Frozen Lake Falls
In a cirque at 10,000 feet in the Cloud Peak Wilderness during the middle of summer, it's pretty much paradise. There are no trails here, visitors must navigate their own route on steep boulder fields. Not knowing exactly what to expect is what makes it an adventure. At this elevation it never gets hot and some snowfields stay year round. Waterfalls and wildflowers abound under towering granite walls. 9 named lakes fill this high valley, plus countless unnamed tarns like this one. Each lake is different. One of them was still partially frozen, another had islands, and one a sandy beach perfect for swimming. It's the only place I've ever caught a fish with my bare hands. This was the easiest of the 3 creeks I waded through that day. The puffy cumulus clouds were a precursor to the thunderstorms that pop up most summer afternoons. Up here above treeline it's very exposed to the weather. I made it down to the protection of the forest before the first rumbles of thunder, but didn't escape getting rained on.