Trip Date: Sept 10, 2017
Spontaneous trip up to Roger's Pass Lake in the James Peak Wilderness. Started at the East Portal trailhead near Moffat Tunnel. Interactive map of the trip here: https://caltopo.com/m/LBGT
I reached Roger's Pass Lake (opening photo) but didn't stay long. Under normal circumstances I would have definitely gone up to Roger's Pass and spent several hours above the treeline but it was looking stormy. I'm always interested in taking a different way back and I had noticed on my GPS that there was a trail that would eventually meet up with the main trail so I decided to go for it.
Once I made my way across the several hundred yards to the trail it was pretty obvious that this wasn't an active trail. It was pretty rough but I decided to take it anyway. (In the Caltopo map link I provided earlier you can see that the trail doesn't actually go very far down from Heart lake).
Once I made it into the dense forest the trail disappeared completely. This wasn't a problem at all. More of a welcome surprise. I thought, "what the hell, it never did start raining". So I headed back up the hillside a ways to get a look into the valley. After a while I came across a game trail that I followed the trail for over a mile. I'm think it was used primarily by Moose based on the print I found.
I found more tree tumors (below, left) and was led to fantastic water sources.
These enormous boulders were everywhere throughout the forest, like tombstones of giants.
I eventually got the view of the valley I wanted.
A beautiful sunset framed Long's Peak as I got back to the Boulder area.