Rocky Mountain

Rocky Mountain National Park is located about 1.5 hour drive away from Denver, Colorado. Its main features are the mountains and the varied environments from forests to mountain tundras. You can drive the Trail Ridge Road, a stretch of US Highway 39 that goes through the park from Estes Park in the east to Grand Lake in the west. The road is the highest continuous highway in the United States, reaching maximum elevation around 12,100 feet elevation.

I went to the Rocky Mountain National Park while visiting some relatives who lived in Denver during a 4th of July weekend one year. We went on a trip where we drove to the park and visited a camp ground in the park to listen to a presentation on elks on the first day, stayed at the nearby Estes Park for the night, and on the second day drove up the Trail Ridge Road past its highest elevation. It was pretty interesting to notice the difference the high elevation makes to the wildlife and vegetation. Temperature went from the 80s in Denver when we started the road trip to the 40s up there. Not only it was cold, but it was also quite windy. We saw wildflowers and other tundra vegetations, and learned from the park ranger on a short tour of the tundra that everything was so low to the ground so they’re able to withstand the high winds.

The photo below was taken at a stop on the Trail Ridge Road up on the mountain. This was a trailhead for a hike in the mountain tundras. It was too cold for us to take on this hike, and some of us started feeling a bit woozy from not the elevation change (and lower oxygen level up there), so we decided to head back down the mountains instead.

Trail head at Rocky Mountain

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