s/y Nine of Cups
Rocky Mountain National Park - Colorado
June 2012
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More National Parks and Monuments?

More American Odyssey trip...Part I?
(Las Vegas to Denver)

American Odyssey...Part II
(Denver to Boston)

Roadside Americana?

Birds of North America?

Wildflowers of North America?
We entered the park at the east entrance
through Estes Park. High on the hill sits the
majestic Stanley Hotel, the setting for
Stephen King's "The Shining".
Trail Ridge Road

Highway 34, known as Trail Ridge Road,  runs through
the park and connects the town of Estes Park on the
east to Grand Lake on the southwest. The road reaches
an elevation of 12,183 feet (3,713 m),  with long
stretches above tree line and is closed by snow in winter.

It passes the Alpine Visitors' Center and crosses the
Continental Divide at Milner Pass. Numerous short
interpretive trails and pullouts along the road serve as  
educational and informational points on the history,
geography and ecology of the park. Trail Ridge Road is
one of ten America's Byways and a nationally
designated All American Road. It also has the
distinction of being the highest continuously paved road
in the USA.
Rocky Mountain National Park encompasses
~266,000 acres of varied ecosystems and
includes the Continental Divide and the
headwaters of the Colorado River. It was
designated a national park in 1915.
We stopped all along Trail Ridge Road
for quick hikes and picture opps. Above,
with our grandson, Taylor, high above
Forest Canyon.
The circuitous route of the Fall River
in Horseshoe Park.
Long's Peak at 14,259' is the highest point in the park.
We looked for bighorn sheep, but saw
none. Elk were out grazing though.
Above, the snow was still a bit too high for
hiking some of the trails. Right, David &
Taylor admire "mushroom rocks".
Clark's nutcrackers were everywhere
and proved to be quite cheeky while we
were trying to eat our lunch.
Poudre Lake was beautiful with just a touch of
snow left in place.
David & Taylor climbing on the Tundra
Communities Trail rocks.
The tundra area, bare of trees, still
supports flora and fauna. It also provided
an unobstructed view of the mountains
Next National Park/Monument on the
agenda...Custer's Last Stand at
Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument in
Hardin, Montana.
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Tiny tundra flora