Rocky Mountain National Park on a Sunday Afternoon

Posted by

So, I had a date with my camera today. We went to Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado for an afternoon of hiking. I forgot the book with the trail descriptions so we had to wing it. I swear I’m losing my mind or getting lazy, or both.

Sean couldn’t come. He had a work shift to learn some search and rescue techniques for his part time winter job. He had to wear an ugly sweater,,,,since we didn’t have one, I lent him my cats drinking wine/martinis flannel pajama top to wear. My one regret in life: I did not take a picture of him actually in the pajama top.

Thisโ€™ll have to do. You get the jest of it!

Not bringing the book ended up being a godsend…only because I stopped at the first trailhead parking lot I came across. There were plenty of parking spots available. Of course the parking lot was an ice-skating rink with a glassy coat of ice from the recent snowstorm we had. Not my favorite.

It was the Bierstadt parking lot at the trailhead that takes you to Bierstadt Lake – I had never been there so this was a treat. My goal is to learn as much about this park as I can, while I can. I’d like to hike as many trails the park has to offer in the next 12 months. Lofty goal, but we all need goals to keep us focused right?

Backpacking next summer is on the agenda….I always feel to really enjoy a National Park, you have to get DEEP inside the park. Like hike more than 2 miles in; spend the night in the woods with all the bear and moose, marmots and porcupines.

Iโ€™m also looking forward to weekends full of snowshoeing this winter. Maybe next time I’ll stop at the Stanley Hotel for a cocktail. The Stanley Hotel was the inspiration for the movie the Shining, though I don’t believe any of the filming was done there. Somehow, in 18 years, I have not made it there. They have fantastic Halloween parties every year and I hear are some of the best.

Photo Courtesy of the Independent Travel Cats

The hike was only about 4 miles round trip to Bierstadt Lake and back…and would say it’s on the easy side. Not a whole lot of huffing and puffing. I liked it though, because it was well marked and groomed. It was a gorgeous day, but the winds were a tad bit gusty.. gusty enough to blow an old (er) woman off the trail.

I saw a few people coming down the path while I was going up – 2 single young-women by themselves. That made me happy – I highly respect independent women who will get out and do things on their own.

Once I passed all the mushy, muddy switchbacks to the maze of trails at the top, it was completely peaceful, I did not see another person for the next hour. The snow was packed – no snowshoes were needed – just a good set of kahtoola Microspikes to keep my feet from slipping.

I thought to myself, I have just been given a gift. Since when is this park not a zoo? I decided to take the time to reflect on the tragic events of the past few weeks. It was a good cleansing of thoughts and emotions – a much needed afternoon of solitude away from the blog, facebook and instagram.

Nature is my church. The wind in the trees and the bugs and the frogs. All those things are comfort to me.

~Sissy Spacek

Not a soul around!

Once I made it to Lake Bierstadat, I thought FOR SURE I would see a human…and also hoped to see a gigantic moose. Thankfully, I didn’t see a person, but sadly, I didn’t see a Moose either.

All in all, it was a great day. I ended it by walking up and down the main-street through the town of Estes Park – essentially the gateway to RMNP. Back in the day, Estes Park was full of taffy candy stores and “Mexican jewelry”. Today, there are even more taffy candy stores and Mexican Jewelry, but I also found at least 3 shops that were not filled with old, thread bare carpet and tchotchkes.

I think Estes Park may be heading in the right direction to attract a different kind of tourist. The only thing sort of concerning was the lack of restaurants that looked appealing. I’ll have to do some research next time I go. Now that I have a National Park Pass, I’ll be able to go anytime I feel like it. The 90 minute drive makes it an easy day trip from Boulder.

If anyone has any questions about the park, I am happy to try and answer!



This post is part of the 30-day November blogging challenge known as NanoPoblano2019. Our challenge is to write for 10 days, read othersโ€™ posts for 10 days, and share our posts for 10 days – could be to other social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or simply sharing with friends with a text link.

Check out this NanoPoblano2019 link and read some talented writers/bloggers posts! Don’t worry, they are way better than me ๐Ÿ™‚


  1. What a great hike Pam, looks absolutely amazing and how wonderful to do it on your own with so much time to enjoy the scenery and just enjoy your own thoughts. I love days out like that, so special.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s great that this park is so close to you. We hope that you accomplish the 12-month goals you’ve set for yourself ๐Ÿ˜Š… We just watched The Shining on Halloween so a cocktail at the Stanley Hotel would be our first stop!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! You have for-real snow. Please keep it there. I really don’t want any this year. I was reflecting on this yesterday while out hiking on leaf-strewn trails … wishing that this could last until spring. Yes, I’ve been told more than once that I’m delusional ๐Ÿ˜

    Your photos are beautiful and not having to share the trail with throngs of people is even a bigger treat.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! We had a storm blow through last week. There must be nearly 2 feet of packed snow up there. I swear we had three days of fall this year. It went from summer to snow. Boo. Just grateful I got to see some leaves in Munich.

      Hope your hike was lovely! No crowds in a national park was a Christmas miracle. It must be because I put the tree up so early. Haha.


  4. RMNP when it isn’t crowded is a delight. I’ve hiked that trail in the summer and it’s beautiful. I too found the restaurants in Estes Park lacking. Keep us posted on your research. I know it’s a tough job, but I’m sure you’re up to the challenge ๐Ÿ˜

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow! What an absolutely gorgeous place! Lovely, quite lovely those forests covered with snow…you have really brought them to life with such great photographs, Pam. Great work and a wonderful post!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Beautiful photos that really capture the calm of your hike. I like your line: “Lofty goal, but we all need goals to keep us focused right?” I need to remember that idea as I move forward in life. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That day WAS a gift, and you really made the most of it. I somehow managed to spend several hours totally alone on a trail at the Maroon Bells near Aspen one day, and your photos remind me very much of the blissful sense of solitude in nature I felt that day. The fact that it was unexpected, like yours in RMNP, made it even more special!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Itโ€™s so nice! If itโ€™s not long enough for you, you can hike to this lake and then hike to Bear lake as well or other parts of the park. I wanted to explore more, but ran out of time. Bear lake will probably be crowded ๐Ÿ˜ฌ. I just picked up a cross country ski and snowshoe CMC book from REI last weekend with tons of RMNP options. ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

  8. You and my husband have something in common – you like the solitude without people around- I don’t mind the people in my Path when I hike – but I can see how you all
    Love it!
    And enjoyed seeing the PJ top –
    Perfect for uggay sweater use…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great photos, as always! Man, it’s winter in the Colorado Rockies! We don’t have plans to come out there until April. I miss it! I will have to check out Nano Poblano. Maybe I’m too late!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I dont think so – check it out and join! Have you ever followed Rarasaur? She is the most amazing creative writer. We have been “blog friends” for years…she is amazing…interesting life too. Yes, get back to CO and stat ;-).

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I loved my brief tour through this area, and even took a gander inside the Stanley hoping to see a ghost or two! Instead, bought signature glassware for my friend Nancy Stanley. She loved them! It’s amazing how I can get sidetracked even when there’s gorgeous natural beauty all around!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Great hiking trip Madam..!! With so much ice and snow everywhere, what else should one ask for? โ„โ„โ„โ„โ„โ„
    You reminded me of my trip to Russian Arctic during winters..!! Thank you for sharing.. ๐Ÿ˜Š


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s