Rocky Mountain National Park
After two weeks in the south of the United States and our road trip through New Mexico, Arizona and Utah, we are back in Colorado. We spend a few days in Rocky Mountain National Park.
East side of the park
We first visit the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park. The village of Estes Park, a few minutes away from the east entrance (Beaver Meadows Entrance Station), is ideally located to enjoy the popular Bear Lake area. Despite heavy traffic and overcrowd due to tourism, this small village is very pleasant. We especially like the nice and quiet promenade along the river and the cafes there.
During our first hike in the park, we discover one after the other sumptuous lakes: Bear Lake, Nymph Lake, Dream Lake, Emerald Lake and last but not least Haiyaha Lake. Our second objective is the Sky Pond hike. After checking the current conditions with a ranger at the visitor center, we have to come up with a plan B. Due to snow and ice still covering the trail to Sky Pond, the hike is currently not recommended. At the same time, we find out that most of the high altitude hikes are still snow covered. We change our plans for a short and pleasant hike to Bierstadt Lake.
Five Lakes Hike
West side of the park
Grand Lake is ideally located to visit the west side of the park. This lively little town is also perfect for relaxing, strolling through the stores, cafes and restaurants, walking along the lakefront or enjoying water activities. Due to our very spontaneous planning, we unfortunately can’t find an accommodation there anymore and stay a few kilometers away, around the ski station in Granby.
On this side of the park, there’s also lots of hikes. Our attention turns to the ascent of Mount Ida. This hike gives us the opportunity to go up a 3924m summit through a trail which doesn’t have too many technical difficulties. We start at Milner Pass already at an altitude of 3279m. After a steep passage through the forest, we reach the tundra where we are welcomed by many marmots and get a first glimps of the summit. The last part of the ascent leads us through rock fields. At the top, we are rewarded with a breathtaking 360° view of a multitude of mountains over 4000m, the Grand Lake region and various alpine lakes which still haven’t been explored due to their remote location.