Rocky Mountain National Park – July 19th, 2014

We’re getting a new addition to the family in the next few weeks, another Brittany puppy. Heather is so excited. The puppies are in Lyons and this is our chance to make our pick so we decided to do something special and go to Rocky Mountain National Park for the weekend. For this trip we were joined by Sara’s father Bill and one of Heather’s friends as well.

We left home on Friday night after work and drove to Estes Park where we stayed at the KOA. While we’ve had decent luck in the past with car camping at KOA campgrounds, this one left quite a bit to be desired. The campsites were hard gravel, right next to a very smelly and noisy horse stable. In addition the campsites were small and separated by a wood fence. No views to be had anywhere. The staff and service were nice but I don’t think we’d stay there again.

We woke up early Saturday morning and picked up a quick breakfast and coffee at Starbucks. From there we drove to the Fern Lake trailhead to begin today’s hike. The trail began by following the Big Thompson River through a forest of pine with very large ferns in the undergrowth. We followed the river for a while until we reached a bridge and trail junction. From there you go right to Fern Lake, passing Fern Falls along the way with a side trail to Spruce Lake at the top.

The Big Thompson:

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Heather on some rocks along the trail:

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Sara and I at Fern Falls:

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Fern Lake. A very nice subalpine lake full of cutthroat trout.

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After Fern Lake we took the two mile (round trip) trail to Spruce Lake. This trail was hard to follow at times but quite fun. Once we got there we had snacks and wine while watching these two fishermen. In the twenty minutes we spent there they caught no less than six fish! Note to fishermen reading this, Spruce Lake looks good.

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After hiking back to the car it was still early so we decided to take a drive up Trail Ridge Road for some sightseeing. We stopped at the high point in the road and walked the paved trail to some interesting rock formations and a couple of nice views. We also saw several elk along the road. A nice end to a great day.

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Tomorrow Sara and I hike Chasm Lake and we pick a puppy!

 

 

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