There are a lot of payoffs in this hike if you can handle 2 things…
1. the first 3 miles were all up hill
2. the first 3 miles were flanked by trees which left little scenery for most of the hike.
Enough about that, once you reach the lake and waterfalls you forget about the last 3 hours and melt into your surroundings. June was the perfect time of year for us to go, the weather was outstanding, it was around 45 degrees or so for our 5:15am start time and only got warmer as we hiked. We cruised through many areas that seemed primed for wildlife like Moose or Elk but we saw none. Our first payoff was Chipmunk lake 3 miles in, I wouldn’t call it a lake but… I’m not in charge of that. It was followed by what we dubbed Chipmunk Marsh. Both were very serene. It was wonderful being the only ones out there. 1 mile following was Ypsilon lake, a good sized lake framed by Ypsilon Maountain. Panoramic views a calm wind and the warm sun beating on was great. above Ypsilon Lake were the falls from the spectacle lakes. The waterfalls were a neat place to explore and take a ton of photographs. On the trip back down we happened upon a tiny bear cub, the first bear cub me wife and I had ever seen in the wild, he was a cute little dude about the size of a basketball. From there we went into a minor panic mode, we didn’t see momma anywhere and realized that if we can’t see her we might be between the two of them. Just because I couldn’t see her didn’t mean she couldn’t see us! He scampered along and we high Tailed it out of there. It was a rush though.
Overall a very good trip that I would recommend to anyone.
Start Time: 5:15am (June) Duration: 6.41 hours Distance: 8.61 miles Elevation Gain: 2,265′ Difficulty: 4 out of 10
Our Alltrails.com link: http://alltrails.com/tracks/ypsilon-lake-trail-rmnp-6-10-2012
Protrails.com Link: http://protrails.com/trails/view/55/rocky_mountain_national_park/ypsilon_lake