It was a bit of a drive to get to the trailhead, 12 miles of the trip on good dirt roads south of Pagosa Springs, but the trail to Opal Lake was definitely worth it. Dense stands of aspens provided shade between the occasional meadows full of wildflowers along the mile and a half gradual uphill hike to the lake.
We soon saw why it was called Opal Lake, due to the milky hue of the water. I read it is normally more of a turquoise color but with the drought there is more algae growing so it is a little greener.
The stream that flows into the lake is also milky, apparently due to the mineral content. It was the first running water we’ve seen around here that wasn’t crystal clear.
The trail doesn’t go completely around the lake, but from the other side the reflections in the water were picture perfect.
We also had a deer run in front of us on the road to the trailhead, saw another one bounding off into the woods just as we began the hike, and had an elk, a deer and 2 fawns in the meadow behind our sites that same day. And we found some bear scat on the trail. Just another day in Colorado…