RMNP Day 5: Wild Basin - Bluebird Lake

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The trail to Bluebird Lake begins out of the fairly remote Wild Basin area in the southeastern corner of Rocky Mountain National Park. This would be our first trip to this area of the park. The trail offers several attractions along the way, including Copeland Falls, Calypso Cascades, Ouzel Falls and Ouzel Lake.

Copeland Falls, the first destination along the way, arrives early at just 0.3 miles from the trailhead.

At 1.7 miles you’ll pass another waterfall, which isn't named on the map and shouldn't be confused with Calypso Cascades, which is still another 0.2 miles ahead. The 200-foot high Calypso Cascades wasn’t real impressive the day we saw it, but could be during the spring run-off.

Above Calypso you’ll begin catching sporadic views of the surrounding mountains, including Longs Peak and Mt. Meeker.

At 2.8 miles and an elevation of 9460 feet, you’ll reach Ouzel Falls, which is a pretty impressive waterfall. Although you can see it from the log bridge, make sure to take the short unmarked side trail to get a much better view.

At roughly 3.5 miles you’ll begin to see the scars and awesome devastation from the Ouzel Fire in 1978. The lightning-induced fire burned more than a thousand acres, making it the largest fire in Rocky Mountain National Park history.

At 4.6 miles you’ll reach a spur trail to Ouzel Lake. Up to this point the trail has been a very pleasant hike through mostly pine forest. Above this point the trail becomes fairly rugged and steeper, with the last quarter of a mile becoming very steep (although nothing technical). At least you’ll have a lot of wildflowers to look at as you struggle up the climb.
At just over 6.5 miles and an elevation of 11,020 feet, you’ll reach Bluebird Lake. This is yet another incredibly beautiful alpine lake:

Trail: Bluebird Lake
RT Distance: 13.1 miles
Elevation Gain: 2510 ft
Max Elevation: 11,020

If you want to see some absolutely stunning photography of the mountains of Colorado, check out Colorado II by world renowned photographer, David Muench:

For more information on this trail and all the trails in Rocky Mountain National Park, visit our new sister website at Rocky Mountain Hiking Trails.

HikingintheSmokys.com Detailed information on trails in the Smoky Mountains; includes trail descriptions, key features, pictures, video, maps, elevation profiles, news, hiking gear store, and more.

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