Tag Archives: rocky mountain

Saturday in RMNP

We didn’t have much planned for this Saturday, so we decided to use Alex’s 4th grade national parks pass while we still could and spend the afternoon at Rocky Mountain National Park. It was a limited visit. We drove to the Alpine Visitor Center on Trail Ridge Road to get Evan’s national parks passport stamped (6 parks and counting!). Many of the trails and view points were limited access due to the amount of snow still melting from the winter.

We made one small hike through the “Hidden Valley”, where we stopped in along the creek at multiple spots. We took a couple of family photos along the way. As we headed back towards the parking lot, we came across a solitary doe grazing along the trail. She was clearly comfortable around humans, as she let us get within 20 feet or so before moving away from us. We had a nice afternoon – and we’re ready for more summer mountain adventures!

Rocky Mountain Fall Colors

Today happened to be a Lockheed Martin off-Friday that both Lara and I could actually take off, as well as one of many Douglas County School District off days. We decided to take advantage of the time off, the beautiful weather, and the time of year to go see some of the fall colors in the mountains. We also had the benefit of a free national parks pass due to Alex being in 4th grade, so we set our sites on Rocky Mountain National Park.

We missed the peak colors, as a fair percentage of the trees at altitude had already shed their leaves, but we found some nice patches nonetheless. We drove the Peak-to-Peak scenic highway on the way up to the park to add to the majestic views. Inside the park, we stopped a few places along the way for some brief hikes and scrambling around rocks. At the continental divide, we walked around Poudre Lake and saw a school of trout huddling in the shallows near the inlet. They were so close to shore we thought we could grab a few.

We found a few nice patches of color along the west side of the park near the Grand Lake entrance. After a few pictures, we turned around and headed back over the pass in search of evening wildlife. We saw a few stray elk along the way, but I guess we were a little early in the rut to see some of the larger herds that can form. However, just as we were leaving the park, we did hear a bull bugling, and stopped to find him about a hundred yards off the road with a handful of cows.

Just about a quarter mile future up the road, we ran into a traffic jam. We assumed the crowd had found more elk, but as we approached we realized they had chased a black bear up a tree. As much as the boys wanted to stop and watch, it didn’t seem like too good of an idea to join a bunch of people swarming around the base of a tree with a bear clinging to some small branches. We decided to continue on and call it a day.