Greetings from Rocky Mountain National Park

 I am blessed to live only 45 minutes from Rocky Mountain National Park.  This means I can experience the park many times and in different seasons.  Each time is a new experience, even if the trail is the same.  The weather can change from a gentle breeze to a gale force wind to snow to sunshine in just a few moments.  Elk, black bears, moose, big horn sheep, deer, marmots, pikas, and snowshoe hares have crossed my paths in the park over the years.  
 My most unusual encounter while in Rocky was on a hike to Mills Lake in the winter, one of my favorites.  Mountains, waterfalls, lakes, views - what more could a person want?  This time though, I did a double take when looking across the frozen lake.  A couple who looked to be in their late 70’s were ice skating!   They were obviously skilled but were skating gingerly, gliding across the thick ice doing slow spins and tiny bunny hops.  Another younger lady was taking photos of the pair.  I wondered if the skating was for a special occasion, not a regular routine.  I never talked to them, just watched for a while.  Musing on the hike back to the car, I wondered, was this something they did when they were younger?  Was it for a big anniversary photo or to cross off a bucket list item?  I’ll likely never know but will cherish this memory that reminds me that each visit to a National Park is special. 


Rocky Mountain National Park

This dramatic landscape of towering mountains and alpine lakes encompasses more than 265,000 acres - 95% of which are designated wilderness. With this intentional focus on protecting this unique landscape, there are few developed infrastructure areas in the park, which leads to traffic problems in areas including the Bear Lake Road Corridor and right off Trail Ridge Road. Alpine tundra also encompasses approximately 1/3 of the park. Alpine tundra is a fundamental and fragile resource, which requires park managers to give this ecosystem increased attention for protection.

State(s): Colorado

Established: 1915

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