Sunday, August 5, 2012

Summer Adventures | Trail Ridge Road | Rocky Mountain National Park

In mid-July hubby and I took a day trip up to Grand Lake, Colorado via Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park all in an effort to escape the never ending heat we've had this summer.

A bit of information about this drive:  Trail Ridge Road is the name for a stretch of U.S. Highway 34 and is the highest continuous paved road in the United States.  Also known as Trail Ridge Road/Beaver Meadow National Scenic Byway, it traverses Rocky Mountain National Park from Estes Park, Colorado in the east to Grand Lake, Colorado in the west.  The road crosses the Continental Divide at Milner Pass (elevation 10,758) and reaches a maximum elevation of 12,183 near Fall River Pass. (Thank you Wikipedia!)

Hubby has never been too keen on driving Trail Ridge.  There is a stretch where there are drop offs on both sides of the road as you approach the highest elevation, but he was willing to give it another go.  (He did fantastic, by the way!)

Heading up to Trail Ridge via Thompson Canyon.

Entering Rocky Mountain National Park.

A mule deer.  This was the best shot I got from our moving vehicle.

Clark's nutcrackers.  Really, that's what they're called.

Clark's nutcracker taking flight.  They really were quite pretty with their midnight blue and white feathers.

Lots of chipmunks.

 Not much snow left.


The sticks along side the road are used as a guide for the snow plow in the spring when they clear the road.  It's closed during the winter and opens in late spring early summer depending on the snow pack.

Be careful not to drive off the edge!  Plays havoc with your equilibrium.

It was 97 degrees and sunny down in Denver on this day.  At the highest elevation, it was 52 degrees and extremely windy and rainy.  We loved it!

Moose in the meadow!  He was gorgeous.

The only large animal we didn't see on this drive through the park was a bear, but I was happy to see what we did see.

Once we passed through the park, we came out the other side in Grand Lake, Colorado.  I'll hit you with those photos in the next post!

Til next time ~ find your joy!

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