We left the heat of Moab and Arches National Park in Utah and worked our way across into Colorado, then started heading north and east towards Rocky Mountain National Park.
Our first camp however was to be at Arapaho Bay just south of the main entrance to the park. Arapaho Bay Campground is located on Lake Granby, southeast of Grand Lake, in central Colorado. Numerous hiking and horseback riding trails are located within the Arapaho National Recreation Area, including the “Roaring Fork Trail”, “Monarch Lake Trail” and the “East Shore Trail” the last of these is part of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, one of the great hikes of The Rockies.
We had arrived early to ensure we could get a camp site as this was the weekend and going to be busy. All settled in before noon and we elected to do the Monarch Lake Trail, a five mile loop around the lake on fairly easy tracks and with little elevation gain…..other than the 3 mile bike ride to the start of the trail which was probably more uphill than I would have liked.
Within 15 minutes of being on the trail we were so fortunate to come across two bull moose feeding by the waters edge. We had not had a moose encounter since being in the Yukon last July. They were quite content feeding on new shoots from the bushes around the waters edge and we had a good 15 to 20 minutes watching them before they got a little spooked by other hikers arriving and getting a little too close.
Leaving the moose behind we continued around the lake coming across mule deer and then two (possibly twins) young moose on the track. It was an easy 2 hour hike in beautiful surroundings with the Rocky Mountains towering above us to the east.
The streams were running fast with fresh melt water coming down from the mountains and in beautiful hue with large amounts of tannin coloring the water.
Back at camp we had some time to start making plans for our trip up to Calgary after Big Henry had his service in Denver. We had a couple of repairs to be done, only minor stuff really, but we were really looking forward to catching up with our great friends, Susan & Steve in Surprise, Boulder and of course there new addition to the family…Dudley a big bouncing Golden retriever pup now almost 4 months old. More of that later.