A Travellerspoint blog

My favorite park of fall trip-Rocky Mountain Natl Park

I was excited and relieved to join Lee at the top of Mt. Ida; the hike was rated best in the park by RockyMountainHikingTrails.com and is on the far west side of the park (sustained major damage from 2020 wildfire)

I was excited and relieved to join Lee at the top of Mt. Ida; the hike was rated best in the park by RockyMountainHikingTrails.com and is on the far west side of the park (sustained major damage from 2020 wildfire)

This elk did not care for the paparazzi and shortly after this photo faked a charge towards me; I wisely hid behind a big tree but was also between this elk and a female he wanted to see

This elk did not care for the paparazzi and shortly after this photo faked a charge towards me; I wisely hid behind a big tree but was also between this elk and a female he wanted to see

The hike to Sky Pond (the top rated hike according to the trail map I had) was one of the most beautiful but also most challenging; I'm resting here at the Lake of Glass before heading on up

The hike to Sky Pond (the top rated hike according to the trail map I had) was one of the most beautiful but also most challenging; I'm resting here at the Lake of Glass before heading on up

Of the 30 existing species of pika, the American pika is one of only two which inhabit North America; these animals like to live in boulder fields above the treeline and are generally herbivores (but do occasionally go for a tasty shoe)

Of the 30 existing species of pika, the American pika is one of only two which inhabit North America; these animals like to live in boulder fields above the treeline and are generally herbivores (but do occasionally go for a tasty shoe)

At 10,887 ft above sea level rests Sky Pond (and me!) which is the end point for the best hike at RMNP; this hike has a little bit of everything - waterfalls, alpine lakes, high mountain views, and fun stream and river crossings

At 10,887 ft above sea level rests Sky Pond (and me!) which is the end point for the best hike at RMNP; this hike has a little bit of everything - waterfalls, alpine lakes, high mountain views, and fun stream and river crossings

Glacier Creek tumbles down 30 ft at Alberta Falls; parking at the Bear Lake trailhead can be a challenge but the park offers a nice shuttle bus system that also helps with point to point hikes

Glacier Creek tumbles down 30 ft at Alberta Falls; parking at the Bear Lake trailhead can be a challenge but the park offers a nice shuttle bus system that also helps with point to point hikes

To reach the west side of the park from Estes Park we took Trail Ridge Road which is the highest paved through-road in the country, with a peak elevation of 12,183 ft; the park is only 75 miles NW of Denver

To reach the west side of the park from Estes Park we took Trail Ridge Road which is the highest paved through-road in the country, with a peak elevation of 12,183 ft; the park is only 75 miles NW of Denver

In fall, elk gather in meadows for the annual breeding season called the rut; the males bugle to signal mating season but little fighting among males is involved

In fall, elk gather in meadows for the annual breeding season called the rut; the males bugle to signal mating season but little fighting among males is involved

The hike to Chasm Lake was rated as hard (which usually means too tough for me) and had 2600  ft of elevation gain; having gotten some difficult miles in at Glacier, Yellowstone and Grand Tetons I managed this great hike pretty well (but slowly)

The hike to Chasm Lake was rated as hard (which usually means too tough for me) and had 2600+ ft of elevation gain; having gotten some difficult miles in at Glacier, Yellowstone and Grand Tetons I managed this great hike pretty well (but slowly)

Peacock Pool is an alpine tarn tucked against cliffs in a glacier-carved cirque on the east flank of 14,259-foot Longs Peak (the highest point in the park); Peacock Pool gets its name because it can appear multi-hued from the slopes above the lake

Peacock Pool is an alpine tarn tucked against cliffs in a glacier-carved cirque on the east flank of 14,259-foot Longs Peak (the highest point in the park); Peacock Pool gets its name because it can appear multi-hued from the slopes above the lake

Fern Falls plunges 60 ft on Fern Creek in an area of the park that was scorched during the Fern Lake Fire in the fall of 2012; that fire burned 3500 acres and was the worst in park history until this year when a fire burned 30,000 acres

Fern Falls plunges 60 ft on Fern Creek in an area of the park that was scorched during the Fern Lake Fire in the fall of 2012; that fire burned 3500 acres and was the worst in park history until this year when a fire burned 30,000 acres

Our last day in the park, Lee and I did a less-traveled, point to point trail from Bear Lake down to Moraine Park; Odessa Lake sits just above 10,000 ft; most of the park has no cell service so getting separated is problematic

Our last day in the park, Lee and I did a less-traveled, point to point trail from Bear Lake down to Moraine Park; Odessa Lake sits just above 10,000 ft; most of the park has no cell service so getting separated is problematic

The Rocky Mountain National Park Act was signed by President Wilson on January 26, 1915, establishing the park boundaries and protecting the area for future generations; in 1976, UNESCO designated the park as one of the first World Biosphere Reserves

The Rocky Mountain National Park Act was signed by President Wilson on January 26, 1915, establishing the park boundaries and protecting the area for future generations; in 1976, UNESCO designated the park as one of the first World Biosphere Reserves

Marmots are the largest member of the squirrel family (especially when people feed them!); I wasn't tempted to feed this friendly marmot since it's bad for them to become dependent on people

Marmots are the largest member of the squirrel family (especially when people feed them!); I wasn't tempted to feed this friendly marmot since it's bad for them to become dependent on people

Emerald Lake can take on an emerald color if the photos on google images are to be believed; this hike is one of the most popular in the park and passes several scenic lakes

Emerald Lake can take on an emerald color if the photos on google images are to be believed; this hike is one of the most popular in the park and passes several scenic lakes

Steller's jay is a bird native to western North America, closely related to the blue jay found in the rest of the continent, but with a black head and upper body; they can be very social with humans from whom they'd like food

Steller's jay is a bird native to western North America, closely related to the blue jay found in the rest of the continent, but with a black head and upper body; they can be very social with humans from whom they'd like food

Throughout the 10 mile hike to the summit of Mt. Ida (12,874 ft) we had tremendous views as we followed the Continental Divide; I had more trouble on the way back with large boulder fields and steep terrain

Throughout the 10 mile hike to the summit of Mt. Ida (12,874 ft) we had tremendous views as we followed the Continental Divide; I had more trouble on the way back with large boulder fields and steep terrain

The elk rut occurs between mid-August and mid-October when males (they are more aggressive at this time too!) will bugle; females are attracted to the males that bugle more often and have the loudest call

The elk rut occurs between mid-August and mid-October when males (they are more aggressive at this time too!) will bugle; females are attracted to the males that bugle more often and have the loudest call

Nymph Lake was covered with pond lilies when we visited but the area was heavily damaged by the East Troublesome Fire which closed the area from Oct 22 to Nov 19; the best hikes here were also the longest

Nymph Lake was covered with pond lilies when we visited but the area was heavily damaged by the East Troublesome Fire which closed the area from Oct 22 to Nov 19; the best hikes here were also the longest

We found our very own Pushmi-Pullyu!; in The Story of Doctor Doolittle Pushmi-Pullyu is a gazelle/unicorn cross but in the 1967 movie the animal was a two headed llama

We found our very own Pushmi-Pullyu!; in The Story of Doctor Doolittle Pushmi-Pullyu is a gazelle/unicorn cross but in the 1967 movie the animal was a two headed llama

Rocky Mountain National Park is the third most visited national park behind Great Smoky Mtns and the Grand Canyon; the town of Estes Park sits just outside the park's eastern boundary making for easy access

Rocky Mountain National Park is the third most visited national park behind Great Smoky Mtns and the Grand Canyon; the town of Estes Park sits just outside the park's eastern boundary making for easy access

Bear Lake sits at 9450 ft above sea level and is the starting point for many of the best hikes in the park; admission to the park is $35 and, due to its popularity and the pandemic, you had to reserve a specific time to enter

Bear Lake sits at 9450 ft above sea level and is the starting point for many of the best hikes in the park; admission to the park is $35 and, due to its popularity and the pandemic, you had to reserve a specific time to enter

Yellow-bellied marmots hibernate for 8 months of the year so they line their burrows with grasses and other food they might need during the winter; the hibernating burrows can be 16-23 ft deep and house 20  animals

Yellow-bellied marmots hibernate for 8 months of the year so they line their burrows with grasses and other food they might need during the winter; the hibernating burrows can be 16-23 ft deep and house 20+ animals

Posted by VagabondCowboy 01:11

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

This blog requires you to be a logged in member of Travellerspoint to place comments.

Login