ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
I have recently lamented about how work has been consuming me lately on Instagram and when The Dutch and I
booked this whirlwind weekend in the Colorado Rockies, it was without any consideration of how our
work lives could possibly be at its busiest. (And when I say whirlwind, I mean 48 hours with an early
flight on a Saturday and a late late night flight out on a Sunday.)
The itinerary of Day 1 was simple. At least in theory.
Wake up at 3:30AM. Catch the first two-hour flight to Denver. Brunch in Denver.
Make the 2-hour drive to the Rockies. Gallivant, hike, snowshoe.
Drive back to Denver in time for dinner.
In the end, the idea is to live lives devoid of regrets.
Not the professional lives we choose.
Not the early morning flights we take.
And most definitely not the whirlwind weekends.
Rocky Mountain National Park is located north of Denver and could be accessed either from the east or the west.
We drove through Denver and Boulder to access the east entrance.
It is one of the most visited National Parks in America and in the summer,
the amount of vehicles and tourists cram the park.
Spring is a relatively quiet time to go, but the downside (if you can call it that)
is that the Trail Ridge Road that loops around the park is closed and that the lakes
are still frozen and packed with snow. Because I'm a little phobic to crowds, spring was
a beautiful time to go, but I'm also thinking late summer or early fall would be great, too.
I have had the pleasure of seeing many mountains in my life. We live in the Sierras, after all.
But this I have learned: no two mountains are ever the same.
The Colorado Rockies, for one, are higher than the ones in Sierra Nevada.
It's massive peaks tower at over 14,000 feet.
True its name, Rocky Mountain National Park is rather rocky, with boulders and massive rocks
of all kinds in the landscape such as the ones pictured here at Alluvial Fan.
In 1982, there was a dammed lake that failed and water came rushing down causing a flood.
This created what we see now as a tumble of boulders and rocks, water cascading downstream, called Alluvial Fan.
Also, it is in these Rockies one could drive up to some of the highest elevations.
The Trail Ridge Road could take you up to an elevation of 12,183 feet as you sit back on your plush leather seat,
sipping your cold drink, without breaking a single sweat.
Trail Ridge Road gets a ton of snow at these elevation and as such is closed throughout the winter and spring.
Due to our obvious time constraints, the only hike we were able to do on snowshoes is one around Bear Lake and
from Bear Lake to Dream Lake. Both lakes are still frozen with packed snow on top of it and although relatively
easy and short, oxygen was feeling a little thin at almost 10,000 feet of elevation.
We didn't make it to Emerald Lake as originally intended, so instead, we clambered on top of a pile of boulders
to be faced with the stunning 14,000+ foot peak of Long's Peak.