Mount Evans, Colorado

I, Zeb the Duck, went high in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains.  Mom and I drove the highest paved road in North America to the top of Mount Evans.  Elevation in the parking lot at the top is 14,130 feet above sea level.  That is very high and not so much oxygen in the air.  When you go, be careful!

Our first stop on the drive to the top was Summit Lake Park at 12,830 feet.

Still snow in early June

Still snow in early June

We went a few days ago and the lake was still frozen.

Like a Christmas card in June

Like a Christmas card in June

It was so pretty.

When we arrived at the top, we saw these Rocky Mountain Sheep.

Love these sheep

Love these sheep

My new friends are watching me

My new friends are watching me

Resting

Resting

Then we walked up to the former Crest House.

On hand rail of remains of Crest House

On hand rail of remains of Crest House

When it was built from 1939-1941, it was the highest structure in the world at 14,260 feet above sea level.  Mom remembers going there with her parents and drinking hot chocolate.  Sadly, in September 1979 a propane explosion destroyed the Crest House.  In 1992 the structure was stabilized and is now an observation platform

Nice view

Nice view of mountain and hikers

and place of contemplation.

It was 44 degrees when we were there, with much snow still on the ground.  Driving down the mountain, we were as high as these snow capped mountain peaks.

Seems like we are at the top of the world

Seems like we are at the top of the world

We saw this yellowed-bellied marmot enjoying the sun.

Marmot ready for summer

Marmot ready for summer

They hibernate during the winter.  The climate at the top is alpine tundra, similar to Nome, Alaska.  This is the harshest environment that supports life, in the world.

These Mountain Goats enjoy climbing on Mount Evans and we enjoy seeing them.

Mountain goats grazing

Mountain goats grazing

We will probably be back here again this summer.  Mount Evans is less than an hour from Denver.  You will enjoy your day if you visit Mount Evans this summer.

Hiking at Echo Lake, Colorado

Zeb had a great time at Echo Lake.  This lake is calm and beautiful.

Ready to hike at Echo Lake

Ready to hike at Echo Lake

Located near the road to Mt. Evans, Echo Lake was perfect for Zeb, his mom, Soapy’s mom and Steve, Soapy’s dog.  We hiked, talked and laughed, ate, shopped, and hiked some more.

I have to say, that this was the best hiking ever.  I, Zeb, rode on the back of Steve.

Zeb riding Steve at Echo Lake

Zeb riding Steve at Echo Lake

From this picture, you can see that I had a real ride and a wonderful time.  Although Steve is fast, she was careful with me and I stayed on her, never even close to falling off her back.  Fantastic!

We started at Echo Lake Lodge parking lot.  We hiked on trails that felt spongy from all the pine needles.  A few other people, no ducks like me and a few dogs were on our trail.  Everybody was very kind and having a good time in the mountain sunshine.  The trail led us around the lake and back to the road.  Before the road, we found the picnic area with many tables and a shelter in case of too much wind or rain.  Also restrooms are available.  This seems important to humans.

In the lake, we saw live ducks swimming, people fishing and dogs having fun.  My Steve put paws in the lake and enjoyed a big, cool drink.

Steve having a drink from Echo Lake

Steve having a drink from Echo Lake

Hiking makes humans hungry.

Lunch was good at Echo Lake Lodge.  Mom had a big, tasty hamburger.  Soapy’s mom had chicken quesadillas.  Lots of smiles and eating here.  While eating, we watched hummingbirds at the feeders.  They are a lot smaller than me, but those wings sure move fast!

Hummingbird with wings in action

Hummingbird with wings in action

Soon the humans, saying how full they were, ordered dessert.  Dessert???  Echo Lake Lodge has wonderful home made pies.  Mom had blueberry pie with ice cream.  Soapy’s mom had chocolate peanut butter pie, topped with whipped cream and miniature chocolate chips, and a scoop of ice cream.

The pie is perfect!

The pie is perfect!

As you can see, I enjoyed it also.

It rained while we were eating, but we took a short hike after lunch

Steve, wait for me

Steve, wait for me

and then home.   This was a fantastic day.  You will love Echo Lake and maybe even some pie from the restaurant.   Echo Lake is about 1 hour from Denver.  From I-70 take the second exit in Idaho Springs.  Then drive 14 miles to Echo Lake Lodge and the entrance to Mt. Evans.  The drive is beautiful and Echo Lake is worth the trip.  The Echo Lake Lodge website was not completed today, but check www.mountevans.com.   This is another great day trip from Denver.  Hope to see you there soon.