This was one of my "I don't really know where I'm going to go hiking so I'll just drive and eventually get there" kind of days. Which is what I did. It was a very nice day and I got up into the park, and, hmmmm, turn here and go towards Trail Ridge? No, guess I'll turn this way. Lets see, I'll just keep driving till the road ends. Oh look. Bear Lake parking area. And, since it was before 8 am, there was still some open parking (its actually quite a large parking area, but it does fill up in summer time). Of course, the Glacier Gorge parking area had already been full, or I would have parked there. Oh well. Fate.
I walked over to the trail head, still not sure where I was headed, and took a look at the map. Yesssss. Well, nah, don't feel like going up Flattop mountain, thank you. Glacier Gorge? Hmmm. The Lock? Hmmm. Geee. I've never been to a lot of those areas. And, it came to me that most of the hiking around Bear Lake I had never done. As I looked around the trail head, I could understand why. It was, to make a slight understatement, crowded. Well, I'd just act like a tourist then. And, since I'd never been to a lot of the areas, I'd do a loop. And that's what I did. A very nice loop that let me get introduced to the area. And, to my surprise, I liked it. I plan on going back (although, maybe not in the middle of the summer : )