October 15, 2016
Trailhead: Bear Lake Trailhead
Distance: 4.4 miles (easy)
As many times as we've hiked from the Bear Lake trailhead, we have never taken the left at Dream Lake to head towards Lake Haiyaha. I'm a little bit disappointed in our past selves for never taking the effort. Haiyaha is absolutely beautiful, it's secluded and peaceful and everything you want your alpine lakes to be.
As with most hikes in RMNP, getting an early start is the best way to go. We hit the trail right after we finished photographing the sunrise and didn't see many people at all.
I should mention that Logan and I were on day two of Whole30 when we did this hike (we ended up not finishing Whole30 because of unfortunate, extenuating circumstances, but that's another story). I WAS SUCH A GRUMP YOU WOULDN'T BELIEVE IT! I was basically going through a sugar withdrawal and my asthma was killing me and hiking was hard this day. It felt like our first ever hike in Colorado all over again, but with me being moody instead of giddy.
This was one of the most physically demanding hikes because of Whole30, and it made me appreciate my body for what it does for me...like carrying me up a mountain when I'm refusing to feed it bread with breakfast.
"Haiyaha" is a Native American word meaning "big rocks" and this lake could not have a more appropriate name. In order to see the lake at all, you have to climb up and over several huge boulders. There isn't a shore, the rocks just start to go underwater. It's beautiful and we had it entirely to ourselves.
I brought a blanket to spread out on and we snacked on grain + sugar free snacks and read books. It was windy, so we weren't able to stay very long, but that was okay because as we headed down we began passing people on their way up. We passed about 65 people, 30 some of which were on the Haiyaha trail itself.
Like I said, it's always good to get an early start.