Sigh. The last major vacation post. And I’ve saved the best for last. Because as fun as Denver was, and as much as we adored everything Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park was the absolute highlight of our trip.
Pictures (especially mine) won’t do it justice if you’ve never been there. Just trust me; make plans to visit next summer with your family. You won’t be sorry.
I’d been to RMNP once, as a 20-year-old, with my family, but we only drove Trail Ridge Road; no hiking on that trip, as we were actually vacationing in Breckenridge and just made a quick trip over to RMNP. So I knew a bit about the park, but not much.
I asked Jamie, Colorado expert, a million questions beforehand, and she was so gracious in answering every last one! I also posted a couple of questions on Facebook and got some great feedback from other friends who’ve been, and a friend of Matt’s emailed us a long list of favorites…so helpful. So we went armed with information about what hikes would be good for the boys. And all of them walked the WHOLE time, even Jack Henry! He only got picked up once for about 5 minutes after falling on a trail. They rocked.
Did you know that it only costs $20/car for a week’s entry into the park? So 3 days of entertainment for our whole family = $20. Thank you, National Parks System. And thank you, U of I class on National Parks and Monuments (aka Rocks for Jocks, a class that Matt and I, though not jocks, took because it was something we could take together), for inspiring me years ago to want to see things like this.
Here’s how we broke it down:
Day 1: Hikes: Bear Lake (1/2 mile), Alberta Falls (almost a mile), Nymph Lake (1/2 mile), Alluvial Fan (not much)
Day 2: Drove Trail Ridge Road in its entirety, stopping as we wanted. Hikes: Adams Falls (1/2 mile) and Coyote Valley Trail (less than 1/2 mile, and not one we’d do again…boring, and because the river was high, there was no where to play in the water at all)
Day 3: Hike: Sprague Lake (1/2 mile, but it’s really just a walking trail), a little more driving through the park (past my obsession, the Alluvial Fan, again – its history is fascinating); boys become Junior Rangers (if you go with kids, absolutely stop by a visitor’s center right when you get there and get the little booklet).
And a ton of pictures…