Blue Lakes Backpacking

I managed to convince Natalie this year to try out real backpacking, as opposed to car camping. I was pretty excited that she agreed to give it a go, even though this was a pretty big step from anything she had ever done before. Carrying a 30 pound pack makes hiking a lot harder!

We decided to go to the blue lakes out in the San Juans. These are the lakes that you can see from the top of Mt. Sneffels (my favorite- in terms of scenery, 14er). I figured this would be a good hike because it wasn’t as long as some hikes in terms of how far you would have to hike with all your gear before setting up a sort of “base camp”. Also, you just can’t beat the beauty of the San Juans!

On this hike you first hike to a lower lake, which is where everyone sets up camp. Then the trail continues on to an upper lake (with a few smaller lakes visible along the way). After that you can continue on to the Blue Lakes Pass at 13,000 feet. Technically you can continue all the way to the summit of Mt. Sneffels from here, but that was never our plan.

Natalie decided not to go all the way from the upper lake up to the pass. The footing was a little tricky on the trail, which had her nervous, plus she was a little worn out from carrying such a heavy pack and not being used to it. I decided to continue up to the pass to take some pictures. I ended up being the only one up there, so I just took an awkward looking selfie! lol.

The large lake is the “upper lake” and then there are two other lakes visible as well. The main lower lake can’t actually be seen from here.

This is looking back down at the lower lake.

I was hoping to see some mountain goats out here. Unfortunately we didn’t see any, but we did see a bear while we were in the car starting to head home! It was so fat and fuzzy!

Really the lower lake is the prettiest one of the hike (as is often the case with Colorado hikes with multiple alpine lakes). The first night there we didn’t have great weather, so I was thrilled when we came back down and had a good opportunity for pictures of the lower lake.

I love the turquoise looking water with the almost neon green colored grass.

Natalie survived her first backpacking trip! And she even agreed that she would do another with me again sometime! 🙂

I really love this picture! Can I please move to the San Juans? 😉

Backpacking is definitely not an easy task, between the heavy packs and just having to be completely self sufficient, but we did it! I was proud of myself for being able to handle everything (carrying lots of weight, setting up the tent, filtering water, hanging a bear barrel, and more) without relying on Jeb to do it for me. Although I very much enjoy him doing a lot of the work lol, it was nice to know that I too am capable. 🙂

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