Rocky Mountain National Park

A beautiful autumn picnic on the Old Fall River Road

Aspens changing

Rocky Mountain National Park in northern Colorado spans the Continental Divide and encompasses protected mountains, forests and alpine tundra. It’s known for the Trail Ridge Road and the Old Fall River Road, drives that pass aspen trees and rivers. The Keyhole Route, a climb crossing vertical rock faces, leads up Longs Peak, the park‚Äôs tallest mountain. A trail surrounding Bear Lake offers views of the peaks.

THE OLD FALL RIVER Road:

-11 miles long, one way uphill 

-Fall River Pass is 11,796 feet above sea level

This motor nature trail, constructed in 1921, was the first auto route in Rocky Mountain National Park offering access to the park’s high country and was the first route over the Continental Divide. It follows a route traveled long ago by Indian hunters who came for the abundant game.

Today it is a one-way gravel road that runs between Endovalley and the Alpine Visitor Center at Fall River Pass. It is narrow and has many switchbacks (hence trailers or vehicles over 25 feet are not allowed) but it is a beautiful and safe drive.

The road continues along its narrow path offering views across the valley of Sundance Mountain high in the alpine tundra. The road climbs up out of the trees to the Fall River Cirque, the starting point of a glacier that carved the steep chasms of the Fall River valley.

Rocky Mountain National Park.Com
Fall River Road Picnic

Driving the Old Fall River Road is a favorite annual day trip from our home in Ft Collins. Today, temperatures ranged from 69 degrees in Estes Park, to 53 degrees at Alpine Visitor Center at nearly 12,000 ft elevation. Sunny and warm, Sally though it was a perfect day for a steam-side picnic. Fresh pears, locally made Brie Cheese, crackers

Fall River Cirque
The view from the Alpine Visitor Center. Winds gusting to 33 mph, but the sun was warming

Colorado Backcountry Camping Above 10,000 Feet

Sally’s first nights in a tent in over 30 years (she, of course was 9 years old then…..ūüŹē

I planned a 3-day off-road tent camping trip with my lovely wife Sally, to appreciate the summer Colorado High Country. I “tent-camp” annually, but Sally has not slept in a tent for 30+ years. Will she agree to go again? ¬†I will do my best to make this trip adventurous, fun and also offer tasty dishes to entice her back again!

We will tour “Jeep trails” in the Roosevelt National Forest of Northern Colorado at around 10,000-11,000 feet elevation, do some fishing and explore the natural beauty. ¬†There are still lots of wildflowers in the Colorado high country in late July!

Continue reading “Colorado Backcountry Camping Above 10,000 Feet”

Winter Snowscape

Friday morning: our neighbors call to inform us that the snow-covered roads to our cabin are once again open, so we immediately headed up for two nights.

Friday afternoon: the winds were howling! ¬†4 large semi tractor/trailer trucks are¬†laying on their sides next to the road. The 60+ mph winds blew them over as they attempted to come over the pass into Laramie. Continue reading “Winter Snowscape”

Real winter in the Colorado High Country…..

Our friends and cabin neighbors (who are full-time mountain¬†residents and hardy folks), have been “snowed-in” for almost 3 weeks. ¬†The roads were¬†closed by early snow storms, and since the county does not plow to clear them, our friends¬†have been unable to get to town. ¬† Continue reading “Real winter in the Colorado High Country…..”