Padinago's trip to the USA in 2008

Day 3 - From Denver to Estes Park, CO and The Rocky Mountains NP

Today we get up around 7am, get packed and leave for Estes Park. We drive through beautiful sceneries, green prairies surrounded by impressive mountains, most of them still covered with snow. We stop very often in order to enjoy the view and the further we drive, the more we see mountains surrounding us.

One of the stops is at the Eldorado Canyon State Park. We put on our hiking shoes, warm sweaters (as it is still chilly in the morning), we park the car and go for a walk in the park. We walk next to a beautiful river with small waterfalls, the trail goes slowly upwards and we are surrounded by steep mountain walls where lots of climbers give full vent to their passion. We make a short stop at the Eldorado Springs.

We drive further until we reach the Rocky Mountain National Park. We intended to drive to Lake Granby but we had to cancel as there was too much snow. We are still surrounded by impressive, intimidating mountains covered with snow. It is still a beautiful sunny day. We choose a nice little place to have our picknick. It seems to get colder so we don’t stay too long. The higher we get, the colder it gets but still we have a blue sky, sometimes a dark cloud but no rain. We drive to the top of the mountain to get a view of the valley and the mountain range covered with snow. We get out of the car to take some pictures and enjoy the magnificent view, we have the company of a few chipmunks and a beautiful Steller’s Jay.

We drive further through the park, where we are told that some roads are closed due to the snow so we will see until where we can get. We stop very often to enjoy the scenery and suddenly it starts to snow a little bit so we decide to turn back as we do not want to take the risk to get into a blizzard.
On our way to the valley we stop at a ranch where I can not suppress my love for horses and I just need to caress them. We start talking to one of the ladies working at the ranch, she was a very friendly person.
After some pictures we drive further along beautiful waterfalls and once we reach Sprague Lake we stop in order to get some more picutes. Later on, we reach Bear Lake and go for a walk. This does not seem to be a good idea as it is FREEZING and we hurry back to the car!
Towards the evening we reach our hotel, where we get a beautiful huge room. We decide to have dinner in the village. As in the US everything is open 24/7 or at least very late we are full of confidence to find a nice dinner place. It seems that Estes Park is thé exception in the US as everything closes at 8pm so we cannot find any place to eat and have no other choice than to go to the McDonalds, just to get something against the hunger. After this ‘great’ meal we get back to the hotel and fall asleep from exhaustion.

Daytrip approx. 257 km

Eldorado Canyon State Park Estes Park Rocky Mountain National Park Rocky Mountain National Park Rocky Mountain National Park Rocky Mountain National Park Rocky Mountain National Park Rocky Mountain National Park Rocky Mountain National Park Rocky Mountain National Park