Canceled August 1, 2012
The 2,700 miles of the great Rocky Mountain chain is the world’s longest mountain barrier. Nearly one third of Rocky Mountain National Park is beyond 11,400 feet of elevation. This is the alpine tundra which is above the treeline where the climate is extremely harsh. Similarly, there are 72 named peaks exceeding 12,000 feet.
Our lodging was only a mile outside of the park in Estes Park. Our first hike was over 12 miles along the Fern Lake Trail. The next morning we drove to Bear Lake and hiked the Flat Top Trail up to 12,324 feet. Bill and Luke continued to Hallett Peak (12,713 feet). Winston became a junior ranger.
These achievements were tremendously rewarding. Our favorite wildlife animals, the yellow-bellied marmot, were all over this park. Furthermore, we saw a few moose, jumped off rocks at the Lava Cliffs, and drove on the Trail Ridge Road. This is the highest major highway in America.