2011.9.24We didn’t plan to go to Rocky Mountain National Park because we knew we wouldn’t have time to reach the west side of the park with more majestic views, but after spending the morning at Denver, we found that we still had several hours left for the day. Boulder is only 30 miles north to Denver. Except its main street, which is a typical suburban shopping area, there was not much to see, so we didn’t make any stop. After another 50 miles, we were at Estes Park, a small town next to the park.

Estes Park is crowded place because a lot of people stay there for the night while visiting the park. Entering the national park, we stopped at Beaver Meadows Visitor Center. It’s almost 3pm. The ranger told us we’d have enough time to see the park’s east side and walk several trails. We first took Bear Lake Rd. to its end. It’s very cloudy at the time. The sky was featureless. We turned back almost right away and only took a couple of pictures along the way.

Bear Lake Rd., Rocky Mountain National Park
Bank of Glacie Creek, near Bear Lake Trailhead
Bear Lake Rd., Rocky Mountain National Park
Same location towards Bear Lake Trailhead direction
Moose Family, Bear Lake Rd., Rocky Mountain National Park
A moose family attracted many spectators …
Long Lens on Moose, Bear Lake Rd., Rocky Mountain National Park
… and professional photographers.

The road was winding up after we tuned to Fall River Road. We stopped at one place that overlooks Moraine Park mountain range. There was a very professional-looking photographer who had taken the best spot and was patiently waiting for the sunset. We didn’t have that luxury so I took several shots and kept on driving.

Moraine Park Mountain Range, Rocky Mountain National Park
Moraine Park mountain range before sunset.

We left the loop and turned to the Old Fall River Road. After about 1 mile, a short walk on Alluvial Fan trail led us to a waterfall. The waterfall was not very impressive, but on the trail, we saw several tiny chipmunks standing on tree twigs and eating fruits from the tree. They were the cutest animals we’ve ever seen.

Water Fall at Alluvial Fan, Rocky Mountain National Park
Water fall at Alluvial Fan trail end
The Cutest Chipmunk, Rocky Mountain National Park
The cutest chipmunk standing on the tree branches at Alluvial Fan trail

We returned to the loop but soon found the road was jammed. The park had an event at that night called “Elk bugling”. We felt that we had seen enough Elks in Banff, so we turned back and left the park through the way we came.

Just after we passed Estes Park, when the sun dropped below the horizon, the sky suddenly turned clear and the color became very sublet. I believe that photographer could make some good pictures. It’s something we as tourists cannot afford, waiting on the best location for the best moment. We booked the hotel at Colorado Spring, which was still 3 hours away.

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One Response to Colorado Fall Color – Rocky Mtn. NP

  1. Sithu says:

    Colorado is such an amazing place to visit for all its ootduor attractions and landscapes.This is one to add to the list of things to see next time I come through the area.Thanks for posting

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