The first time I visited Rocky Mountain National Park was nearly nine years ago when I attended a national conference at University of Colorado at Boulder. I drove to the park with two fellow conference attendees in an afternoon designated by the conference as a free afternoon for sightseeing. Due to the time limitation, we stayed on the trail ridge road for a scenic drive, stopped frequently for alpine and sub alpine vistas.
The trail ridge road is the highest through paved high way in the country - the highest point is slightly over 12000 ft. The road is narrow and winding, the view is spectacular under the Sun, The glaciers and emerald green glacier lakes that dotted the mountain slopes were the main attractions to me.
|A stop on the trail ridge road|
|The trail ridge road|
|The peak near the highest parking area was extremely windy|
|A close up of a glacier|
We entered the park from east and exited from the west, drove through the whole trail ridge road. One the way we passed a glacier lake and spotted two elks, I also stopped at a continental divide for the first time.
|A Glacier Lake|
|Elks by a lake|
|First knowledge of continental divide|
It was a beautiful sunny day. The bear lake parking area was jammed. I let Lily and Nicholas get off the car and walked to the trail head while I waited in the car for a parking spot. Lucky for me, I got a parking spot in about 10 ~15 minutes.
It was a perfect day for snowshoeing or cross country ski. Since we would need to get to winter park before dark, we just walked around a bit to enjoy the cool crisp air, gorgeous weather and views.
|Rocky Mountain near Bear Lake|
|Elks look different from their summer appearance|
|Standing on Bear Lake|
|White, Green and Blue|