This week's travel post is the second post of our trip to Colorado. If you missed the first post, you can catch up HERE.
On our second day in Colorado, we went to visit Rocky Mountain National Park, and let me tell you, I was excited beyond excited. I've been to many parks before, but this was the first time I have ever been to a 'big name park'! I mean, this is famous park artists write songs and poems about. This is a park I've seen pictures of my whole life, and could only dream of going! I couldn't believe I was finally here! Somebody pinch me!
The fee to get into the park is $20.00 per vehicle. That's it. No extra fees for parking, or for the number of people in your car. And it is good for one week. The only complaint I have is, I wish they had a day pass for a reduced fee, because we only planned on spending one day in the park.
But one thing I wasn't prepared for was snow on the trails. I knew the tops of the Colorado mountains are snow-covered all year, but I never thought there would still be so much snow on the trails at the end of May. Everyone who reads my blog knows how much I despise snow and cold, and here I was, back trudging in the snow again! Didn't all this stuff just melt at my house a few weeks ago! UGH!
And then, I reached the point, where all I could do was laugh. Here I was, Amy the lover of warmth and sunshine, who just left her home where it was finally sunny and in the eighties all week, to come back to winter, her most hated time of the year and freeze and fall down on the ice and break a hip. I laughed with every single step and slip. I laughed so hard I peed my pants…not a good thing to do when your on a trail in the middle of a forest with no bathroom for miles.
I must admit, these pictures are very funny. I definitely do not have one athletic bone in my entire body, but I proudly wear the title 'Little Princess'.
However, I will cut my husband some slack. He wasn't being mean, he thought I looked cute and was enjoying the moment. And eventually we learned how to move faster on the trail by playing 'choo-choo'. He walked ahead of me and I placed my hands on his shoulders while he shuffled his feet and I just slid mine on the ice. It worked very well actually.
The worst part about my footwear, is that I didn't even have socks on, because you don't wear socks with these kind of shoes. So my skin was exposed above the ankle, and my feet got quite damp and cold. The snow and ice even wore my red toe nail polish right off the edges! But thankfully, I did not get frostbite!
Eventually, we got out of the deepest part of the snow, and had a lot of snow-free trails so we could stop looking down, and look around and enjoy the view. There are no bad views in Rocky Mountain National Park. Every where you look is sheer beauty and always a backdrop of a snow covered mountain.
Round trip, the trail is 1.7 miles with an elevation of 9400 feet. An interesting fact about Rocky Mountain National Park is that it is the highest national park in the country with elevations ranging from 7,860 feet to 14,259 feet. There are 77 peaks above 12,000 feet. That would explain why you get an amazing view from just about anywhere in the park!
Mount Washington National Forest, but gorgeous nonetheless.
If you read my Estes Park post, I wrote about my fears of running into a bear or a mountain lion in Rocky Mountain National Park. It turned out, I had nothing to worry about. The park was so crowded, I think the bears and lions run away and hide. I was actually shocked at how crowded the park was in May, and I can only imagine the crowds during the peak travel season. There were tons of people on the trail we were on. We got to the park very early, so we had no problem finding a parking space near the trail. However, by the time we got back to our car to have a picnic lunch, the parking lot was so full, cars were driving in circles looking for an empty space: and this was a HUGE parking lot. During the parks busiest seasons, they actually have a 'park and ride' shuttle bus where you can park your car in a lower, larger parking area and then be 'shuttled' to the parking lot where the trails start. When I read reviews of the park on-line, everyone said get there as early as you can for it does get very crowded in the afternoon…and I agree!
Before I conclude this week's travel post I must leave you without a picture of one of the other little friends we made in the park. Chipmunks and birds love park visitors and they are very friendly. If they see you coming, or stop to eat a snack, they will quickly come over and 'beg' for some too! The park doesn't like it when you feed the animals, but if you take some healthy treats, liked peanuts or cracked corn, the critters would sure appreciate it. This little guy took a nut right out of my husband's hand. They are just too cute!
What a sweetie! I'll have many more cute animal pictures in my next post, as Rocky Mountain National Park was just too big to fit into one post.
Have a great day! Amy