Thursday, June 23, 2016

DESTINATION: Milner's Pass and Lake Irene, RMNP, Colorado

Leaving Fairview Curve Overlook we followed Trail Ridge Road to the north where we hoped to stop at Milner Pass and hike a portion of the Milner Pass Trail.  (This trail starts at the Poudre Lake Trailhead and continues all the way to the Alpine Visitor's Center with a round trip distance of 8.2 miles.) 

Continental Divide at Milner Pass
When we arrived at the Milner Pass parking area it was congested with tourist studying the Continental Divide sign and taking pictures of elk feeding near Lake Poudre (ok we took a picture, also).  Since we couldn't find a parking spot we decided to move back down Trail Ridge Road and complete a short hike around lake Irene.

Elk feeding at Poudre Lake

Hiking Lake Irene turned out to be most fortuitous!  As we looped around the lake to complete the trail we looked up to the surprise view of a life time. 

Lake Irene

Can you spot the moose?

Right in the middle of the trail was a female moose and her calf.  This was the first time we had seen a moose anywhere in RMNP. 

Mother moose

Mother moose in foreground, calf in background

We were warned not to get between a mother moose and her calf so we skirted around the side of her and went through the trees.  Using our telephoto lens we were able to capture some amazing photos of the big girl and her sweet baby.

Happy moose viewing hikers!