Magnificent. Amazing. Inspiring. I invite you to join me on a Rocky Mountain National Park Adventure. We will explore mountain lakes, flowers and animals that invoke a sense of peace and relaxation. Breathing in the clean mountain air is truly healthful. Spending time at a quiet mountain lake allows for reflection. I encourage you to relax and enjoy the view.
Peaceful Mountain Lakes
Sprague Lake is a popular lake located in the southeast part of the park. We visited the lake early in the morning just after the sun came up and at dusk before the sun set for the day. The wonderful clean scents of the lake is just not something that can be captured through a picture. As part of our Rocky Mountain National Park Adventure, we returned to this lake several times during our stay in the Rockies.
Gem Lake is a less popular hiking destination due to the location of the lake. The trailhead is located on the east side of the park, and is more commonly known to local hikers. The hike to Gem Lake was a wonderful physical challenge, due to the terrain of the trail and the altitude gain. Just when you think you will never find this elusive lake, it appears around one more bend of boulders. The remoteness of this lake allows for peace and quiet. Gem Lake has a unique distinction of having no inlet or outlet stream. It holds water from the glacier melt.
On one of our Rocky Mountain National Park adventures, we hiked to Emerald Lake. The Emerald Lake trailhead is located off of popular Bear Lake, meaning you must get up early to get a parking spot! It was worth getting an early start on the trail; less people, quiet, and more wildlife. Emerald Lake evokes a sense of peace and remoteness due to it being at the end of the trail. The lake is surrounded by steep mountain terrain. The abundance of beauty in the rivers, waterfalls and smaller wildlife we passed while hiking to this lake was worth every step!
Surrounded by Beauty
Words can not describe the sun rising up over the mountains early in the morning. We saw a few other photographers that rose early to shoot the sun, however everyone was very quiet and respectful of the moment. We arrived at the first scenic outlook on Trail Ridge Road at 6:15am to capture this breathtaking view. The sunrise reminded me to be thankful that I was privileged to enjoy another day.
Rocky Mountain National Park is the home to beautiful wildflowers. These wildflowers can be found in abundance in the meadows and along hiking trails. Wildflowers are a symbol of natural beauty. Many flowers can be seen while driving around the park. We really enjoyed the beauty of these flowers on hidden meadows on our hikes.
The hike to Alberta Falls is a popular one. Hikers can access this lake by parking at Bear Lake. It is a short 1 mile hike to the roaring falls. The power and beauty of the falls was incredible! The smaller falls above Alberta were just as beautiful. I can only image the volume of water that comes down these falls after the snow melts in the late spring and early summer.
Wildlife viewing is refreshing in so many ways. First it requires slowing down and observing the life around us. Second, it connects us with the natural world. Lastly, it is wonderful to share these unique and peaceful experiences with the people you love.
Rocky Mountain National Park is home to many elk herds. We were fortunate to see these beautiful creatures every day for a week. They were grazing peacefully in Moraine Park, walking through the woods, or even visiting our campground. It amazed us how tourists will go a little crazy when they see elk, and do almost anything for a picture. One evening we thoroughly enjoyed watching two young bucks play at Sprague Lake, it was definitely better than any show on the television.
Bighorn sheep also live in Rocky Mountain National Park. They will come down from the mountains to graze at Sheep Lakes. Sheep Lakes provide the animals with much needed salt and minerals to keep them healthy. We saw many ewes and lambs grazing in the park. It is another refreshing experience, to stop and observe these unique creatures.
The Least Chipmunk and Golden Mantled Ground Squirrels were running here and there on our hike to Dream Lake and Emerald Lake. They were quite friendly, so my guess would be they have taken advantage of crumbs dropped by hikers. On one of hikes down we saw four sibling ground squirrels playing with each other, it was quite a site!
One my favorite moments of our Rocky Mountain National Park adventure is the moose sightings. These magnificent mammals feed off the deciduous shrubs around the mountain lakes. The lakes also provide aquatic vegetation, which is another important food source. Moose are excellent swimmers, even the calves. It was thrilling to see them fed and play in Rocky Mountain National Park. Rocky Mountain Park Rangers reported it has only been in the last 8-10 years that moose have started moving towards the east side of the park.
Rocky Mountain National Park Adventure promotes both physical and mental health. Hiking is healthy for your heart, muscles, and your bones. Learn more about why you can benefit from hiking by visiting Healthy Outdoor Summer Activities.
Visiting the park is wonderful for you mentally by providing time away from the stress and demands of life. Since their is no cellular phone service within the park, you can take a break from your cell phone, tablet and computer. It is great for your body to eliminate exposure to electromagnetic frequencies, even if it is for a few hours.
The purpose behind sharing one of our families adventures is to encourage you to create your own. I hope I was able to bring back some of the essence of Rocky Mountain National Park to share with you. The Estes Park Visitor Center has wonderful information on where to stay, local maps and up to date information on the National park.
Do you have adventures that renew your health? Please share! If you specifically have experienced the Rocky Mountains, I would love to hear what brought you joy from your visit.
Until our next adventure!