Lake Isabelle, Brainard Lake, CO

This past weekend my family and I attempted to hike from Brainard Lake over Pawnee Pass and the Continental Divide down to Crater Lake, camp overnight, and then head next morning down to Monarch Lake.

But within feet of the parking lot we realized snow was going to be an issue. We had a huge late spring snowstorm in May, and would therefore have deep drifts much later than normal.  So, we turned it into an out-an-back  up to Lake Isabelle below the Isabelle glacier.

After a few days of low lying clouds we had a crystal clear day.

my family and I hoping to get over the divide
my family and I hoping to get over the divide
clear blue skies
clear blue skies

But the snow pack was deep in the trees.  

deep snow in the trees
deep snow in the trees

I thought it would thin out as we headed to more exposed areas.  Nope.

and even more snow out in the open
and even more snow out in the open

We were passed by a few guys going up to ski and snowboard Isabelle Glacier.

heading up to ski the glacier
heading up to ski the glacier

Finally, we got to the lake.  It was spectacularly beautiful in the bright morning sun and deep snow.

life taking hold
life taking hold
Lake Isabelle
Lake Isabelle
facing southeast, atop river existing lake
facing southeast, atop river existing lake
Lake Isabelle glacier reflection
Lake Isabelle glacier reflection

When we returned to the Brainard Lake, clouds started to move in, but we got a look at a few moose noshing.

noshing meese
noshing meese

And the wildflowers are starting to hit.

lily pond
lily pond
purple fringe (Phacelia sericea)
purple fringe (Phacelia sericea)
golden banner (Thermopsis divaricarpa)
golden banner (Thermopsis divaricarpa)
fireweed (Chamerion danielsii)
fireweed (Chamerion danielsii)

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