I decided to make my final National Park experience on this Drive-about to be Rocky Mountain National Park. I’ve been to RMNP at least three other times, maybe more, but I hadn’t ever camped in the park and haven’t really spent much time here. I was in the park from August 20th to the 21st, so only one night.

When I got into the park, coming in through Grand Lake area, I easily found a campsite at the Timber Creek Campground. I then went to the Timber Lake Trailhead and hiked up that for about two miles. The hike to the lake was about five miles, but at the two mile mark, there was a giant landslide damage area, so downed trees all over the place, it was very impassable. And to hike around the landslide damage took you literally straight up the mountain; it would have been very strenuous and hard, and was not something I was interested in attempting. I didn’t really have any plans to make it to the lake anyway, I just had kinda wanted to checkout the landslide damage, as that landslide was caused by the 2013 flood. It was crazy to see damage from that flood still, but that flood was truly very destructive, and seeing how intense the landslide damage was, I’m not sure if it will be cleaned up in even five years from now. But perhaps one day.

Anyway, after I hiked back to my car, Leslie, I drove up to the Farview curve and looked out there. This was along Trail Ridge Road, the east side of the road, before it really began to climb the mountains. At Farview curve I turned around and went back to camp for the night.

The next morning I woke up and headed past Farview Curve along Trail Ridge Road and I made the Medicine Bow curve my first official stop along the way. I then headed to The Alpine Visitor Center, where I did the short but steep walk up the mountain to see a 360 degree panoramic view of the surrounding Rocky Mountain National Park, very cool place, top elevation there was 12,005 feet above sea level.

After the Alpine Visitor Center I stopped at the Lava Cliffs pullout for a little bit then I did the Tundra Communities Trail, which was a mile one way, so another short little walk. That was cool, as little plaques every few hundred feet told stories about different aspects of the tundra there, the plants and wildlife and rock formations. So this morning, the morning of August 21st, had absolutely beautiful weather. Clear skies, no clouds in sight, and was not too warm while not too cold; the perfect temperature for the perfect drive along Trail Ridge Road, which is seriously probably one of my favorite roads to drive; it is so very scenic, and is only open for 4.5 months out of the entire year. Weather up here can be extremely intense and very erratic, which is why having completely clear skies was truly a special experience, as I feel as if that is rare there.

After I left the Tundra Communities Trail I drove along the Trail Ridge Road again to get to the Rainbow Curve where I took more Pictures. Then, at the Deer Ridge Junction, I drove north to get to the Endovalley picnic area, where I hung out briefly at; I thought I could see a waterfall from there, but I couldn’t. I then exited the park and headed to Boulder, my next and more or less final stop for this trip.


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Alex Galassi

I'm Alex Galassi, born and raised in Centennial, Colorado. I currently work at a web design company, and I travel quite often, both domestically and internationally.

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