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, 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, 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, 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, Travels, 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, Travels, 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, Travels, US National Parks

Colorado Summits: Lily Mountain

Due to the pandemic, entrance into Rocky Mountain National Park was a little more complicated in 2020. In addition to a fee or pass, one needed to reserve a timed entry permit. This allowed the park to reduce the number of visitors and spread them evenly throughout the day to better facilitate social distancing. Plenty… Continue reading Colorado Summits: Lily Mountain

Colorado, Travels, 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

Rocky Mountain National Park: Skiing Trail Ridge Road

In the summer, Trail Ridge Road is one of the absolute highlights of Rocky. This paved highway ascends to the top of Trail Ridge, rising to an elevation of just over 12,000 feet (3660 m) and providing unparalleled views of the surrounding landscape. It’s also quite a driving adventure, especially for those who have never… Continue reading Rocky Mountain National Park: Skiing Trail Ridge Road

Colorado, Travels, 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