Thornton Lakes on August 8th, the first of my favorites for the summer. (Each link will take you to the original post.) Special thanks to Mikey for the picture. Notice that even on that August date, there was lots of snow. This was a new hike for us.
Welcome Pass, which we did on August 18. It's kind of amazing that we chose this particular one, because in years past, just the name of this hike would cause people to stay away. The 67 switchbacks in a very short distance is part of the reason, but this year the late snowfall also caused the wildflowers to come out in breathtaking profusion. Both spring and summer wildflowers were everywhere, making it feel like we had walked into the set for The Sound of Music. (In fact we were singing and smiling all day long.) Thanks to Diane for this picture.
Church Mountain, one of our usual trips into the High Country. Another beautiful day filled with sunshine and warmth, with amazing wildflowers yet again, this was perhaps our third attempt during the summer to reach the summit. We not only got there, but we all enjoyed this hike much more than we have in the past. It's interesting how different a hike can be from one trip to the next.
Stujack Pass. That's Fred trying to pull us slower hikers up the last grueling and steep switchbacks to the top of the pass. This was the fourth favorite hike we did in August. This was on the 29th, almost into September. Four of my favorites ended up being in August. Just look at those flowers in the foreground.
Mt. Dickerman, another first for me, was simply extraordinary. We had been warned that it is a hard hike, and we must have been ready for something much harder than it turned out to be, because we simply cruised right up. (All those extra hikes in August might have had something to do with it.) This one was on September 19. We also saw seven mountain goats!
Hidden Lake Peaks was also stupendous. I'm running out of superlatives, and this is the final one I've chosen for the season. We have had some great hikes so far this fall, but I don't want to get too far out of the summer season for this particular post. This one was special not so much for the wildflowers (although they were still out when usually they would be completely gone), but for the amazing variety of views, weather, and a cool lookout cabin.
The other four extra hikes we had this summer were also truly great (Monte Cristo, Cow Heaven, Goat Lake, and Mt. Higgins) and I would definitely revisit some of them, but the really outstanding ones are the six I've mentioned here. It was a GREAT summer and we can only hope for one this good again.