Feb 28, 2009
This weekend Allison and I hiked to Ice Lake near Silverton, Colorado, for her birthday weekend extravaganza. I had read about the hike to Ice Lake a while back, and then I heard some co-workers raving about it this week. So at the last minute, we decided to go. We left for Durango early Saturday morning, and after a quick stop at the Durango Farmers Market for some coffee and snacks, we secured a campsite at our favorite campground, Junction Creek. It's so amazing that a campground in such a prime location (about 4 miles out of Durango) is always half-empty. After setting up our tent and eating and drinking our spoils from the farmers market, we drove into the mountains to Silverton and the trailhead. A few times during the morning, Allison reminded me that it was her birthday weekend, usually in order to get her way. I asked her if she was gonna be a Birthday-zilla all weekend. And she was. But it was all in good fun! The hike up to the lake was STEEP and strenuous, and there wasn't a lot of oxygen at 12,000 feet, but it was worth the pain. The upper and lower Ice Lake basins were incredible! There were so many vivid colors... rolling hills carpeted in green, red, and yellow... lichen covered boulders... silver creeks... jagged gray peaks... and the bluest lake I have ever seen! The whole scene was so colorful and perfect it almost didn't seem real. It was the same feeling I had at Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon. It was like we were in a painting or something. Because of the color of the lake, and the fact that there were no trees around, I was reminded of pictures I've seen of Iceland (a place I have always wanted to visit). I have to say this hike is definitely one of my new favorites. I can't wait to return! There is another lake a little way above Ice Lake called Island Lake, and it looks just as cool. By the time we got off the trail and returned to Durango it was dark. We ate dinner at Carvers Brewery, walked around downtown a little bit, and then returned to our camp where we fell asleep immediately. The next morning we ran a couple errands in Durango and made our obligatory stop at Serious Texas BBQ before heading home.