Heaven on earth may be the best description I can find of a pristine clear lake tucked in the Rocky Mountains known as Lake Haiyaha. There are probably many such lakes but this one is special and spiritual to me. Between the Bear Lake Trailhead and Alberta Falls, you may see groups of hikers every twenty feet. You will almost always be close to conversations or in sight of other people on the trail. Once you pass the Falls, the crowds begin to thin. Then their is the trail to Lake Haiyaha.
You begin to hike north. The trail is thickly enclosed with Lodgepole pine trees that smelled sensational. The ground is soft beneath your step, save for a few rock outcroppings. All the spruce and fir trees, pines and aspens, carpet moss, and wildflowers—everything is vibrant. The earth is thoroughly watered from the year’s run-off. Dozens of small tributaries weave through the woods, and clear cold pools of water collect beneath the trees.
This spiritual forest surrounds you. It will be a time of great solitude. You’ll come to the trail’s fork with only had .2 miles remaining. It’s then that you are met with an astonishing sight – an enormous boulder field next to the water’s edge. You’ll hop between boulders, climb over and around until you reach Lake Haiyaha. “Haiyaha” is an Indian word meaning ‘rock,’ and it is very rocky. There is a large flat rock to lounge on and have lunch and regain a little strength.
The water was like a mystic serene pool of light with blue and green hues. I thought this is where I’d have my remains scattered so that anyone who wanted to imagine heaven’s beauty could come and see. You see the mix of sun and shade, the colors of the mountains, and the shapes of the clouds in the water mirror before you. It’s a hike but it is so worth the effort.
For me it is a journey I make several times a month when stress or worry begins to creep in. Do you have spiritual places that create a place of calm for you?