Hanging Lake deserves a post of it's own. I mean it really probably deserves like 10 posts of it's own since it was That amazing, but I wont drag this out that much. I'll just post 1 billion pictures in this post, kay? Kay.
So we were warned ahead of time by several people that it was a difficult hike, but Jasper is such a great little hiker we thought, eh how difficult could it be? Well turns out, when people tell you a hike is difficult, and several signs at the beginning of the hike warn you of a 'difficult hike' you should probably listen. Or not because then you would miss out on some magical views.
The hike up to Hanging Lake is only about 1.3 miles, but takes on average 1-2 hrs to get there, that should tell you something about the difficult level. It was steep, rocky and the hardest part about it, very icy and slipper in spots. The way down was almost as hard, if not harder because of those slipper spots! So my advice is, don't go in the late fall or winter! And if you go, find a walking stick or something.
We kept having people stop us on their way down warning us of the 'hard' spots seeing we had a 6 year old and a baby in a back pack and even one older gentleman tell us it would be best to turn around but at that point we were so close and there was absolutely no way we were turning back after an hour of that!
And honestly, Jasper did the best out of all of us. He is one amazing little boy that one. Drew and I kept having to stop for water, and for Drew to sit down for a second with Tindra on his back and Jasper kept asking us why we were stopping, he didn't get the whole 'we can't breathe' thing since his lungs were perfectly fine!
After about an hour and ten minutes we made it to the top, and let me tell ya, we forgot completely about our sore legs and burning lungs. Words don't do this place justice. Pictures don't even do it justice. I'll share some with you, but basically you need to find a way to make it here yourself some day.
Time seemed to stop at the top. It was completely silent minus some crazy bright blue birds and the sounds of the waterfall.
We ended up being up there for an hour, enjoying our picnic before heading back down, but really I could have stayed up there all day.
After some slipper spots at the top getting back down (I fell on my ass and slid like 8-10 feet before grabbing onto a sharp rock with my bare hands to stop me sliding down the mountain) Jasper and I rushed ahead while Drew took it slow with Tindra. We were trying to get her to fall asleep in the kelty (hiking back pack) but every time she would see me she would reach for me and yell 'down' so we bolted ahead. Plus Jasper had to go to the bathroom. So yeah we needed to hurry! He was getting pretty tired by the end and his hands were freezing from grabbing onto blocks of ice at the top to keep from falling (guys, he's a smart/creative one) so we were pretending we were on Amazing Race to keep his mind off of the ridiculously steep climb down. We kept looking for more clues, and before we knew it we were in the warm rest area waiting for Drew and T (for at least 25 minutes.)
Afterwards Drew and I were talking about how the hike was about a billion times harder than we expected it to be, but a billion times more breathtakingly beautiful. And even though our asses are still sore three days later, it was beyond worth it. I can't recommend this enough! If a hike can be life changing, this one is it.
And I've just got to brag about this little guy some more, everyone we know who has done the hike just couldn't believe Jasper did it, and this time of year! He's seriously impressive. End mom brag.