Rocky Mountain National Park

We only had time for a single day at Rocky Mountain National Park. We need to come back when we have more time!

We drove across western Colorado the previous day. We tried to get as close as we could to the park on the western side so we’d have a full day in the park.

Grand Lake
Grand Lake, on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park

We drove Trail Ridge Road through the park, from west to east. Much of it was above the treeline, at about 12,000 feet. The road is a little frightening; no guardrail, just a long way down.

At a scenic lookout we encountered this dog that really wanted to play with the chipmunks.

We didn’t have much time in the park but we did hike to Lake Haiyaha. It was really misty so we couldn’t see that well but it was still a pretty hike. 

trail view
I use this photo as a reminder that even if the trip isn't perfect, you can still make the most of it.

As we were leaving the park to head home, we saw one last elk. This one had a huge rack and we actually got to hear him bugle!

Our last elk, and he bugled!


We stayed at the Canyon Motel in Hot Sulphur Springs, Colorado, west of the park. It had the oldest range we’ve ever seen, attached to a sink. 

old range

We spent our first night on the way home in North Platte, Nebraska. We’d planned to stop somewhere in Iowa for the night but decided we were okay to keep driving and ended up driving through the night to get home.


We drove our own car.