Sunday, July 21, 2013

Rocky Mountain National Park 7/17/13 - 7/22/13

Getting High in in 12,183 feet  on the Trail Ridge Road.
The Trail Ridge Road is the highest continuous paved road in the United States, reaching an elevation of 12,183 feet.  The road is 48 miles long, 11 of which is above the tree line.  This area above the tree line is known as the tundra, a Russian term for "land of no trees".  This area is normally 20 - 30 degrees colder than in Estes Park and the winds can reach over 100 MPH while freezing temperatures last over 5 months each year.  Because of these harsh conditions, the plants of this area require centuries to mature and are dwarf in nature.

Forest Canyon Tundra
Tundra Life
Tundra Still Frozen at the End of July
Lake Irene (along Trail Ridge road)
Continental Divide Landscape
Besides traveling the Trail Ridge Road, we went on various hikes while in Rocky Mountain National Park.  Each hike had it's own special character and beauty.

Alberta Falls
Bear Lake
Lily Lake
Copeland Falls
Alluvial Fan
Teri sporting an old buffalo coat at the 1920's Holzwarth Trout Lodge.
(20+ lbs and unbelievably warm)
Long's Peak - 14,249 ft
Even with all the hikes we took, we felt like we barely scratched the surface at this wonderful National Park. 
While we were here we also saw all sorts of wildlife:

 Baby Turkeys
Wow, that's a lot of kids!
and even Dragonflies
and the occasional busy bee
Rocky Mountain National Park is a real gem. We look forward to when we can return again. 
We are off tomorrow morning headed a few miles down the road to Curt Gowdy State Park in Cheyenne, WY. While there, we plan to relax and ride the bikes for a few days.

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