Thursday, October 23, 2014

Hiking Baker Gulch in Rocky Mountain National Park, CO (6 pictures/1 video)

For my second trip to the close-by RMNP, I chose to hike up the Baker Gulch towards Baker Pass and Mount Baker. The trail went upwards the entire way, through boulder fields, pine forests, streams and tight switchbacks. About 2.5 hours into the hike (which was around the mid 9,000ft level), a massive storm came over the mountains bringing dark clouds, strong winds and snow. Tall broad 11,000-12,000ft mountains like Bowen Mountain and Mineral Point lay on the near horizon. Without any of my alpine gear/snow gear and no SOS personal locator beacon <--definitely buying one soon, I turned around and tried to get off the high elevation as soon as possible. The last few minutes when I was at ground level walking towards my car, the wind had gotten so strong that trees were smacking into each other. Crazy stuff. It's important to realize when your personal safety grows at an elevated risk and stop. Next time I have a full, good-weather day I'll complete the trail. Photos below and video were shot with a GoPro HD Hero. The video shows a cool panorama of the view from high up on the trail, and that last photo shows exactly why I was in a hurry to get down to the trailhead. The topo map is from the fine experts at NatGeo(Read more to see all the videos and pictures, which can then be enlarged by clicking on them.)