Yesterday, Sandy and I got back into the swing of things for our Camino training as we finally had a decent day together to go for a hike. We chose to hike the upper loop to Maxwell Falls in nearby Pike National Forest, near Evergreen, Colorado.
The weather was a bit breezy as a storm front was moving into the front range of Colorado. We started the hike on the upper trailhead and really enjoyed the relative lack of snowpack gradual elevation and beautifully thinned lodge pole pine forest. We climbed to the top of a spectacular rock formation and could see northeast, as far as the horizon.
We then began our slow descent toward Maxwell Creek. The trail network was well maintained and provided an enjoyable hike, even at it’s 8000’+ elevation. The sunshine over the past couple of days exposed about 60% of the trail and the other 40% was a combination of 4-5 inches of snow, ice and/or slush.
Once at the falls, we found it was still blanketed in many inches of solid ice. It was so encapsulated that you could not even hear the roar normally caused by the volume of water Flowing. It was actually quite interesting, as looking at the mass of ice you could only imagine the rush of snowmelt and raging waters below the surface.
Overall, the 2.5 mile hike took an hour and forty five minutes and the elevation gain was just over 500 feet.