Learn More About Nichole Emerson and her Backpacking Trip to Abyss Lake
Want to learn more about Nichole? Read on to see photos and her story of backpacking at Abyss Lake. Interested in doing this hike? Check out the trail description of Abyss Lake here.
This was the one and only backpacking trip my husband and I did last year. 2019 was busy for both of us, with work mostly. A little too busy. I’m really glad we made time to do this trip. It was a 16 mile out and back trek to a few different alpine lakes. Abyss Lake being the end point sits just below Mount Evans. It was a beautiful area. I’m super glad we got to explore a new area this weekend that we hadn’t been to previously.
Getting up to the Camping Area
We started at the trailhead just outside of Bailey in the late morning on Saturday. Since it was close to the house we didn’t have to wake up too early. It was a pretty relaxed start. Abyss Lake is at the end of the trail, which was our end goal. But its not a great place to camp at. Abyss lake is really high in elevation, above the tree line and exposed.
So our plan was to find a camp spot somewhere within the trees a little lower in elevation. Most of the camping is done around Helms Lake, its a small lake that isn’t above the tree line. Water is easily accessible and the trees offer more shelter and protection. If we had enough time, we’d drop our gear at Helms lake and do a short day hike up to Abyss Lake in the late afternoon.
Getting a Little Turned Around
I love to adventure, but I do get lost easily. Especially in new places I haven’t been to before. That’s one reason among many why I like to scout out places that I shoot at if I’ve never been there before. That’s also another reason why maps are super important. Some people have a good instinctual sense of direction. Not me. I definitely rely on maps and double check things to make sure I’m headed in the right direction. Over the years I’ve taken my husband around in circles many places. Usually I defer to him when we’re trying to find something together and its not totally clear.
We took a little detour on this trip accidentally, but the map actually had a mistake on it. This was also confirmed by my husband. It wasn’t totally my fault :/. Honestly it took us to a really pretty area that we probably wouldn’t have seen otherwise. And we realized what was happening pretty quickly and adjusted course. But because of that, we got up to the camping area a little later than we thought. So we just made dinner and stayed put.
We woke up early the next morning to do the day hike up to Abyss Lake. We left our tent and our backpacks and just went light. It was nice. The elevation gain is decent through this section so it was a little difficult, but totally worth it. Abyss Lake sits just below the backside of the Mount Evans Summit. Mt Evans is one of the only 14ers that has a road that goes up to the summit area. So we could hear people talking in the distance. It was faint, but it took me a minute to figure out who it was. Its a weird dichotomy being in such a wild place and yet being so close to civilization at the same time.
There’s something magical about alpine lakes. I find them really pretty and relaxing. The path up and back from the lake followed a stream that flowed out of it. As we hiked the trail, we hopped through patches of willows and along rocks, trying to stay dry while looking out at the valley below us. It was a like a fun obstacle course with an amazing view!
Thanks for Stopping in to Learn More About Nichole
I love photographing weddings, nature, and exploring. I’m super grateful that 2019 was a great year in terms of work. But I do want to carve out more time for fun trips like this in the future. If you love exploring, I hope you’re able to get out more soon too. If you have any questions about fun hikes around Colorado, I’m happy to share some of the places I’ve been.