The goal of the day: leaf peeping and paddleboarding. Where? We had no idea. The first lake we went to turned out to be private property, so we drove towards Nederland, in search of lakes and leaves.
We kept on driving, further and further, up a dirt road. Distracted by aspens we didn’t stop driving until we hit the Fourth of July trailhead.
We walked over to the map sign, and saw that Diamond Lake was about 2.5 miles away. Even if I wasn’t sore from running, and tired from my lack of lunch, I wasn’t convinced that I’d want to hike the board in, but Andrew was game. So, we hiked.
When we reached the lake at treeline we also hit different weather. The wind had picked up—I mean, really picked up. A crisp fall 20+ mph wind gust caused little white caps to roll across the lake.
We pumped up the board and laughed at how ridiculous this little adventure was turning out. I was cold and not so sure I could stand or paddle in these conditions.
Once the board was pointed in the right direction, the board went forward. Standing was possible, but kneeling felt safer. I couldn’t stay frustrated with our first alpine SUP hiking adventure for long—the lake was crystal clear and incredibly gorgeous—it was too pretty to be upset.
Elevation gain: 1,222′
Total distance: 5.3 miles