Hike, bike, or ride at your leisure up through Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Colorado. For photographers, I recommend taking Trail Ridge Road for its vast opportunity to stop off and take pictures of beautiful views. The trip begins in the Montane Ecosystem terrain filled with luscious green trees, shrubs and flowers, it is here you might spot a moose, bear, marmots, badgers, and an immense diversity of birds in their natural habitat. Ascending to the sub-alpine layer, you will see many photo ops for firs, pines, elk, mountain lions, and coyotes. The alpine layer, "land above the trees," is the next ascension where you can see a different set of greenery, birds, elks, and smaller mammals. The last part of the ride brings you to the glacier layer where you can get up close to the elk fresh in the snow for a great photo op (even in the summer!).
The entire journey, whether by foot, bike, or car, is an amazing opportunity to experience how the layers of forest have grown and evolved to their surroundings, providing life for the many mammals that call the Rocky Mountain National Park home.
Have you been here? Share a tip or a photo with fellow travelers.
Snowshoeing in Rocky Mountain National Park
I hiked up to Bear Lake and in Rocky Mountain National Park last spring, outside Estes Park, Colorado. Shoe rentals are abundant and reasonable in town (I went to Estes Park Mountain Shop), or just post-hole it up into the wilderness in your boots 'n gators.
Great hikes and drives for the whole family:
Drive the Trail Ridge Road.
Hiking: Bear Lake and Sprague Lake are pretty accessible and short hikes for families.
Cub Lake Trail is an easy hike for the entire family.
Lily Lake is a ¾ mile paved hike and very scenic.
Cascade Falls and Calypso Falls are not as busy and beautiful. This is a moderate hike to Calypso Falls.
Flat Top Mountain Trail (families with teenagers looking for a challenge) is 8.8 miles and elevation is over 12,000 feet.
Note: For any hiking, plan accordingly with lots of water and food and wear layered clothes for all conditions.
This was one cold weather adventure I actually enjoyed.
Just to clarify I didn't enjoy being cold.
I enjoyed the journal up the frozen waterfall. I truly surprised myself at actually could kick those tiny little protrusions coming off the front of the crampons into the ice wall. AND THEN it actually held me as I threw my pointed axe into the solid ice wall in front of me.
The top of this moderate waterfall came faster than I anticipated.
Nepal's Place never tasted so good after big adventure up the fall. :)