Friday, June 16, 2017

First 2017 Hike to Stella Lake, Great Basin National Park

 June rolled around, which meant that the temperatures were warming up and the kids didn't have school, so we could go on a fun hike. Jenny and I joined forces and took the kids up the Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive. We had heard that there wasn't much snow on the Summit Trail, which goes by Stella Lake, whereas the other high trails had lots of snow on them.

As we walked, I noticed the horizontal lines on this limber pine. What created them?
 If you guessed sapsucker, you're right. The woodpecker is looking for insects.

We still found some snow on the trail, along with aspen trees with teeny tiny leaves.

This is one of my favorite parts of the trail, it's like we're going through an aspen tunnel. The trees have bent trunks because of the weight of the snow pushing them down.

We emerged from the aspens to a meadow filled with snow buttercups.

One last snow drift to hike over...

...and then we were at the historic dam at Stella Lake. The dam was built back when the Osceola Ditch was being built (about 1890s) to increase the capacity of the lake and thus the ditch. I don't think it worked too well.

On the other side of the lake we saw where snow banks were collapsing into the lake.

Desert Boy wanted to make a raft out of logs.

Before long this progressed into Desert Girl testing out how waterproof her snow boots were.

She wasn't being the best role model for Willow.

But I don't think Willow cared.

The boys were trying out a potential boat. They all said that the water wasn't that cold. We reminded them that there was snow on the other side, but that didn't dissuade them.

Since it was a warm day, they kept playing in the water.

Even Ava, who wasn't feeling that great, got in on the action.

Desert Boy tried rowing his log. It didn't work out well.

Charlie was building a dock and the kids decided to bring some more logs over.

It was fun watching everyone just playing.

Although I was getting cold just watching Desert Boy!

Then he fell off.

The kids finally got cold on the hike back. Maybe the snow drifts finally made them realize that it's not quite summer at 10,400 feet?

Jenny asked for this photo in the meadow with Wheeler Peak in the background. Nice. I think it's going to be a summer with lots more hikes! Hurray!

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

blogger templates