Did you know that you must purchase a ticket with a time to enter Rocky Mountain National Park now due to Covid 19 mandates? Luckily we discovered this about a month before our trip to the park. But just a few days before we flew out to Colorado our plans shifted a little and we needed to change our entry date into the park. I called the Visitor Center to see if it would be possible to change our days. Of course it was not an easy task to do sober the Park Ranger I spoke with gave me the phone number I would need to call. Then she gave me this awesome little tip. She said that if we were willing to arrive at the park before 6:00 AM we could enter the park without stopping at the entrance gate at all. She said just get up early and pack a breakfast to enjoy once you are actually in the park. Wow! This sounded perfect and it is just what we did. By getting into the park so early we were able to get this beautiful picture of the sun rising as we drove up Trail Ridge Road.
By the time we arrived at Lake Irene we were ready for breakfast and coffee.
William got our little camp stove going so we could heat water and then I made a pour over of Death Wish Coffee.
It sounds so strong no one could ever drink it but it is actually a very smooth tasting coffee……full of caffeine!
There were very few people at the lake so our stroll around Lake Irene was pretty much all to ourselves.
William, like his brother-in-law Ron Cupit, loves gadgets so he felt it necessary to bring along the Bear Spray. And what good is a can of Bear Spray if you don’t test it?
I just about laughed myself to death when he himself felt the effects from it. He verified it WORKS!
Our next stop was at the Continental Divide, where rivers are separated east into the Atlantic and west into the Pacific. The rock formation and reflection into the pool was beautiful but it was the elk across the road from here that got most of our attention.
We really loved the area around the historic Never Summer Ranch.
We spent over an hour here just soaking up the beauty of marshy fields and beaver lakes with the Great Mountains in the background.
William and I both were very surprised to site a big Bull Moose. We did our best to get a picture of him but he was very fast and disappeared into the vegetation quickly. We did however get a picture of the smaller Cow.
To end our first day in the park we drove back towards Estes Park stopping along the way just to view the spectacular sites, especially of the mountains in the tundra part of the park.
On my first visit to Rocky Mountain National Park some 20 plus years ago I was impressed with how much snow falls in the park. You can still see the snow peaked mountains and this is August. To clear the roads there are these tall poles to mark where the road actually is so I had to take a picture of them.
Just before exiting the park we took a turn down Bear Lake Road and captured these views of the mountains. You simply cannot turn around anywhere in the park without seeing a breath taking view of the mountains, lakes, and valleys.
We drove on down to Bear Lake and scouted out where we wanted to take our sunrise picture the next morning.
Bear Lake is a small lake with Mount Hallet in the background. You can walk all around the lake or you can go on multiple different hikes in this area.
When the sun rises in the east it sets Mount Hallet ablaze in color. It certainly was worth getting up early to see this happen.
We spent two days visiting the park. One could certainly spend a week or more here and still not see everything but we wanted to continue our adventure north to the Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone.