After looking at the trail map, we started our way along Mill D North Fork Trail to Desolation Lake. Round trip would be 7 miles, elevation starting at 7352'.
At this elevation, Spring is just beginning. The aspens are just starting to have leaf growth. The wildflowers are beginning to appear, not blooming yet. One thing I learned on this hike was when I stopped to gaze at nature's beauty, I needed to turn around because something more spectacular was behind me. However, we did not make it to the lake! Almost, but not quite all the way. We had to turn around about 1/2 mile short due to snow fields covering the trail making it impossible to know which way to go, especially since neither one of us had hiked in this area before.
We ended up hiking about 5.8 miles with an elevation gain of 1880 ft., hiking up to 9232' elevation.
To see a topo and elevation map, here's a link to the trail route on gmap-pedometer.com
Here are some photos of our outstanding hike:
|Near beginning of trail. You can see the main road.|
|The aspens at this elevation are leafing out.|
|Heading higher, aspens not leafing here.|
|A few spots of snow in the trail in the shaded areas.|
|Shortly after this section of trail, we stopped for lunch (PBJ sandwiches).|
|On our way back down in an aspen grove.|
|Stunning beauty everywhere.|