Last month, Keegan I strived to hike as often as possible. Fall can quickly change to winter in Colorado, so we had to get our “fix” while the weather was warm.

Meanwhile, my cousin Ryan recently moved from Jacksonville, Florida to Colorado Springs. When I heard the news, I knew we had to hang soon. Ryan and I hadn’t kicked it in 6 years, so it’s been a long time coming.

Out of all my cousins, we’re closest in age and share the same interests. I love having family nearby in Colorado.

Another thing I love about living in Colorado is introducing friends and fam to the mountains. So Ryan met us at our house on a Saturday evening, and we had drinks in Greeley. I actually worked that Saturday (such a rare occasion) and left my agency’s Open House BBQ with quite a bit of food. Between the BBQ and drinks, we tried to keep things cheap that night. We retired early to bed to drive to the mountains the following morning.

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Counsins ❤

Back in August, I was so disappointed when Keegan and I couldn’t access The Loch. This time, however, we landed a spot in the overflow lot and hopped straight on the bus to head towards the Glacier Gorge Trailhead.

I underestimated the colors this time of year. Not only were all the Aspens at peak colors, we just so happened to hike at the right elevation to see the colors: Between 9 and 10,000 feet.

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I forgot how beautiful this hike is. Plus the last time I visited the Loch was July 2017. I think we have a new Fall tradition on our hands. This hike is peppered with groves of Aspen along the way. And the Loch itself is absolutely stunning.

I sighed with relief when we reached the Loch. It’s as if all my stress and anxiety melted away upon arrival. I think I’m just gonna have to deem this my favorite hike in the park besides the Ute Trail near the visitor center. This lake is gigantic and stunning and the hike is not all too difficult. We celebrated with Egg Salad Sandwiches, trail mix and beer.

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The Pika wanted our food, but you’re not supposed to feed the wildlife. One cutie got away with a crumb, but otherwise we followed the rules.

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I was surprised to find this “secret” spot to the left of the Loch. The water with it’s seaweed was mesmerizing to watch sway in the current. The water up there was so crystal clear; I seriously love this lake so much.

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On the way back down, we paused at Alberta Falls. We expected the falls to be a trickle, given the time of year. But actually, the waterfall gushed as it normally does throughout the summer season. I’m tempted to make a postcard of this spot.

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Keegan and I drove Ryan to Trail Ridge Road before we headed home. As usual, the views were amazing.

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We had a great time with Ryan! Looking forward to getting together again soon.