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Rocky Mountain High

Our final national park destination of the trip was Rocky Mountain National Park. We spent a day and a half there. We arrived in the afternoon and scaled the narrow, winding and sometimes shoulder-less Trail Ridge Road which ascended to the Alpine Visitor Center and the highest point in the park. On the trek, we observed sub-alpine and alpine features and saw a few elk through the scopes at the visitor center.

To get to the highest point in the park, it is an uphill hike up this final peak. Due to the “thin” air at this elevation, even though there are stairs, it is definitely a challenge and it is important to take your time and stop and take some cool photos along the way.

Cute photos, like this really cool marmut! But, the very top is the goal and the view is amazing.

The following day we planned to hike at Bear Lake and have a picnic lunch, but the crowded parking lots had other plans. When we arrived at the parking to catch the shuttle to Bear Lake, it was already full. Apparently, it had been full for a couple of hours, so if you plan to go to this popular destination, it’s important to arrive around 7:00 a.m. to make sure you have a parking spot. I will qualify this with mentioning that it was a Saturday on an unseasonably warm day in September, but according to their website, full parking lots are a common occurrence every day in the summer between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. at all of the popular stops. While it was possible to park at a nearby lot and catch a shuttle to the Bear Lake lot and catch another shuttle to Bear Lake, it seemed that we would be wasting a lot of our time waiting on shuttles, so we decided to visit Sprague Lake instead and hike in that area. There is a really easy paved trail all the way around the lake and then there are other natural surface hiking trails that wander in the area around the lake. It also was nice that we were never so far from the car that we had to pack our lunch along while we hiked. We could hike for a while and then return to the car any time we wanted. It turned out to be a great day for wildlife viewing and, of course, breathtaking views of the mountains.

So, this was our last destination on a two-week road trip. At the end of the day, what was left were memories, photos and two-day trek home. Across Kansas.

Oh, yeah. And planning for our next adventure.

Published by retiredgirlbeautifulworld

Admirer of beauty. Seeker of fun. Lover of outdoors. Driver of convertibles. Educator. Writer. Editor. Photographer. Runner. Yogi. Hiker. Paddler. Dancer. Adventurer. Observer.

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