Colorado, Colorado Hikes, Rocky Mountain National Park, US National Parks

Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Sandbeach Lake

In Colorado, one can find sand in the most unexpected and/or unusual locations. Much like the aftermath of a day at the beach. Case in point: Great Sand Dunes National Park. Case in point #2: Sandbeach Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. The trail to Sandbeach Lake departs from the parking area immediately to the… Continue reading Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Sandbeach Lake

Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park, US National Parks

Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Estes Cone

Estes Cone was not plan A for Chelsea and me on this particular weekend. But April and May in Colorado are part of what we Coloradans call the “spring of deception.” No matter how warm and sunny it is, no matter how many days in a row the nice weather endures, make no mistake: it's… Continue reading Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Estes Cone

Colorado, Colorado Hikes, Rocky Mountain National Park, US National Parks

Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Black Lake (the winter version)

Exactly one week after conquering Sky Pond in the winter – my last hike of 2020 – I found myself back at Glacier Gorge trailhead, this time with my friend Kaylyn, for my first hike of 2021! We were fighting cold gusty winds as we readied ourselves to head up the other half of the… Continue reading Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Black Lake (the winter version)

Colorado, Colorado Hikes, Rocky Mountain National Park, US National Parks

Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Sky Pond (the winter version)

Frozen alpine lakes have become one of my favorite things since moving to Colorado. I just love the icy winter scenery so much. It’s already become an annual thing for us to hike to some of the more easily accessible lakes in Rocky every winter. But this winter, my friend Savannah and I had a… Continue reading Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Sky Pond (the winter version)

Colorado, Colorado Hikes, Colorado Summits, Rocky Mountain National Park, US National Parks

Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Deer Mountain

It’s not every day that you hike a trail and find yourself nearly face-to-face with its namesake animal. But such was the case on Deer Mountain. (Better than coming face-to-face with a bear on Bear Peak, I suppose…) There were four of them, and they couldn’t have been more than 15 feet (4.5 m) away.… Continue reading Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Deer Mountain

Colorado, Colorado Hikes, Colorado Summits, Rocky Mountain National Park, US National Parks

Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Twin Sisters Peak

2020 was a rough year for all of us, Rocky included. First, the park was closed for weeks in the spring due to the pandemic. Then it closed again for 15 days in October and November due to forest fires. In all, nearly 30,000 acres of the park burned. It was absolutely devastating to watch… Continue reading Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Twin Sisters Peak

Colorado, Colorado Hikes, Rocky Mountain National Park, US National Parks

Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Lion and Snowbank Lakes

Pat and I could stay in Colorado for the rest of our lives (personally, I have few objections to this!) and probably never run out of places to backpack in Rocky. There are so many options. I haven’t actually counted, but I’m fairly certain that at least ¾ of the trails in the park extend… Continue reading Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Lion and Snowbank Lakes

Colorado, Colorado Hikes, Colorado Summits, Rocky Mountain National Park, US National Parks

Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Mount Ida

Summiting Mount Ida turned out to be a ‘third time is the charm’ type situation for us. We wanted to climb it our first summer in Denver, but forest fire smoke severely limited visibility for much of the summer and we weren’t about to walk along the Continental Divide and not be able to see… Continue reading Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Mount Ida

Colorado, Colorado Hikes, Rocky Mountain National Park, US National Parks

Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Bierstadt Lake

The first time we did this hike, I hated it. In retrospect, I may have overreacted. It’s not my favorite hike in Rocky, but it’s still pretty nice. I’m sure the fact that I was asking my tired legs – which had hiked 10 miles (16 km) the day before – to climb a bunch… Continue reading Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Bierstadt Lake

Colorado, Colorado Hikes, Rocky Mountain National Park, US National Parks

Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Thunder Lake

Obtaining a backcountry permit for Rocky requires similar levels of intensity as many Colorado hiking feats, including summiting a 14er or finding parking at a trailhead or snagging a front country campsite anywhere during the summer. Permits become available each year on March 1 at 8:00am. So on March 1, 2019 at 7:59am, I was… Continue reading Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Thunder Lake