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It’s a beautiful three-mile hike from the trailhead up to Blue Lake in the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area, one of three Blue Lakes in Colorado that I know of. Up above tree line, and right at the Continental Divide, this view is from the lake’s east side, and includes the classic profile of Mount Toll (not quite a 13er at elevation 12,979 feet), which rises another 1600 feet above some of the bluest, coldest water found anywhere. (Typically, the lake is not ice-free until July.) Across the lake on the other side is a splendid waterfall (here, just right of center), which is actually quite large and quite loud. Fed by another icy waterfall high above it on the flanks of the mountain, you can hear it well before you reach the lake.
At a place where no photo of mine could ever hope to capture it all, the whole setting is sublime. If the visual feast isn’t enough for you, you’ve got the sounds of life-giving water rushing down from the heavens right in front of you. In fact, you can see and hear water running throughout the entire Blue Lake/Mitchell Lake drainage. In a state – and in much of the country – where severe drought is becoming the norm rather than the exception, I can tell you it is a sweet sound indeed.
Blue Lake (elevation 11,320 feet)
Indian Peaks Wilderness Area
The photo was made using a Canon EOS 50D digital body, EF 24mm f/1.4L lens, at f/16 for 1/60 second at 100 ISO.