Thursday, September 17, 2009

Rocky Mountain National Park

There is a paved road through Rocky Mountain National Park, but you can also drive up the unpaved Old Fall River Road.

The first site on the Old Road is this alluvial fan. It was formed in 1982, when a dam 4 miles uphill failed, and rocks and sediment came crashing down, along with 29 million gallons of water. A dam downstream also failed, and six-foot deep flood waters entered the town of Estes Park. Finally the next dam held and controlled the floodwaters.

Chasm Falls is very pretty, and missed if you take the main paved road.

But on the main road, you can see these two beautiful hanging lakes.

Soon, you're above the tree line.

The road goes up over 12,000 feet above sea level. At the Alpine Visitor Center, you get a good view of a cirque, formed by glacial ice.

And down in the valley below the visitor center are a bunch of elk. Do they pay them to come entertain the tourists? Here are a bunch of males-

And here are the females. Hmmmmmm.... Isn't this mating season?? Do I have to explain how this works??


  1. Beautiful! Especially the cirque formed by the glacier!

    Safe travels. I enjoy your blog.


  2. Cool pictures! We took the Fall River Road twice this trip. The second time we went up was like going from late summer into early winter by the time we got to the top. The wind chill was in the mid 30s and it was raining and spitting a little bit of ice and snow with the rain.

    In Oklahoma on last stop before getting home.
    Haw Creek Out 'n About

  3. Great. There is some color in those aspens. Time for me to make a day trip to RMNP from Denver (Westminster Elks) and check out the colors. Thanks for the color report.

  4. I took the big paved loop road on my motorcycle. Thanks for showing me what I missed by not taking the dirt road!!

  5. Your picture of the aspens has me hoping the ones we planted will be as beautiful!

  6. Absolutely love the pics, maybe you just missed the action and the elk were resting?? :o) I also loved looking at the snow on the mountains. I so hope it snows this winter here in NC.

  7. 12000 feet that pretty high. I bet the road is impassible in winter. Will you be working your way south for the winter?

  8. Lynn, now that you mention it, those males do look really tired..

    Hi Dave, yes, the road is closed in winter, and I'm heading south. First to Utah, Moab and then a week on a houseboat, then down the Colorado River.

  9. Tsk, tsk, are you taking those one-handed pictures again?


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