Monday, August 17, 2009

A Trip to the Granddaddy Lake Basin

Last week, the world's best backpacking partner and I spent three days poking around the Granddaddy Lake area of the High Uintas (thanks to grandmas and grandpa for watching the kids). It's a popular and well used area and, as you might expect with the Uintas, we saw beautiful mountains, amazing lakes, various wild things and every kind of weather imaginable.

The trail to Granddaddy Lake starts at the Grandview trail head and I'd read some fairly dire descriptions of the last five miles of the road which are dirt and cut high into a canyon wall in places. But the road is well maintained and provides some beautiful views:

The first day we hiked up the trail, over Hades Pass, ate lunch next to Granddaddy Lake and then hiked on to Mohawk Lake and pitched out tent near the lake, next to a brook:

This was our first trip with the REI Quarter Dome T2 Tent that we got a great deal on earlier this year. I'll spare you the detailed gear review, but the tent is light, easy to set up and kept us warm and dry through rain, sleet, hail, wind, thunder and lightning.

Here's the view from our tent:

Once the tent was set up, we had some hail, then slush, then rain, then it cleared up. We hiked around to a few nearby lakes:

and then settled in for the night with the sound of rain plunking on the tent.

The next morning, after the sun rose over Mohawk Lake,

we packed up our things and headed off. It was a perfect day for hiking and we got a good look at Granddaddy Lake,

and then hiked around a bit and ended up at Marsell Lake:

Yep, we are in this picture, but the camera took some initiative and focused on the clouds. I think it made a good choice.

We spent the evening poking around Marsell Lake, Sonny Lake and the surrounding area and then settled in for an evening of rain, this time pounding on the tent, with a nice thunder and lightning show thrown in.

The next morning started clear, and I waited for the sun to rise so I could catch a nice shot from this view of the lake:

but the sun could never quite make it over the clouds that were building in the east and gathering from all around

So we ate breakfast, packed up and got ready to head out. By the time we were ready, clouds covered the sky, fog filled the valley and the lake looked like this:

It's a beautiful scene, but don't you think it looks better with a little something added?

We hiked back to the main trail through the misty woods

and then headed for the exit.

But the fun wasn't over yet. As we were nearing the summit of Hades Pass it started to snow and then it snowed harder and then it snowed harder

and it just kept on snowing

We sang Christmas songs as we hiked out and the snow piled up.

What a beautiful world we live in and how nice it is to have someone wonderful to share it with.


Lili said...

Wow, gorgeous photos. Thanks for sharing!

Betsy said...

That's a great document. Thanks. So glad you could do this. I loves da bot' o' yous.