Saturday, July 30, 2016

2015 Travel Recap: Colorado Part 2: Rocky Mountain National Park

Aloha and welcome to part six of my 2015 travel recap! It was a fabulous year of travel for us and I'm excited to share it all with you -- even if we are now rapidly approaching a year overdue!

You can see the previous posts here: Hawaii, Gettysburg, New York City, Tennessee/North Carolina, and Colorado Part 1.

Last September Jarrod and I traveled to my home state of Colorado for a beautiful autumn visit -- the first time I had been back in the fall since 2009! We had a wonderful time with my family and took every opportunity we could to get outdoors. We took an overnight getaway to Rocky Mountain National Park and were lucky to see the aspens already beginning to change in the higher mountain climate. We also did two lovely hikes and saw tons of elk!

The timing of our trip was ridiculously fitting. Jarrod and I met in college, and the first weekend of October 2005 we took a weekend getaway to Rocky Mountain National Park to celebrate our 1-year dating anniversary. Almost exactly 10 years later, we headed back -- and we even did the same waterfall hike, Alberta Falls, that we did that very first time. It was even more beautiful than I remembered, and Jarrod brought his new fold-up fishing pole and was thrilled to catch a rare brook trout above the waterfall.

The second day of our trip was a full one! In the morning we did a gorgeous though somewhat strenuous (at least when you're not acclimated to above-sea-level air!) hike to Nymph Lake, Dream Lake and Emerald Lake. Then we took the easy path around Bear Lake, which is right next to the trailhead for the three lakes.

The lakes: (top right) Bear Lake; (middle left) Nymph Lake; (middle right) Dream Lake; (bottom right) Emerald Lake.

After lunch we did one of our favorite RMNP activities: the drive up Old Fall River Road (a one-way 11-mile gravel road that quickly takes you up and away from traffic and tourists) to the Alpine Visitor Center and back down Trail Ridge Road. We saw two black bears cross the road right in front of us toward the start of Old Fall River Road, but we weren't fast enough to get a photo. That's the first time I've seen a black bear in person in Colorado -- all my previous sightings have been in Tennessee!

I absolutely LOVE the landscape surrounding Old Fall River Road and Trail Ridge Road. The end of the road is above the treeline and the alpine meadows are stunning. It's also cold -- there are patches of snow up there all year round, and the roads are closed during winter.

I'm a little bit obsessed with yellow-bellied marmots -- I think these groundhog cousins are just the cutest things -- and one was waiting for us at the visitor center. After I told him I'd make him famous on my blog, he was more than happy to pose for some photos before scampering off.


  1. I have lived in Colorado for a decade now and cannot believe I've never really visited. This September, assuming I get the time off, we're going up for a weekend to visit. It looks gorgeous!

    1. We've been in every season and it is beautiful year-round, though fall is my favorite. It's also a really good time for seeing tons and tons of elk! So I guess I thought you were a Colorado native! Where are you from originally?


Thanks for stopping by! Comments make my day, and I read and appreciate every single one!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...