President’s Day in RMNP

For last Monday’s President’s Day holiday, Joel & I took a drive up into Rocky Mountain National Park to do a little hiking and take a lot of pictures. We’d hardly even started on our drive when we saw about 150 elk running along US 36 between Boulder and Lyons!


It was cold and very windy up in RMNP. It was a mostly clear day too, but snow and clouds were obscuring the Continental Divide. Despite that it was really pretty. It was especially windy at Sprague Lake, the first place we checked out. That was one coooooold, short hike.


From there we continued down the road to the Bear Lake trailhead, where we went on a longer hike. We didn’t have snowshoes at all because we thought we were going to stay on main, well-groomed trails. And we did between Bear Lake and Nymph Lake. We took one of the trails coming from the other side of Nymph Lake. It was narrower and not quite as frequented, but prettier than the other trails. It kept climbing too. Eventually we came to a big hill with a set of snowshoe tracks leading up it, leading away from our trail.


That hill was too enticing. We scrambled up it, and were rewarded with a spectacular view of Bear Lake far below us.



After a little more exploring up this lonesome trail, we decided it’d be best to come back down to the “main” trail. Pretty soon that “main” trail ended entirely with no tracks. We could still kind of see where the trail went, though, and knew that as long as we went downhill, we’d eventually hit Bear Lake. In other words, we weren’t lost; we were just trying to follow a seldom-used trail, hehe. Usually we were only breaking through foot-deep powder above the packed trail base below, but occasionally we’d unknowingly step off the packed trail and be up to our waist in snow. Joel wished we had snowshoes, but I was having fun breaking the trail and finding the way down to the lake. Mind you, I had jeans on, not snowpants, but that wasn’t bothering me. I was having a blast!


Eventually we did make it down to Bear Lake, which afforded some more really nice views, like this one.


And this one, from the other end of the lake, looking back towards the hills we came down from (on the left).


After getting back to the car, we took a drive up Trail Ridge Road, or at least as far as it’s open in winter. There were some more great views, including another elk sighting on our way back down.




What a gorgeous way to spend a holiday, even if it was a bit cold and windy! I look forward to several more trips to Rocky Mountain National Park while I’m living just an hour’s drive away!

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