Bierstadt Lake Sunrise (Oct 16)

It's not easy getting up early enough for a sunrise photoshoot, especially when you have to hike up almost 600' of gain in the first mile. In the dark. And in the wind. But that's what Susan I did this Thursday morning.

Pre-dawn light on windy Lake Bierstadt

We hiked up from the Bierstadt trailhead along Bear Lake Road in Rocky. There's was one other car in the parking lot, but we had the trail and the lake to ourselves the entire time.

Bierstadt and Sprague Lake along Bear Lake Road

It was very windy, and we just had to accept we weren't going to have a glass-like surface on the lake for reflections. We wanted to be at the east end of the lake so we'd have the morning light on the peaks of the Continental Divide.

But this also meant that the wind was blowing right into our faces. And the front of the camera. And even though we were using a heavy tripod, the wind was strong enough to cause some of our shots to be blurred.

Looking southeast across the lake; Longs Peak at far right

We took a few shots of the Divide, before and after the light, plus a few to the south with some light on Longs Peak. But clouds in the east knocked out the sunlight, so the best light was gone. We'd had enough of the wind and decide to head back down.

The last good light we had before the clouds ate the sun

After we got back to the car, we warmed up a bit and then decided to go see what was happening at Sprague Lake. In the past, we'd seen elk, moose, and even Belted Kingfishers at the lake. But not this day.

Continental Divide viewed from across Sprague Lake

By now the morning light had mostly faded, but it was still nice walking around the lake. Near the end of our walk, we spotted a couple of mule deer, but that pretty much it except for a couple of waterfowl on the lake.

Mule Deer 

We headed on home to warm up with some breakfast and more coffee. Not a bad way to start the day.

The classic view of Otis, Hallett, and Flattop peaks from Sprague Lake

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