In 1874 Abner Sprague was the first person to homestead in Moraine Park, one of Colorado’s most scenic valleys. Further up in Glacier Basin he established a lodge that outfitted guests for hiking, hunting and fishing.
The resort sat on the banks of Boulder Brook and just downstream Abner dammed the creek, creating a lovely lake brimming with big trout. Today, all traces of human encroachment have been reclaimed but the reservoir, beaver and moose still remain.
This time of year Sprague Lake’s shiny green water is about half frozen and the fallen timber is partially submerged in cold slush. The hazy light is filtered by moisture produced by a high country snow squall.
Still set deep in an emerald forest below powder blue skies, the reservoir is surrounded by a crunchy, snow-packed trail trimmed with boardwalks and bridges. On this day a biting wind sprays pellets of ice against your face making the big mountain views virtually invisible.
Situated at an elevation of 8700 feet, the sub-alpine lake is confined to an unforgiving environment. By the calendar it may have just turned to winter but up here it’s been winter for a while and it will continue to be so for a long time to come.
|A scenic valley|
|A lovely lake|
|The green water is frozen|
|Fallen timber is submerged|
|Powder blue skies|
|An unforgiving environment|
|A long winter|