I am interrupting my three-part series about our long weekend adventure to Utah to bring you a near-real-time update. I will pick up later and finish all the posts about the fun we had this summer…soon! We left Estes Park, Colorado, and Rocky Mountain National Park on Monday, and suffice it to say, we are sad about that! But this last week and the whole summer has been magical. I will try to share the feeling here.
Yes, folks, another post about Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), one of the most spectacular parks in our very spectacular National Park System. This time I have a story about a hike that started out mild and ended up wild! As usual, this hike took place a couple of weeks ago, on August 9th. We thought some of the summer crowds might be dissipated due to school starting in some areas of the country, so we headed off to the most popular trailhead in the park, Bear Lake, where you can access no less than 10 magnificent hikes. Warning: This is a long post with tons of pics. 🙂
As I have said several times about Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), despite being here in Colorado for THREE months (!), we never tire of the park and all its many incredible features! Today I will tell you about a lovely summit hike (just over 10,000′) that is only 6.9 miles from our campsite, Deer Mountain. I am still trying to catch up the blog; this hike was completed on July 31st.
Just about 4 miles up the road from our campground is the beautiful Lily Lake, just on the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP). We have been there a number of times during our time in Estes Park, to hike the lake loop, the Lily Ridge Trail, or have a picnic lunch, but I have not written about it since this post early in our stay. Recently, we had heard about several bull moose sightings at Lily Lake, and a bull moose was still on our must-see wildlife list. 🙂 On a recent evening, we took our camp chairs and went on a moose hunt.
As I type this post, in early August, we are beginning to notice hints of fall in the Rockies, although the crowds in Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) still scream of summer! 😉 Today I will describe a hike on July 24th, a Tuesday, where we got an early start which allowed a peaceful and uncrowded hike up to Twin Sisters Peak, but then we encountered the masses going up as we headed down in the early afternoon. Yes, it was a long hike!
Due to its high elevation and severe weather conditions, Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) has to carefully manage snowfall on the park roads. In this process, they do massive amounts of snow removal, and lately, they are assisted by Mother Nature and the sad fact of climate change, which produces less critical snowpack each year. This year, the crown jewel of RMNP roads, Trail Ridge Road, opened all the way across the park on the Thursday before Memorial Day. But the original road, known as Old Fall River Road, didn’t open to vehicle traffic until June 23rd to accommodate grooming of the gravel.
Yup, more Trail Ridge Road! Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) is so vast and so incredible, and changes with the season, the time of day, the light, the weather, etc., that I will continue to write about it…probably as long as we are here!