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Lake Helene and Notchtop Mountain

A 360-degree panorama with Flat Top Mountain at left, Notchtop Mountain [summit at 12129 ft/3697 m] at center, and Joe Mills Mountain at right.

Early morning light breaks over Bierstadt Lake.

Early morning light breaks over Bierstadt Lake.

A first glimpse of Notchtop Mountain from the trail as it crosses a talus slope at around 10,500 feet.

A first glimpse of Notchtop Mountain from the trail as it crosses a talus slope at around 10,500 feet.

Tree silhouetted against Notchtop Mountain.

Tree silhouetted against Notchtop Mountain.

Ice fall.

Ice fall.

Lots of lakes: Odessa Lake at left, Lake Helene in the foreground at right, and Two Rivers Lake in the background at right.  Joe Mills Mountain at center.

Lots of lakes: Odessa Lake at left, Lake Helene in the foreground at right, and Two Rivers Lake in the background at right.  Joe Mills Mountain at center.

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Bandits [in this case, Canada jay or gray jay, Perisoreus canadensis] are always ready to grab a treat - hang on to your snacks!

Coming back down the trail, a view southward towards Glacier Gorge, with the Glacier Knobs in the mid-ground and Long's Peak, Keyboard of the Winds, Pagoda Mountain, and Chiefs Head Peak on the horizon.  The east end of Bear Lake is visible in the foreground at right.

Coming back down the trail, a view southward towards Glacier Gorge, with the Glacier Knobs in the mid-ground and Long's Peak, Keyboard of the Winds, Pagoda Mountain, and Chiefs Head Peak on the horizon.  The east end of Bear Lake is visible in the foreground at right.