During our fantastic trip to Colorado this past week, we took a tour to Rocky Mountain National Park. We went with a company called the Colorado Sightseer and were guided by a knowledgeable Colorado native named Tom. Tom picked us up at our hotel in Denver and drove us through Boulder and into the town of Estes Park near one of the entrances to the park. We stopped to admire a big herd of wild elk who had taken over this golf course.
That’s a lot of elk.
I wanted to pet them but Robbie talked me out of trying to do that.
We stopped to take photos with our tour-mates at this nice sign with a nice view.
Once inside the park we went to see the alluvial fan. Tom was full of information and explained that there was a terrible flood in 1982 when an earthen dam failed. The nearby town of Estes Park was flooded and the force of the water moved huge boulders and trees and everything else around down into the valley. The array of flood debris (mostly rocks) is still visible thirty years later.
It was quite cold and windy in the park but the sun was shining.
This is looking back at the walkway to the alluvial fan trail with some mountains behind it.
Even most of the waterfall water was frozen.
Next Tom took us up higher into the mountains so we could look out at peaks and over Moraine Park. Longs Peak is one of those I think but I can’t say for sure which one.
You can see some snow!
And for our last stop in the park, we walked around the beautiful, frozen Sprague Lake. It was so quiet and peaceful there – definitely our favorite view.
There was a whole gang of snow by the lake.
Check out these colorful fish swimming in the frozen lake.
After the park we ate lunch at a pizzeria in Estes Park. The pizza wasn’t very good so no photos of that. There were a lot of things in the town we wanted to check out but the hour we had there was totally eaten up by the so-so pizza. Tom drove us around a little bit and we were able to see the Stanley Hotel up on its big hill. He explained that Stephen King was inspired to write The Shining after staying there. We hope to come back to Colorado and stay at that hotel and have some time to explore Estes Park.
On the way back to Denver we saw several adorable deer on the side of the road. We also got to see these elk up a little closer.
A complete account of all the delicious/fun highlights from Denver and Boulder is forthcoming! Also, we got snowed on in Denver so that was pretty exciting.