Emerald Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park

Today, a friend and I drove to Rocky Mountain National Park and went snowshoeing around Emerald Lake. It was about 12°F when we hit the trail, but it quickly warmed to the upper 20s and it ended up being a great day for snowshoeing. We passed two small lakes on our way, which were frozen solid and snow covered. The wind started to pick up when we neared Emerald Lake and it became pretty fierce as we made our way to the other side. Check out the video.

We headed back down the trail and stopped for lunch once we were out of the wind.  I had one of my trail favorites: smoked salmon and cream cheese wraps.  Not a long trek, but it was a good half day of snowshoeing.

Backpacking Rocky Mountain National Park

A friend from the Colorado Mountain Club and I planned a backpacking trip in Rocky Mountain National Park last weekend.  We took Friday off and stopped by the backcountry permit office inside the park and picked up our permit.  Permits are required for camping at backcountry sites, which are campsites with no facilities where you pack everything in and pack everything out.  We headed down to the Glacier Gorge area and headed up the trail.  My GPS didn’t want to cooperate, but we estimated that we covered about 14 miles over the weekend.  Not a marathon backpacking trip, but we saw some great scenery and it was good practice carrying our 60 pound packs to gear up for an even further trip next time.  The first night we camped under Longs Peak at the Boulder Brook site around 10,500 ft.  We could not have asked for better weather the entire weekend.  Temperatures were in the upper 30’s-40’s at night and 80’s during the day with crystal clear blue skies.  We did have a little wind in the evenings (ha, about 40 mph).  The second night we camped at the Old Forest Inn site near the Big Thompson River.  Here is some eye candy for you to enjoy:

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Invasion of the Elk!!

We decided to escape some of the heat and head to Rocky Mountain National Park on Saturday.  We have explored the park many times and it is always different and never gets old.  We entered through Estes Park and decided to take a different route up Old Fall River Road.  This is not the main road and we figured we would get away from some of the crowd.  It is an 11 mile dirt road to the top and it did not disappoint, with lots of wild flowers, animals and beautiful scenery.  We crossed the continental divide and headed down to the Timber Creek Campground on the Colorado River.  Luckily we found a spot, as this is peak camping season in the park.  We set up camp and relaxed and just hung around.  We have a new camp stove on order, so we decided not to cook a whole lot.  We did bring some freeze-dried camping beef stew, which was really good, but not so great a few hours later…  K enjoyed a few wine spritzers and I did NOT forget the beer.  After dinner, we were inundated with a herd of grazing elk.  We were in their territory, so they just strolled right through our camp like they owned the place.  The temperature dropped drastically to a chilly 40 degrees by morning.  We got up, had some coffee and eggs and hit the river for some fishing.  I was able to snag a few trout from the Colorado River, but nothing to brag about 🙂  We did come across two grazing moose, which really excited Furry B.  It is always great to get away to the mountains and we look forward to the next trip.

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