5 May 2021: Walker Ranch Loop. South Boulder Creek movie1 and movie2 and gaiaGPS trip report. Mark Ostrom drove us to the trailhead. Starting at 8:40 after a near-freezing morning, we took the CCW route. After passing one group, we neared the roaring South Boulder Creek. Quite a torrent! (movie1 at Tom Davis Gulch) The trail was smooth and hilly. Before our half-way point we passed the lady with her two dogs; she took CW route had the faster pace. The second half of the hike was slower, with nicely-made stairs leading back down to the Creek (movie2 at Martin Gulch), which we had skirted on higher ground, partially treed. Before the final fairly-level path, we took a less-used short-cut of three switchbacks that you can see on the map between Harmon Gulch and the Trailhead. I was glad we saved some distance, even if it was less traveled and steep.
I started out with my winter boots, gaiters, and long pants while Mark was in shorts. I carried my Oboz sneakers in the pack and changed into them during the hike. No snow to be seen, even though the NOAA website had predicted some.
In summary, 7.5 miles in 3:37 on easy trail but with some ascents and descents.
7 May 2021: Glacier Gorge out of Glacier Gorge Junction in RMNP.
Mark and I did most of the Glacier Gorge Trail, from its start at the Bear Lake Road to Lake of Glass below the final Sky Pond. We balked at doing the final leg across the pond and up about 800′ and 0.7 miles because it looked untraveled and we were tired. At our stopping point, we met another hiker, Danica Lamb, who was experienced, so we all decided to return down the trail together. Coming down, the snow was mushy, and we met numerous hikers coming up—with all sorts of attire. GaiaGPS report is here.
I thought that we were doing the most gorgeous route, but my memory failed. The most gorgeous is Mills Lake to Black Lake to Green Lake, which starts where we started but follows the left fork, not the right fork we took. So be it.
The weather was balmy. We wore one layer on top and microspikes on the bottom. It must have been in the 50s or 60s. I am glad we started out early and returned between 11:30 and 1; the warm day made the snow mushy on the way down. Those going up late were going to slip.
Lots of great views from the trail, including the view of the CD from Lake of Glass, which was well frozen like The Loch, which I crossed on both ways. Danica and Mark used the trail, which skirted The Loch.
In summary, 8 miles, 1400′ elevation gain, and warm weather with well-trodden trail all the way.