Rocky Mountain National Park

As I mentioned in our previous post, we are spending a few days at Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP). It is one of the most beautiful places we have ever been. 

RNMP was the fourth most visited National Park in 2016. It is large–415 square miles with over 300 miles of hiking trails. To beat the crowds, we wake up early, make breakfast, clean up, and head downtown for the first Estes Park shuttle to the mountain (7:30am). On both days, there have only been a few other people on the bus. Yesterday, we hiked the famous Bear Lake trail, and then made our way to Dream Lake, Nymph Lake, and Alberta Falls. These are the park’s most popular trails, which can be justified by the amazing views: 


It started to get crowded around 11am, and we hopped on the shuttle for the visitor center. It was designed by Tom Casey, a protege of Frank Lloyd Wright and is a national historic landmark. 


We spent the afternoon in town, catching up on things and drinking coffee. We went back to the campsite and read by the fire. 


This morning, we started our hike with the Cub Lake trail, the Pool, and finished at the Fern Lake trailhead. It was very quiet, so green, and provided a different perspective of the park. 


Our hike was the perfect blend of relaxation and effort. We had some interesting conversations with our shuttle drivers on our empty bus and headed back to town. 

We realized that pushing ourselves to do things at off-times is key to beating the crowds. Case in point: below is the Bear Lake shuttle at 7:45am…


…and at 11:30am, after a major rush, with three buses servicing the stop:


We hope these tactics will be helpful in Wyoming!

We will pack up our camp tonight and head to Wyoming tomorrow. We plan to take our time driving to Grand Teton National Park, arriving after the weekend rush for campsites (hopefully!) on Sunday. We will then plan to camp in Yellowstone the following week, but we are flexible. One of the most important things we have learned is to be able to roll with the punches when possible. It reduces stress and allows us to visit some unanticipated and wonderful places (such as Bandelier and RMNP).

Talk soon! 

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One thought on “Rocky Mountain National Park

  1. What beautiful pictures. Visited RMNP in the late 1970’s. Have to say that these pictures bring back some fond memories. Thanks for sharing. You will love the Teton’s and Yellowstone. Safe travels.

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