Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Colorado - Rocky Mountain National Park


Last month Dave had a 6 day break from work so we packed our bags and headed to Colorful Colorado.

Dave wanted to explore Rocky Mountain National Park as he hadn't spent a lot of time there. Long's Peak is there as well and Dave wanted to hike that.

The first night in RMNP we camped at Timber Creek. There was a scenic drive you could take to get there so we opted for that. It was not only scenic but very bumpy as the road was not paved. We stopped for a hike along the way as well as some scenic look outs.


If you notice, our campground does not have trees in it. Apparently there is some type of beetle that is infesting the trees and they are having to cut down many of the trees in the area.

This area is also known for wildlife and we were on the lookout. I spotted a big brown bear and started screaming for Dave to pull over and when he did, I got out to see, because it's always smart to run towards a bear. However, after getting a little closer I told Dave it was a big elk and then he asked me if I even knew my animals as it was a moose. ha ha!


The second day we got up early and did another scenic drive and headed to the east side of the park to Long's Peak campground. There are only 26 spots and they are on a first come first serve basis, so we headed over earlier in the morning and thankfully snagged a spot.

The scenic drive over was one of my favorites. It was peaceful and was packed full of amazing views. There was also a spot on this drive to go to the Continental Divide but we opted not to because of time.


We camped 3 nights at Long's Peak. The first day in that area Dave and I hiked together for a few short hikes. We hiked to several lakes and it was a relatively easy hike.


The following day, Dave was a trooper and woke up around 3am to climb Long's Peak. You have to get a super early start to get to the top and down before the thunderstorms roll in. Long's Peak is one of the harder 14'ers to climb so Dave went by himself for this one. Honestly, I'm just not a fast hiker like Dave so us hiking together wouldn't have been fun.

While he was hiking I built a big fire, read, drank coffee and found a shower as it had been 4-5 days since I had showered. ew!

It should also be noted that I bought a percolator and it makes some really good coffee!


I planned to climb up the trail to meet Dave on his way back down but a storm rolled in so I waited in the car. =) Dave climbed Long's Peak in about 12 hours. Apparently a big storm did roll in on the way down and he got hailed and rained on. I'm so glad I didn't climb as I would have probably loathed and cried when the hail and rain came, but I am proud of Dave for climbing.

After RMNP we went to Boulder and Denver. Denver had the Botanical Gardens, which were amazing! We also drove up to the top of Mt. Evans, which was gorgeous! I highly recommend the drive up there just be warned, there will be traffic. Also, if you are extremely afraid of heights I'd do some research before you go.


Do you spy Dave in this next picture?


Look at the traffic!


On the way back into Denver we went to the Red Rock theatre and did a trail in that area.


Also to be noted is that Dave went to IKEA with me. =) We spent about 45 minutes there and I purchased a coffee cart that I had been eyeing for a long time.

And we can't forget our iconic stop at Mt. Sunflower, the highest point in Kansas, on our way home. It had cows, flat lands, a little book where you could sign your name and lots of wind! ha ha! My hair is hilarious.


Tips 

- Buy a National Park Pass! They are $80 a year but quickly pay off. We used ours for park entries and it also covered the entrance fee up to Mt. Evans.

- Arrive at camping spots early as they fill up fast.

- Bring clothes for warm and cool weather. Also always bring rain gear in the mountains.

- Dry shampoo will save your hair if you are a girl and are camping. You're welcome!

- If you plan to do things in Denver check Groupon for deals. I wish I would have. Also, that isn't sponsored I'm just sharing some ways to save you some money.

- Want to travel to Colorado but do it savvy? Check out my full Colorado budget report for tips and tricks on how to make Colorado affordable.

Lastly, I made a video! A big thanks to Amanda for inspiring me to finally make a video of our trip. I hope to do more of these and sure wish I would have done them in Asia.


And if you have never been to Colorado I highly encourage you to go. It is such a beautiful place!

4 comments :

  1. This is so fun! That's funny about the moose/elk :) I'm glad you guys had a good time. I think it's so funny there's a stop for the highest point in Kansas. That is fun!

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  2. Colorado looks so amazing! I'd love to go on camping trips and hike up amazing mountains, but the UK is seriously lacking on that haha! Botanical gardens are my absolute favourite thing about exploring new places though - so pretty!
    It sounds like you both had such an amazing trip!
    xo April | April Everyday

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  3. Oh my gosh, this scenery is absolutely gorgeous! I am cracking up at the bear/elk/moose story! So funny. I'd do the same thing. You were close! :)

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  4. Oh man, I'm so glad it wasn't a bear! That would've been scary! It has been years since I was in Colorado, but we are planning to visit next year and I'm so excited! That traffic looks crazy, but the views look worth it! And your video was great! I am so a fan of travel videos. :)

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