This is the reason we planned to stay in Colorado for the month of September and our timing could not have been better!
We made the drive up to Rocky Mountain National Park and continued on U.S. Highway 34 to the Alpine Visitors Center on Trail Ridge Road.
I’ve made this same drive countless times but never at the peak of the aspens fall season.
We stopped often and took lots of pictures but, as is often the case in Colorado, the pictures don’t quite capture the experience.
Being the weekend there was a lot of traffic and much human activity that must have had the wildlife laying low.
However, we did catch a glimpse of a small elk herd. The big traffic jam was our first clue.
From the visitors center parking lot I made a solo hike up to the top at 12,005 feet. It could have been my huffing and puffing that scared the wildlife away.
After the hike we enjoyed our picnic lunch before heading back the way we came.
I can’t imagine a better place to enjoy the changing season and the beauty of God’s creation.
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Pictures may not do it justice but since I’ve seen it – I particularly enjoy them. That area is definitely on my radar for a trip with the hubby since he wasn’t there with me. Back then I didn’t know about the elk so didn’t see or try to see those. If you get the chance, be in an area in the early morning where you think they might be, make a yummy cup of coffee & just sit and wait. It’s really neat to hear the males bugling and neater still to see their steamy breath as they lift their heads skyward while in the rut.
On Karen’s first trip up here in 2009 we were fortunate enough to be here during the rut. Large herds of elk were everywhere. Here’s one of the bugling bulls: https://wecouldlivehereblog.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/rmnp_elk_2009.jpg
It is beautiful!! How come a “”solo” walk?!?
Because this is how the trail started: https://wecouldlivehereblog.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/rmnp_12005.jpg
I bet we passed each other lol. I hiked Tuesday to Dream Lake and Alberta Falls and Saturday my daughter and I were in the park driving Trail Ridge Road – shopping at the Alpine visitor center and Grand Lake before heading back into Estes Park for dinner. We couldn’t believe the line of vehicles wanting to enter RMNP around 4:00. We’re thinking the leaves are peaking as most of the aspens were simply stunning 🙂
Then you picked a great time to see the aspens, too. They were amazing! We thought the line getting in the park in the morning was long, but could hardly believe how much longer it got that late in the day. Sorry we missed you there – that would have been a real hoot 🙂