The Bierstadt Moraine has never been our list in all our time spent in RMNP. We drive past the trailhead constantly, without a thought.
After the closure yesterday forcing us to change our plans and hit the West Creek Falls trail instead of coming into the main part of the Park, we were determined to return today.
Imagine our surprise to see the Road Closed signs on our drive up Bear Lake Road, when the Park website said nothing about it.
Since we weren’t sure where the road was closed, we decided to pull into the Park-n-Ride lot where the Bierstadt Moraine trailhead starts. I knew that there was a trail from here that would lead us up to Bierstadt Lake, but that’s pretty much all we knew.
A good sign is seeing other people strapping on snowshoes and microspikes and heading out – pretty sure this won’t be as difficult as yesterdays snowshoe, but it also won’t be complete solitude either.
This is a popular trail for a good reason. There are a few steep sections out of the gate, then you’re wandering happily along through the woods until you reach the lake.
Typical alpine winds blowing snow and ice across the lake, we hightailed it to west side where we would have some protection from the trees, then dug out a fort in the 3+ foot deep snow to sit and cook lunch in.
Now this is living! Hot 3-cheese mac and cheese, hot chocolate, and warm sunshine, mostly protected from the wind and 23 degree temps.
We watched a guy ice skating while his wife took video, and marveled at the amount of people out and about on a cold Sunday.
The downhill goes so fast that Colette looked at me in disbelief when we saw the parking lot – the snowshoes make quick work of packed downhill slopes!
Highly, highly, highly recommend this for a snowshoe hike – as long as you don’t expect to have it all to yourself.

Two Thumbs

Bierstadt Moraine - Two Thumbs
Guess what has two thumbs and is happy to be out here?


Plenty of Snow

Bierstadt Moraine - Plenty of Snow
There’s no shortage of snow here!


Arctic Blast

Bierstadt Moraine - Arctic Blast
The wind and ice really hit you when you reach Bierstadt Lake.


Spindrift

Bierstadt Moraine - Spindrift
Tucked into the snow while a blast of spindrift blows through.


The Other Side

The Other Side
And the view from the other side.


Snow. Plowed.

Snow. Plowed.
We see why the road was closed!


Roostertail

Roostertail
Colette kicks up a roostertail down the trail.


Puffballs


Puffballs of snow remain on the trees in the middle of the woods.


Chill Time


Relaxing in our snow pit while I cook lunch.


Bear Lake Road


You can see why the road was closed.