Colden in the Clouds

We’ve had a long string of great hiking days, and while Saturday may have been better for views, we needed the rest day after Friday. We opted for a short climb of Mount Colden, up and back via Lake Arnold. This is our third trip along this route together, our first time was our 46th peak.

Like that first day, there was some overnight rain but the hike was dry until Lake Arnold. We headed into the clouds and had a small bit of precipitate brushing off the trees, but never so much that we needed our hard shells.

Temperatures were mild, in the 60s F, so we did the majority of the hike in one layer. Unlike our first ascent, the clouds never broke, and so we had no views from the summit.

Since August 2014, they’ve “improved” the trail to Colden quite a bit. In fact, too much. They needed some bog bridging where people were widening the mud pits, not along much of the open rock where they installed stairs. To be fair, people were clinging to the edges there, too, but the impact was low.

Even without views, I love this hike. The trail up to Lake Arnold is steady and scenic, especially the last part through the streambed. Lake Arnold is a soppy mess, but just a bit above it the trail is in great shape. It’s short and under 3,000 vertical feet all day, a nice change from our previous hikes.