Rocky Mountain National Park (Estes, CO)

Adventured: 3 October 2015

Idaho trips are cool, but let’s return to Colorado for a little while! I had never been to Estes Park of Rocky Mountain National Park and I’ve lived in Fort Collins for 4 years now. With the leaves changing rapidly this year, I wanted to make an effort to get photos before they all disappeared. So bribing my friend with beer – he deserved way more than one for driving me around all day – we headed up to Estes. It’s about an hour drive from Greeley, CO on U.S 34. Elk Fest was this weekend so we hit traffic coming up the canyon but it was fun to see all the fishers along the river.

With Elk Fest, the entrance into RMNP was pretty busy. It was a $20 fee for the day to get in but well worth the trip. We saw a herd of elk even before we reached the park. We saw a lot of people getting really close to the bulls. PLEASE remember that the animals in parks are wild and give them the space they deserve, I’m tired of reading about animal accidents because people didn’t have the right camera and did something stupid.

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There are some awesome aspen groves with beautiful colors that are fenced off, however, there are small gates to get into these areas and take some really cool photos. A number of people looked like they were taking christmas card photos with the mountains in the background.

Afterwards we headed up over Trail Ridges and into the tundra area. There’s some really cool birds and gorgeous scenery, TAKE A GOOD CAMERA!  The clouds above tree line created really awesome views of Long’s Peak and the surrounding valleys. It was cold up there but a couple of elk herds were above 11,000 ft so not too cold. Be patient when driving through the park because traffic comes to a halt when animals are around. It was cool to see the young elk calves and the tracking bands around some of the cows as well as two bulls in rut. Will definitely have to go back and try some of the many trails we passed by.

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