Yellowstone 2011 travel blog




















This morning we drove back into the park, but this time we headed south on Hwy. 7, new territory for us. We were hoping to do a shorter hike today. First we tried Longs Peak, but this turned out to be a crowded area, so we drove on to Wild Basin. The road to the ranger’s station was gravel and quite dusty, elevation 8,500 ft. We found the trailhead for Copeland Falls, Calypso Cascades and Ouzel Falls close by, and decided to hike as far as Calypso Cascades, which was 1.8 miles and altitude gain of 700 ft.

This trail turned out to be a real find. At the beginning we saw an assortment of wildflowers, but mainly it goes thru stands of aspen, as well as dense forest. The real beauty was the superb river scenery in the first ¾ of a mile, probably the best in the park. We couldn’t help but stop at numerous spots along the river; it was just that beautiful. Then we came to Copeland Falls, which was fantastic. And, there were clearings along the trail to get an unobscured view of upper and lower falls—couldn’t decide which was the best view!

Nearly a mile after the falls, the trail leaves the scenic river. After crossing a log bridge near the point where Cony Creek joins North St. Vrain Creek, the trail gets a little steeper, and after .3 mile we reached Calypso Cascades. I guess that last winter had more than average amounts of snowfall, because our hiking book says not to expect a torrent, that these cascades are not a “large feature.” Lucky for us, that info did not apply this summer. Calypso Cascades was probably the highest and most beautiful mountain cascade I’ve ever seen. We sat for quite a while on a rock near the base trying to soak in the beauty and raw power of this cascade. After our brief respite, we turned around and hiked back to the trailhead. So much for choosing a “shorter” hike today!

We were tired and getting hungry, so headed north on Hwy. 7 towards Estes Park. We made one more stop, though, at the St. Malo Retreat Center in Allenspark, Colorado. I noticed the pretty old church on the way to Wild Basin and decided I wanted to take some pictures on our way home. It is a modern, nonprofit facility located on 160 acres of wooded land which offers programs and use of the facilities to groups exclusively for religious and spiritual purposes, according to info I looked up on Google.

Once back in Estes Park, we stopped for lunch and then for groceries. When we arrived at the campground, we discovered that we had new neighbors, a couple from Beech Mountain, NC, George and Linda. We ended up sitting outside on their patio for quite some time just talking, sharing camping experiences and our travels. What a great couple!


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