Day Trip: Rocky Mountain National Park and Grand Lake

2013-04-05 13.37.08Another day Elisabeth was here, we went up to the Rocky Mountains. We picked Gene up on the way and drove to the mountains via the Idaho Springs/Winter Park/Grand Lake side. Although construction is starting on I-70, when we went, both it and traffic were almost non-existent. The sky was cloudy when we drove up there but that was pretty much the only downfall on the drive. We stopped at Berthoud Pass for a break and to eat lunch. The view was awe-inspiring. As you can see, there was still A LOT of snow in April. I knew there would still be some, but I wasn’t expecting this much. We didn’t let that stop us from exploring and enjoying our surroundings. Gene found a huge icicle while walking around the restroom.
2013-04-05 13.37.25While eating lunch we spotted a snowboarder making his way to the top of the mountain so he could board down. We tried to wait to see him go down but soon we lost him in the trees. Hopefully he was able to make his way back down with no issues.

After the little break we drove the rest of the way to Grand Lake. It was so empty. Most of the stores were closed. I had wanted to get caramel apples for all of us, especially since Elisabeth had never tried one, but the places that had them weren’t open. Sadness. So instead we drove down to the lake and walked on the frozen water for a bit. It was a very pretty view, slightly different from what it looks like in the summer!

We headed up to the Rocky Mountain National Park and drove almost as far as the road would take us. Because there is still a lot of snow, the road is closed after a few miles. It will open back up once the weather gets nicer. We attempted to hike the Timber Lake trail but only hiked for maybe 30 minutes before we decided it was time to head back. The problem? The snow was a couple of feet high and although some of it was packed down, the slightest misstep would land you with your legs at least knee-deep in snow. Elisabeth was having a very difficult time of it and actually fell into the snow completely a couple of times.

2013-04-05 16.53.08Once we got back to the car we all attempted to dry off a bit. Elisabeth took off her shoes and socks and literally rang her socks out. We didn’t want to give up so soon though because we wanted to see more of the mountains so as we were driving back through the park we stopped at the Bowen and Baker trail. There was snow here too but we walked out a bit just to see the gorgeous views.

We drove back to Grand Lake and to the Adams Falls hike. We decided to try one more hike, hoping that since it was closer to town and possibly at a slightly lower elevation, there would be less snow.

And we were right! Previous hikers had packed the snow down so there was barely any chance of sinking. We walked to Adam’s Falls and enjoyed the snow-covered waterfall. By the time we arrived at the car again it was really windy and dark. We headed back home and were greeted with both rain and snow. Thankfully there weren’t any issues getting back.

Although the park is still beautiful during the snow months, I much prefer it during the summer. Elisabeth will just have to come back so she can actually go hiking and see the breathtaking views that surround us.

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