Memorial Day Weekend – the line to get into Rocky Mountain National Park was long enough that some people bailed and turned around. Isn’t the whole point of going to Estes Park to see the Rocky Mountains? Where did those people go? I’m baffled.
A view from the road near the high point of the park.
Views from the Tundra trail. Supposedly the vegetation changes along the trail with the altitude, but it was still so cold that there was only snow or the vegetation that can somehow survive a winter under snow.
Views from the Tundra trail.
The views are great, but bring chapstick. It was very windy all the way up there.
Jim by the Lava Cliffs.
The Colorado River near its source.
A view of the Never-Summer Mountains. The signs in this area prominently featured Osprey. We saw no Osprey.
The return trip through the park.
Driving through the tunnel of snow created by some Parks Services employee who doesn’t get paid nearly enough.
The view from the hike to Gem Lake.
Jim contemplating the view of Estes Valley or contemplating the deliciousness of the Pop Tart he just ate.
Finally, after an hour of climbing – Gem Lake.
Day Two: Bear Lake. The trail around Bear Lake is so easy to navigate that it attracts the worst kind of tourist, creating a Disney World atmosphere. Or worse. There were teenagers in flip flops, a guy dressed like Morpheus from the Matrix, shirtless men who should not have been shirtless, and oblivious families blocking the entire trail. Fortunately, we only had to gain about twenty feet of elevation to leave all of those people behind.
Nymph Lake, the first of a chain of three lakes.
A view of Nymph lake from above.
The path up to Dream Lake. Luckily, the snow was packed pretty hard so we didn’t sink up to our shins (much). It was no Camp Hoover hike.
Dream lake, the second in the chain of three.
On the path up to Emerald.
Lots of runoff from the snow. People were still hiking this area in sneakers and a t-shirt, by the way.
Emerald Lake, at a little over 10,000 feet.
Back at the motel, some elk commandeered the local golf course.
The reward for all of those hikes – The Egg and I in Estes Park. High marks for keeping the drink pitchers at the table, and their hazelnut coffee was outstanding. And unlike the Waffle House, they didn’t make Jim wait for his waffle.