After claiming our site, we looked for a good hike. The hikes on the west side were all pretty long, so we settled on a 10.2 mile, 1000+ ft elevation gain to Granite Falls. The hike took us on a trail that is shared with horses, so besides seeing horses, we had to keep a keen eye out for horse apples, which were about every five steps. The rain at the end of the hike made the horse shit particularly fun. The hike starts out in a pretty Meadow where we eventually spotted a male and female moose! They followed the trail parallel to us and we ran into them again when we got to a creek. Here is the male checking us out.
After a lunch break and some heavy rain, we made it to granite falls and took ample pictures.
Props to all of us, especially the newbies, for making the full 10.2 miles. We all were pretty sore the rest of the night!
We went back to our campground and had a well-deserved beer (hard cider for me) and Cheetos while the rain evaporated off of our tent sites. I have a new rule that should always be implemented: couples setting up a tent together must first ingest one beer. We were finally ready to set up camp when we got a few visitors. Elk!
Then mule deer walked behind our tents while we were prepping for dinner!
Finally, we enjoyed skewers of peppers and onions, potatoes, corn on the cob, and hamburgers for dinner, had a nice campfire complete with s'mores, and shivered ourselves to sleep. The low was probably in the mid- to low 40's.
We made our way to the east side of the Rockies and did another hike in the park. This one was a ~4 mile, 1,000 ft elevation gain hike to Bierstadt Lake where we had some lunch and had a visit with some ducks before the rain set in. It was a fabulous weekend with good friends! It was hard coming back to Boulder, but nice knowing all of this is just an hour away.