Two Days, Two Hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park: Part II - Chiquita + the Rainbow
The day after hiking to Black Lake (see here), I returned to Rocky Mountain National Park for another evening hike this time to the top of Ypsilon Mountain, a 13er in the Mummy Range. The hike was smooth to the summit although I quickly realized upon arriving that I wasn't on Ypsilon, but I was on Mount Chiquita another 13er right next to Ypsilon. No matter the views were pretty amazing especially to the west towards the Never Summer Mountains and Rawahs. Some rain showers were forming off the western ranges, but I didn't hear any thunder or see any lightning so I thought little of it. After about 20 minutes on the summit, two quick lightning bolts flashed from one of the rain showers to the west. Followed by another quick bolt to the northwest. A deep low rumble of thunder and that was that I needed to get back at least to the treeline. Unfortunately that was 2,000 feet below me and about 2 miles back. The clouds grew angrier and the lightning more frequent as I hustled down the steep rocky slope. I finally arrived back at my car as the first rain began to fall.
I hopped onto the Trail Ridge Road to head home as the heavy wind driven rain gave way to sun. I turned a corner and to my surprise a massive rainbow was spanning over the road. Miraculously there was an overlook right there so I pulled off and jumped out into the rain to start shooting. Over the next 15 minutes the sky came alive with bright lumpy mammatus clouds and rainbows popping in and out as the setting sun's angle shifted. The view down into Forest Canyon was pretty impressive making for a stunningly dramatic scene. Finally the show was over and I continued the drive back home to Loveland.
If you enjoyed these photos be sure to subscribe below to stay up to date on my latest adventures. Cheers!