving for just under 3 hours of that time.

Morning Walk

Morning Walk

Photo Notes:

The first thing I saw that was picture worth was this deer just a half-mile from the parking lot.

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Along the Snowy Trail

Along the Snowy Trail

Photo Notes:

There was still snow up in the mountains. It's July, why hasn't it melted yet? It wasn't as bad as it was a few weeks ago, and luckily we only hit a few patches of snow while we were under the tree line. As soon as we were out of the tree line (3/4 mile from the trail head), there was no snow in sight.

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Dead Trees

Dead Trees

Photo Notes:

There were a lot of dead trees from (what I assume) is the pine beetle. Luckily it looks like most areas were alive and well, but ever now and there you'd see a patch of dead trees

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Wannabe Mountain

Wannabe Mountain

Photo Notes:

This little hill is a wannabe mountain. Maybe someday

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Photographer in the Corner

Photographer in the Corner

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Smiling Hiker

Smiling Hiker

Photo Notes:

I started to tell Katherine that she had to smile when I took a panorama because she kept getting in my shots!

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Out of the Tree Line

Out of the Tree Line

Photo Notes:

We emerged from the tree line to see some photo-perfect spots

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Rocky Rockies

Rocky Rockies

Photo Notes:

I was trying to find different photos to take of the same mountains. The view was pretty much the same the whole hike up until we reached the summit, so I was always looking for things like rocks or trees to make the photos different from one another.

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Along the Trail

Along the Trail

Photo Notes:

One thing I really liked about the trail was that you could look back and see what you've accomplished. The trail was long and fairly straight in large segments.

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Lakes

Lakes

Photo Notes:

You can see the small lake/pond towards the bottom of this photo, but you can also see lake Granby, which is on the West side of Rocky Mountain National Park.

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Long Path

Long Path

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Marmot on the Rock

Marmot on the Rock

Photo Notes:

This marmot just sat here and posed for me. I had to get down low to get the beautiful mountains in the background.

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Rocky Prairie

Rocky Prairie

Photo Notes:

About a mile from the summit of Mount Ida, we were hiking through a rocky field. It was really difficult to keep balance when the rocks would wobble beneath your feet.

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Big Puddles

Big Puddles

Photo Notes:

This photo looks like these bodies of water are very small. The "puddles" were probably 30 Ft. in diameter, not so small!

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Up the Hill

Up the Hill

Photo Notes:

The hike was a never ending hill. We had to stop frequently to catch our breath, so I took a few of those opportunities to take some panoramas.

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Mount Ida Summit

Mount Ida Summit

Photo Notes:

We made it to the summit of Mount Ida around 11:45, just in time for lunch! We brought peanut butter and banana tortilla wraps. It was just enough energy to get us back down the mountain.

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Wild Butterfly

Wild Butterfly

Photo Notes:

We sat down on a rock and this butterfly joined us.

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Over the Ridge

Over the Ridge

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Summit Kiss

Summit Kiss

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Katherine at the Summit

Katherine at the Summit

Photo Notes:

Behind Katherine to the Right is Mount Julian

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Inkwell Lake

Inkwell Lake

Photo Notes:

The lake at the bottom of the valley is Inkwell Lake.

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Hungry Marmot

Hungry Marmot

Photo Notes:

This marmot, and it's family, was in search of food from the people who made it to the summit of Mount Ida. This one even grabbed and started dragging one person't backpack.

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At the Top

At the Top

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Mount Julian

Mount Julian

Photo Notes:

Just before the summit of Mount Ida, there is a gap in the ridge that you can see Mount Julian through.

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Bighorn

Bighorn

Photo Notes:

We saw a bighorn sheep on our way up, but it was too far away. This one walked pretty close to us waling the opposite direction than the trail.

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Through the Trees

Through the Trees

Photo Notes:

We saw several deer about a mile from the trail head right when we got into the tree line.

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Antlers

Antlers

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Small Cliff

Small Cliff

Photo Notes:

We noticed this cliff on the way back, but I had no relocation of seeing it on our way up. It was only a 1/4 mile from the trail head, so luckily I knew we were not lost (because you could hear the cars).

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<
Morning Walk
Along the Snowy Trail
Dead Trees
Wannabe Mountain
Photographer in the Corner
Smiling Hiker
Out of the Tree Line
Rocky Rockies
Along the Trail
Lakes
Long Path
Marmot on the Rock
Rocky Prairie
Big Puddles
Up the Hill
Mount Ida Summit
Wild Butterfly
Over the Ridge
Summit Kiss
Katherine at the Summit
Inkwell Lake
Hungry Marmot
At the Top
Mount Julian
Bighorn
Through the Trees
Antlers
Small Cliff
>