Rocky Mountain National Park was a stop that was on the books since we decided to go to Colorado. I mean, how could we not?
Of all the hikes we could’ve done, we decided to try the hike to Mills Lake, which is about 7 miles round trip. I picked this one solely because less than a mile in, you’re at Alberta Falls. I figured, if we were exhausted by this point (okay, mostly me), we’d at least get to see something. There are points of the hike that are on rougher ground, but the trails are well maintained. The hardest part is going up- you gain 700 feet in elevation during it.
Our second trip to Rocky Mountain National Park was a bit less strenuous. We drove the Trail Ridge Road from Estes Park to Grandby, and then back around. I don’t recommend the whole loop if you don’t like driving. I honestly fell asleep during part of it once we got out of the park.
Drive Trail Ridge Road, the oldest continuous paved road in the country, up to the Alpine Visitor Center. At one point along the road, I noticed a sign that stated we were two miles above sea level. And still climbing. That’s quite a switch, coming from Florida, where we’re AT sea level!
There are a number of turn outs along the road for you to stop and take pictures. My favorite is after we got above the trees, to the tundra. There were still patches of snow, and the wildflowers up there only have an average of six weeks to bloom and reproduce before it gets too cold.
One of the biggest tips I have if you visit, is to make sure to bring a jacket. While the temperature in Estes Park was around 90 degrees. At the Alpine Visitor Center, it was 54!
|At an overlook on Trail Ridge Road|
|An Elk. Not at a turnout on Trail Ridge Road.
It’s blurry because I managed to get this while Scott was driving!
|Milner Pass, shortly after the Continental Divide|
|A view of a mountain lake on Trail Ridge Road. Snow still on the ground in July!|