Rocky Mountain National Park is a gorgeous alpine park in the heart of Colorado, which receives over 3 million visitors a year; half of them during the Summer. Fortunately we arrived a few months early, so we had the park largely to ourselves! We were lucky to enjoy beautiful weather today, despite the concerns of yesterday’s thunderstorms and freezing temperatures.
We began the day with a short hike around Bear Lake, which was frozen-over and covered with snow. Deep snow had most of the path covered, so we surrendered midway and took a trail with lighter snow to Alberta Falls. It too was frozen and covered with snow, but the hike there was invigorating!
We then drove through the park; from its valley floor at ~7,000 feet to its peak at ~10,500, where the vistas were spectacular! We weren’t quite acclimatized to the higher elevations, so we returned to the valley below for lunch and sightseeing.
While bears eluded our eyes again, we did encounter an abundance of creatures in the park: elk, deer, jays, squirrels, chipmunks, and rabbits. The elk in the park numbered well over 100. We even encountered a strange half-squirrel half-rabbit critter that almost eluded our camera. (Did we discover a new species?)
The highlight of the day for Lisa was interacting with the bird in the last photo below for over 20 minutes. Having an injured foot, he was more inclined to brave contact with humans in hopes of food. (Of course, we would never feed a park animal salt-free peanuts, since that would be wrong.) 😉