Rocky Mountain National Park – Colorado

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Not one to miss a scenic drive, we took the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway from Boulder to Estes Park. Passing through the towns of Nederland and Allenspark. On the way, I read that several famous musicians, including Elton John, Dan Fogelberg, Chicago and Amy Grant, recorded at the nearby (but now closed) Caribou Ranch.

After eating a BBQ lunch in Estes Park, we entered Rocky Mountain National Park. The first stop was the Beaver Meadow Visitor Center where the ranger gave us an itinerary for our trip.

We headed straight to Bear Lake. Although the trail had four feet of snow, it was packed enough to walk on it without snow shoes. The lake was completely frozen, but not safe enough to walk over.

Bear Lake

Bear Lake

Trailridge Road leads visitors from the eastern side to the western side of the park. Until Memorial Day weekend, the road is closed. The ranger said the road offers some of the best scenery and recommended we take the road until it closed near Many Parks Curve.

On the Trailridge Road

On the Trailridge Road

 

The end of Trailridge Road for the winter.

The end of Trailridge Road for the winter.

We also drove to the Alluvial Fan – an area created after severe flooding in the 1980s. After exiting the park at the Falls River entrance, we stopped by the historic Stanley Hotel where Steven King wrote “The Shining.”

The Stanley Hotel

The Stanley Hotel

Although winter activities abound at RMNP, hiking, bicycling, picnicking while watching the wildlife are best enjoyed in the summer months. I’d like to come back in the middle of summer to get the true experience of the complete park. For more information, visit RMNP’s website here.


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