Rocky Mountain National Park
After a night filled with the high pitched bugles of mating elk we woke to a fog covered world. Fortunately within an hour the fog cleared and the sun came out.
We headed to a hike not far from Timber Creek campsite and walked through the woods to the ruins of Lulu City – an old mining town. We’d picked a walk with not too much elevation gain because we were both a little short of breath from the altitude.
We got to the ruins of Lulu city to find that it was really just a clearing in the woods and that there were no actual ruins. There was a very pretty river though that we sat and had lunch by.
After this we thought we would extend the hike a bit and we went to the Little Yellowstone Canyon – this involved a stiff uphill hike and we were both very out of breath from this. What was went to be a short acclimatisation hike turned into over 10 miles and we ended up at around 3200m.
After getting back from the hike we drove across to the other side of the park on the Trail Ridge Road. We knew we were getting high when we hit a sign saying that we were 2 miles above sea level – and we were still going up. We finally hit almost 3700m and the ridge was barren and windswept but there was no snow even at this height. A real sign of how far south we have come.
We descended back down to around 2500m to the Moraine Park Campsite to spend the night. This campsite was much busier than the Timber Creek on the other side of the Park. I suppose this isn’t surprising as this side is nearer to Denver and there is a lot more population nearby.
The next day we awoke to blue skies and what looked like a lovely day. We set off for Bear Lake which was the trailhead for a 3 mile walk to three lakes – Nymph, Dream and Emerald. These were simply stunning. On the way back we sat down to admire Nymph lake and we were joined by a very friendly duck who came right up to us – obviously used to handouts.
When we turned around and started heading back the wind had started to rise and clouds had come in. We had planned to go back over the Trail Ridge Road but given the weather we thought we’d better check the forecast at the visitor centre before heading up to the Alpine. Good thing we did because they told us there were hurricane force winds and it was currently snowing. 7 inches of snow was forecast for the night. We didn’t need telling twice – time to leave.