This morning Barb and I got up early so we could spend the entire day in Rocky Mountain National Park. Today we had a beautiful blue sky, which makes for much better pictures. Of course, we had to stop at nearly every overlook to take photos.
At the Kawuneeche Visitor Center we saw a wonderful film about the wildlife and weather conditions during the four seasons. Rocky Mountain National Park is home to more than 1,000 species of plants, 280 types of birds and 66 species of mammals. This diversity reflects three distinct life systems corresponding to elevation: montane, sub-alpine and alpine. Due to the harsh conditions in the alpine elevations, the plants are very small. The alpine tundra is fragile so visitors are required to walk only on designated paths.
Our last stop was at Grand Lake. It is situated on the western border of Rocky Mountain National Park, near the headwaters of the Colorado River. Grand Lake is Colorado’s largest natural lake. The village of Grand Lake is surrounded by Shadow Mountain, Grand Lake, the national park and Arapaho National Recreation Area. It is a lovely setting. (www.grandlakechamber.com)
Then we had to go back through Rocky Mountain National Park to return to Estes Park. The only other option was to go to Denver to get back to Estes Park – a much longer drive! On the way back through the park, we didn’t stop.