Mount Flora from Berthoud Pass
Class 1 with a tiny bit of simple class 2
6.4 miles round trip
1,864ft of elevation gain
Hike time: 2hrs 18min
Summit season is here and to kick it off, I picked out Mount Flora. It's peak rests at 13,146 feet and it is a relatively easy class 1 -or- simple class 2. The only bit that I would call a class 2 was a bit of exposure while crossing a snow field. Slip and you'll be in trouble. But it would be pretty hard to slip.
For the majority of this hike, my husband and my puppy were the only living beings in sight. And then we saw a pika! We started pretty early, which is always the thing to do if you desire solitude. We noted the grade of this trail and had some laughs about its steepness. That's always a trade I enjoy- all uphill to summit, but all downhill to go home. I love that.
As we hiked on we were delighted by the sub-alpine lakes below and the ground turning to crunchy talus. Upon cresting a large hill, we spotted another hiker; a man who started even earlier than us. Kudos to him. The views really opened up once we were on top of said hill. Mountains as far as the eye could see. Our lovely Longs, miles and miles and miles away. But prominent and proud.
Before we knew it, we were at the summit. And we had it to ourselves. A wonderful and amazing feat. I think Bivy was the happiest puppy in the world. We ate some peanut butter sandwiches and took some photos. And then it was time to hit the trail and go back home.
On the way back, we passed many, many people who were heading up Mount Flora. It was what I would call... a bit of a mess. I like my mountain solitude and peace. And coming back is always a little bit frazzling; seeing so many people, hearing so many sounds. It felt great to get back to the Jeep, having claimed our first peak of the season. And it was a beautiful one. If you get the chance to hike Mount Flora, go for it!