There’s a variety of ways to experience Rocky Mountain National Park. You can enjoy an abundance of scenic drives, short strolls along a gentle trail, daylong hikes, strenuous vertical mountain climbs, wildlife viewing, horseback riding, and biking. I would caution you to be humbly honest with yourself and your physical abilities before starting out….yes, speaking from personal experience.
All of Rocky Mountain National Park sits 7500+ feet high in elevation. Altitude sickness is a common occurrence, even among the young and fit. My first visit to this gorgeous park was in the late 1980’s. Al and I were celebrating our five-year wedding anniversary with a trip to Colorado. My parent’s eagerly watched our son, their first grandchild, allowing Al and me a much-needed break from parenting. We were young, in good health and fit, but “flatlanders” from Illinois.
We stayed at the famous Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. We explored the quaint town of Estes Park, a great jumping off point. Day two, we embarked on several scenic drives through Rocky Mountain National Park, stopping at the many scenic overlooks and took in the sights. We had not attempted any hiking at that point, as we wanted to acclimate to the altitude. It was the morning of day three that I started feeling a bit under the weather. I was experiencing symptoms of fatigue, dizziness, nausea, and shortness of breath; textbook altitude sickness, or bite your tongue, pregnancy. Thank goodness it was altitude sickness……not without experiencing a few moments of
terror stress. With son having just turned one, I was not ready to venture down the road of pregnancy again, just yet anyway.
The folks at the Stanley Hotel, recommended lots and lots of water with the occasional aspirin to overcome the sickness. That worked, but I never did gain enough energy to hike. Exploring by car and taking short strolls to witness the majestic towering peaks and deep valleys did not lessen our enjoyment.
I was overwhelmed and awed by the mountains, forests of pine trees, grassy hillsides, and rushing streams of water. This was the perfect, most romantic place to celebrate our anniversary…..that is, once the dizziness and nausea subsided 🙂