Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park

Last week I posted photos from my husband's and my book research trip in Moab, Utah. The week following that trip, we stayed in Estes Park, Colorado for a week so we could do some hiking among the golden aspens and mountains of Rocky Mountain National Park and so we could spy on some of the horny elk during their bugling season.

But first, we stopped off at the Colorado National Monument near Grand Junction that is slated to become a national park soon. The first photo below is of Window Rock there, the second is of the Coke Ovens formation, and the third is of me in the Devil's Kitchen.

Our first full day in Estes Park, we drove up the dirt Old Fall River Road to the Alpine Visitor Center then came back down the Trail Ridge Road. The first photo is of Chasm Falls and the second is of the mountains from the top of Trail Ridge Road. The third is of a marmot we spied alongside the road and the fourth is just one example of the many gorgeous fall color photos my husband took.

In the afternoon, we hiked to Nymph Lake (first photo below), Dream Lake (second photo) and Emerald Lake (third photo) from the Bear Lake trailhead.

The second full day in the park we hiked to Ouzel Falls (first photo below) from the Wild Basin trailhead in the morning, then took our son, who arrived in the afternoon, down to the Estes Park golf course to see the elk and geese there (next two photos).

The third day, all three of us hiked to Alberta Falls (first photo below) and The Loch (second photo) from the Glacier Basin trailhead. While all of our hikes were beautiful, I think this one was the most breathtaking. The third photo shows our son on a rock overhanging Glacier Creek and the fourth shows me and my hubby among some of the dazzling aspens.

On the last full day in the park, we took our son up the Trail Ridge Road to see the sights from the overlooks and hike the Alpine Communities Trail at 12,500 feet. After he left in the early afternoon, I hiked to The Pool on the Big Thompson River from the Fern Lake trailhead (photo below). Then we observed elk stags in rut in the late afternoon: herding their does (second photo below), bugling (third photo), and sparring (last photo).

It was hard to have to go back to work promoting books at the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Trade Show the next afternoon!


August West said...

RMNP is one of my favorite National Parks. It is filled with areas that are new and different for hikers, plus you find very little crowds. But don't broadcast it too much Beth, I like to see it stay that way.

Great Pics, I gotta get back there-you made me miss the place.

Beth Groundwater said...

Thanks for your comment, August. Yes, RMNP is a beautiful place. I already want to go back!