Unlucky shot leads to a good name: Bear Lake!

“... 72 peaks, 150 lakes formed by glaciers and 359 miles of trails for hiking...”

The day of my first visit to Bear Lake, it was a little cold because I had forgotten all my warm clothes back in my room. But it was not a reason to be unhappy there. The first thing that I saw was a beautiful landscape of mountains. And the first thing that I felt there was the smell of the many wildflowers--it took me away!

Our guide, Adele, gave us final instructions about safety and we started our little journey around the mysterious Bear Lake. Since the elevation of Bear Lake is 9,475 ft (2887.98 meters) above sea level, you will be sure to see snow-capped peaks between the trees here, even in the middle of summer.

As soon as we stepped onto the trail that curves around the lake our thoughts disappeared. Only us and wild nature. But a question still remained.

Why so strange a name for the lake? What happened here? Maybe it was a story about lovers? Or maybe it was a story of unlucky travelers?

This riddle was answered a little bit later.

Photo credit: Ilya Dmitriev, Anastasiia Piletskaia, 6/14/16

“The water of Bear Lake is more than chilly, so if you want to swim it is definitely not the best place. But maybe for your health you could take a dip just one time...”

- The Rocky Mountain National Park encompasses 72 peaks, 150 lakes formed by glaciers and 359 miles (577.75 km) of trails for hiking! – the guide said.

We were astonished by this fact because the number of peaks, lakes and miles of trails seems unbelievable. Moreover, we were struck by the number of plants and wildflowers that can be found here including the broom huckleberry and juniper, and arnica, fairy slipper, twinflower and senecio, as well as Chokecherry, wax currant and service-berry.

 - But what about the name of the lake? –  I asked.

- Bear Lake was named around 1912, when a man came to the lake and, according to his granddaughter Sally Ferguson, failed in his attempt to shoot a bear he encountered – Adele answered me.

As you can clearly see, the mysterious riddle was not so mysterious but funny; however, the sad fate that awaited the bears is not so funny.

Originally, Grizzly Bears were found here, until they were overhunted by the fur trappers and hunters in the late 1800's to the point that they became extinct in the region. The Bears presently inhabiting the park (and are protected) are Black Bears.

To sum up, if you want to have a unique experience and learn about the Rocky Mountains and the nature of Colorado State, Bear Lake will be the best place for you to begin!

Moreover, you can meet various rangers here who will give you great advice about other unusual and distinctive places in the Rocky Mountains (watch the video).

Anastasiia Piletskaia, 6/14/16


Wildflower is a flower that gows in the wild.

Peak is a highest part of mountain.

Glacier is a large, thickened ice masses. It made up of fallen snow that has been compressed over the years.

Ranger is a person employed to patrol national parks, forests, protected them and helped tourists.

Created by Ilya Dmitriev and Adele Lonas

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