Rocky Mountain National Park

The east entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park is located about a one hour drive from Boulder.  The park spans the Continental Divide with a single paved road through the park connecting Estes Park on the East slope with Grand Lake on the West slope.  A series of three lakes starting at Grand Lake form the headwaters to the Colorado River.  The drive through the park from the east starts at Estes Park at an elevation of about 7,500 feet above sea level.  The 50 mile drive climbs over Trail Ridge Road with a peak elevation of 12,183 feet and down to Grand Lake at about 8,000 feet.  The drive (or bicycle ride if you are crazy enough to try it!) is spectacular and a must during the summer months.  The road is generally open for Memorial Day and sometimes before.  A one-way dirt road makes the trip on another route from the east side up Fall River Road and joins Trail Ridge just past the summit on the west side.  For a few weeks in early June and again in the fall, Fall River Road is only open to hikers and bicycles.  The park has many beautiful day-hikes to alpine lakes and an number of high mountain peaks.   The highest,  Long's Peak, is 14,256 feet above sea level.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fall in Rocky Mountain National Park

 

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     This was taken while on a bicycle ride up Fall River to Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain

     National Park, June 22, 2003.  The second day of summer seemed more like early spring.  Typical

    late June weather is still pretty chilly at 12,000'.  In fact, the first day of summer (June 21) of 2004

brought enough new snow to close the pass for most of the next two days.  This event caused the cancellation of the second leg of the annual Ride The Rockies bicycle tour.  This was a great disappointment for the more than 2000 riders that had to be bussed from Estes Park to Grandby the long way around via Berthod pass and Winter Park.

 

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