Traversing the Rockies

Rocky Mountain National Park Travel Blog

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Me at Many Parks Curve on Trail Ridge Road
From Estes Park, we headed US-36 to Trail Ridge Road/US-34.  Trail Ridge Road follows the ridgeline from Deer Ridge Junction near the east entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park at Beaver Meadows Entrance Station all the way to Grand Lake, near the park's western entrance.  Trail Ridge Road is the highest continuous paved highway in the United States. 

As we headed up in elevation, the landscape changed from verdant meadows to heavily wooded sub-alpine forests to alpine tundra meadows with jagged rock slopes.  Near the Gore Range Overlook, at an elevation of about 12,000 feet, Mar and I hopped out of the car to get blood circulating through our legs.
Hitchin' a ride out West
  We were both unprepared with the change in climate at the ridgeline...I was freezing in my hiking shorts and short-sleeve T-shirt.   And the menacing looking skies spitted light sprinkles of rain that fortunately lasted only a few minutes. 

After the Gore Range Overlook, as we continued westward, road elevation began to decline...I had to be careful not to burn through my brakes.  At Milner Pass off the Trail Ridge Road we had to commemorate crossing the Continental Divide by taking pictures with the sign.   The Continental Divide is the 'line" that determines water flow towards the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. 

Further down the road, I saw several cars parked along the highway.  Curiously, I followed suit.  When Mar and I got out of the car.
These guys are just chillin' and waiting for their closeups
..we saw the reason for all the cars...other park visitors were awed by the sight of some elk sitting pretty in the grass.  I wanted to a photo of them so I slowly made my way up the grassy hill.  Luckily my digital camera had a really great zoom so I didn't have to get too close to these wild fellows. 

We headed out of  Rocky Mountain National Park on US-34.  Before leaving the park, I had to take a picture with the park sign just outside of the Kawuneeche Visitor Center, the park's western entrance.  The driving goal for the day was to get to Moab, Utah by nightfall.  We took the US-34 and US-40 to get to a major interstate highway, I-70 West.  We drove westward through Vail and other ski resort towns.  We ended up stopping in at Best Western Clifton Inn in the town of Clifton, Colorado for the night. 


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Me at Many Parks Curve on Trail Ri…
Me at Many Parks Curve on Trail R…
Hitchin a ride out West
Hitchin' a ride out West
These guys are just chillin and w…
These guys are just chillin' and …
Heading up Trail Ridge Road
Heading up Trail Ridge Road
Mountain view
Mountain view
View from Many Parks Curve
View from Many Parks Curve
Many Parks Curve
Many Parks Curve
An alpine meadow near Gore Range O…
An alpine meadow near Gore Range …
Alpine tundra near the Gore Range …
Alpine tundra near the Gore Range…
Movin on up!
Movin' on up!
Climbing Trail Ridge Road
Climbing Trail Ridge Road
Many Parks Curve
Many Parks Curve
Proof that I was here!
Proof that I was here!
Rocky Mountain National Park
photo by: MarcMokum