Last week I completed by fourth hike in Rocky Mountain National Park this summer. I decided to try the Crystal Lakes. I’ve been to Lawn Lake before, but never tacked on the next two miles to get to Crystal. Being only two weeks away from my marathon, I figured I’d be in good enough shape for a day trip. I’m glad I did. It was well worth the hike.
The trail begins at the Lawn Lake Trail Head. It is quite heavily traveled. Lawn Lake is about seven miles and it took me just under two hours. There were several people already camping there. The banks of the lake are just now beginning to fill in after the dam break. Here are a couple of photos.
Crystal Lakes sit just above Lawn, and it seems like an easy stroll to get to them. Although there is a nice trail, the final two miles are brutal. Pretty much straight up and exposed the entire way. I did find a nice flower patch as I got closer.
There is a lower lake and an upper, and both are quite spectacular. I took a bunch of photos and looked around for fish. I saw a few cruisers in the upper lake, but they seem really lethargic. I’m not sure whether the oxygen levels are off this late in the season. I had a nice lunch and went back to Lawn where I fished for a few hours. You can pretty much catch all you like.
The weather held all day, which was nice. It was actually a bit too hot and I ran out of water. Fortunately, the trip back only took about an hour and a half and I jogged most of the way. Round trip was 20.2 miles, but it didn’t feel that long (except for the brutal ascent up to Crystal). All in all, definitely worth the trip.