Rocky Mountain National Park

Activity Date: 
10/25/2003 - 10/29/2003

We spent quite a few days in Rocky Mountain National Park and some of the surrounding national forests. The weather was wild. One day we were in 70 degree sun, the next we had 15 degree snow storms.

Mills Lake

On our hikes, streams had frozen areas and icicles.

Ice on branch

All of the hikes had spectacular lakes, mountains, streams and forests. This was a beautiful trail through pine and aspen.

Trail view

Lake view

This is a HUGE boulder with rosy and green tones.

Broken boulder

At the end of this hiking day, we returned to the Moraine Park campground in the National Park. As we came around a corner, there was a large herd of elk hanging out in a deserted part of the campground. Wow, absolutely no people... just us and about a hundred elk. We hung out with them for quite a while to take lots of pictures and video.  Here are some of our favorites.

Elk face

This was the bull elk in charge of the herd. He did a lot of bugling to keep the herd going where he wanted.

Bull elk

And, of course, there were youngsters.

Young elk

This bird was making the rounds cleaning all kinds of stuff off the elk. I'd say this was a very patient elk to put up with the pecking!

Bird grooming elk Bird on elk Bird grooming elk

Many of the elk were hidden in the long grasses.

Elk in grass

Elk licking

We finally packed up our cameras and headed back to our campsite. Surprisingly, the herd of elk ended up going right past our site and across into a meadow.  The bull elk had to urge the straggling herd on with lots of bugling. This was the view from our campsite as they slowly headed to the meadow.

Elk herd in meadow

Another great hike, this time to Mills Lake.

Trail view Scenic view

Scenic view Trail view

Ridge Trail drive takes you across the the highest plateau of the park.  The peaks are spectacular. One problem is that it was extremely windy. We had to drive the RV, and those wind gusts felt like they were going to blow us off the road. So, we only made it about halfway and had to turn around. It was difficult standing still to take a picture in that much wind!

Scenic view

As you can see, it was quite stormy looking. No surprise, since a snow storm came in after this.

Scenic view

A view over the more gentle side of the mountains.

Scenic view

We would have loved to stay in the Rockies longer, but winter had arrived.