We had three objectives on Sunday, our only day off together. They were:
1. Sleep in for a change!
We are early risers during both our work week and on our weekends when we typically head out on mountain adventures. This weekend we decided to sleep in for a change without the loud blare of the alarm clock. I slept until 8:30am! It was heaven. Sleeping in for Aaron is more like 6:30am, but thankfully he lets me keep sleeping and also keeps our fur babies occupied, especially the one that likes to meow loudly in the early morning hours 😹.
2. Find a new, terrific spot for breakfast.
We discovered DW’s 285 Diner in Conifer. This cozy spot really fit the bill for pre-hike nourishment. I devoured my delicious fluffy, blueberry filled pancakes and then tried a bit of Aaron’s plate. He ordered a Southwestern skillet loaded with the crispiest hash browns smothered with the tastiest house made pork green chili, scrambled eggs, guacamole, sour cream, black beans, and tortillas. I’m salivating just writing this and can’t wait to visit again on our next trip that takes us through Conifer.
3. My friend Sam, an avid hiker, recommended the Square Top Lakes Hike off Guanella Pass for a scenic, late day start hike. It was perfect for a day in which we just wanted to get outside for a bit, away from the 90+ temps in Denver. Bonus: the wildflowers along the trail are amazing this time of the year. We also enjoyed the scenic drive up Guanella Pass starting from the less trafficked (and newly paved) route 285 side.
Afternoon thunderstorms were in the forecast, so it was nice to be on a trail that didn’t take us too far from our car. The trailhead is directly across the street from the Mt. Bierstadt trailhead. You really can’t miss it as there are hundreds of cars parked in the lots and on the street. Mt. Bierstadt is easily one of the most popular 14ers. Parking wasn’t an issue since we got a later start (about 11am) and many people had finished their hikes for the day. The trailhead also has restrooms which is convenient.
Terrific views of Mt. Bierstadt across the street.
My favorite of all Colorado wildflowers: the Columbine.
So colorful and so many different wildflower varieties!
Keeping a close eye on the clouds as we ascend higher to the Lakes below Square Top Mountain.
The first lake, about 2 miles from the trailhead.
Weather is still holding out so we ascended higher to the second of the two pristine alpine lakes.
We had the second lake pretty much to ourselves.
Heading back down the trail, I snapped this of the first lake with Mt. Bierstadt and Mt. Evans in the distance.
Looking back at where we had hiked, blue skies trying to come out. Our hike was about 4.5 miles roundtrip with a total gain of 1000 feet. The trail is well worn and easy to follow. There is just enough up and down to break a sweat and feel like you got a decent workout.
Pro Tip: Pack flip flops in the car for after your hikes. It’s a glorious feeling after peeling off muddy shoes and socks from tired feet. 👍🏻
After, we continued on our scenic Guanella Pass drive to the town of Georgetown. The town offers a bunch of little shops and restaurants, cool architecture, and lots of history. It also has Cake, an adorable pastry and cupcake shop that I love to stop at. You gotta support local businesses, right? 😉The croissant I ordered this visit was delicious for the record.
Hope you all enjoyed your Sunday Funday too!