Love that Rocky Mountain high! Colorado has been one of my favorite states to explore, and I have done it several times over. This state’s natural beauty and magnificent landscapes has always given me that ‘Rocky Mountain High’, thank you John Denver.
Colorado offers a variety of remarkable sceneries from desert monuments, to urban cities, to old mining towns, and awe-inspiring mountain ranges. The majestic mountains of Colorado are my favorite scenic views of this state, with the dry desert terrains as my second.
Rocky Mountain National Park was one of our favorite places to explore when my family and I were on a two week road trip through Colorado. The drive through the lush evergreen mountains to get to the barren tundra was incredible. There are 415 square miles to this park with glorious mountain view ranges, it was all very breathtaking.
The park definitely will take your breath away, as it is one of the highest in elevations for national parks in the country, starting from 7,860 and on to 14,259 feet.
The deep snow banks and white covered mountains added to the beauty of the mountains during the summer months, and gave us a little time for snow play. Even during summer months you will find snow, especially the higher you go in elevation.
The park is brimming with natural beauty from its amazing wildlife viewing, sparkling lakes, charming meadows, and great hiking paths. We had pulled over several times so my daughter could take photos of the wildlife, which was a great childhood memory for her. There are many types of wildlife in the Rocky Mountains from elk, moose, coyotes, black bears and big horn sheep, just to name a few.
Trail Ridge Road is the parks most popular road, which will lead you to the tundra, and very high elevation points. The tundra is above the tree line and beyond where anything green grows. The land is barren with rocks and mounds of earth that were left behind by Ice Age glaciers. Additionally, the Rocky Mountains is home to the Continental Divide and separates east from west at Milner Pass, at the 10,758 feet elevation.
If you are not familiar with higher elevations or if you have been to high elevation locations, it may take time to become acclimated. Drink water and walk slow if you have to, because the oxygen level does decrease the higher you go in elevation. Keep in mind that trees also need oxygen to live, and the tree line does end the higher you go. This will give you a gage of how far you are going in elevation, and to test it out. I have seen others who had severe altitude sickness, and it was a terrible thing for them to experience while on a vacation.
If you decide to drive past the tree line and hit the tundra, I recommend checking out the Alpine Visitor Center. It is along Trail Ridge Road and is the highest elevation visitors center in the National Park Center, at 11, 796 feet.
Exploring the Rocky National Park is enormously popular during the summer months, and I recommend planning your days at the park to get the most of your visit. Do not forget to pull over when you see wildlife like moose, big horn sheep, mule deer or elk to take photos. Just a reminder to not approach or try to feed the animals, no matter how beautiful they are. Do make lots of memories while searching for that Rocky Mountain high!
For visiting information and current park fees, please visit – NPS Rocky Mountain
The greatest adventure is what lies ahead…JRR TOLKEIN
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