The Rocky Mountains, and the National Park
Commonly referred to as the Rockies, the Rocky Mountains span almost the entire length of the North American Continent, providing a critical wildlife habitat, varied ecosystems, and numerous locations for exploring and adventure. In the US, Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the countries most visited National Parks, with approximately 3.4 million visitors each year.
There are numerous activities available in Rocky Mountain National Park, and the surrounding areas, from calming wildflower walks, bird watching and star gazing trips, to the adrenaline surging zip lining and white water rafting. Making the road trip through the park, stopping at various look outs for the amazing views, and catching the wildlife in action, is one of the most popular choices.
Trail Ridge Road
A road trip through the Rockies in this amazing park means taking Trail Ridge Road. This happens to be the highest paved road on the North American continent, reaching almost 12,200 feet above sea level. Trail Ridge winds and climbs, crossing the Continental Divide, and trekking into differing ecosystems such as subalpine forest and tundra.
The park is open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, be mindful that Trail Ridge Road is closed at a certain elevation, from October 15, through Memorial Day weekend. It can close at other times due to weather conditions making it impassable. Visitors should always stop at the visitor’s center inside the park to check road conditions before attempting the drive. However, better to check http://www.weather.gov/ and search Trail Ridge CO, ahead of time so plans be adjusted before hand, rather being disappointed on the spot.
Our gallery is contributed by Robert Stauffer.
Robert made the Trail Ridge Road drive through Rocky Mountain National Park with his family, for the first time in July. Robert shares what he learned about the Rocky Mountains, and the park, and his feelings about the road trip, in his article Driving Rocky Mountain National Park, so check that out for more information!
But before that, check out all his photos, to see baby elk, perma-freeze snow, glacial remains, and miles of stunning peaks. Be sure to click on the pictures to see them in full size.