A Reprieve from City Dwelling

Rocky Mountain National ParkAfter two months of city dwelling, it felt wonderful to get back into the great outdoors.  Our destination was Rocky Mountain National Park.  I booked us into the Glacier Basin Campground located within the National Park and it did not disappoint.camping in a national park

Most National Park Campground facilities were developed long before today’s RV’s were even a glimmer in granddad’s eyes.  Thus, when it comes to campsites size does matter 😉   Being wise to this tidbit of knowledge played a very important role in our RV buying decision.  We didn’t want a RV that would be too big to fit into some of these National Park campgrounds.   Glacier Basin Campground Colorado

However that said, before making a reservation we wanted to lay eyes on the campgrounds and pick out specific sites.  We took a scouting day trip to Rocky Mountain National Park from Denver to check out the camping facilities and see which sites would accommodate our size, and of course which ones had awesome views.

With our modest 31 foot length, we realized we might fit into less than half the campsites.  Most of the sites are really geared toward tenting.  We did manage to score a nice site with an unbelievably gorgeous view.Rocky Mountain National Park

ElkWe initially thought about leaving my little truck parked at our daughters place in Denver, but at the last minute decided to take it along for our day excursions.

The Tacoma is a lot easier to park than the F-250 with extended bed and this was still August after all; peak tourist season, meaning parking would be a challenge.Elk

Our first full day found us bounding out of bed at 6:00 a.m. and out the door thirty minutes later.  Al was none to happy with me and didn’t understand my urgency.  Hubby suffers from a severe case of selective hearing and as many times as I briefed him that we would be hiking thee most popular trail in all of Rocky Mountain National Park, he didn’t seem to comprehend what that meant.Bear Lake Trail

Rocky Mountain National ParkWe arrived at the Bear Lake trailhead parking lot with the place already a third full with cars.  Yep, I was sure glad I was driving the little truck; much easier to park.

I knew I was too late to capture a sunrise over Dream Lake, but apparently plenty of other hikers and photographers were not.

Since this was our first day hiking, we felt a slow and short hike was in order to allow ourselves to acclimate to the 9,500 foot elevation.  Many years ago, I experienced altitude sickness and Al and I wanted to make sure it didn’t happen again…. although I was a flatlander back then!Bear Lake

Rocky Mountain National ParkWe hiked around Bear Lake twice then headed UP the trail to Nymph Lake.  We took our time taking in the beauty before returning to the trailhead around 8:30 a.m.

Upon our return to the parking lot, we noticed orange vest clad workers directing traffic.  The lot was already full and as early bird hikers were leaving waiting cars were directed to the newly vacated spot.

Al couldn’t believe the traffic.  And of course I couldn’t resist saying, “Told ya so!”Nymph Lake ColoradoRocky Mountain National ParkWeekends are especially busy in Rocky Mountain National Park, which is understandable considering it’s only about a 75 mile drive from Denver.  The campground was full on the weekend and only half full during the week.

This was just the beginning of our wonderful stay in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Best Easy Day Hikes Rocky Mountain National Park (Best Easy Day Hikes Series)




80 thoughts on “A Reprieve from City Dwelling

  1. Beautiful photos of your trip to Rocky Mountain NP. Looks like the monsoons are over and the sun came out for you.

    I am yearning to be back in the woods… It’s mid 90s and extremely humid home in Atlanta. Heavy air 😝. I am looking forward to the Smokies in the fall…

    • We lucked out and had near perfect weather during our stay in RMNP. Here in Denver today it was 95 but thankfully cooling off tomorrow. Soon it’ll be time for us to head south for the winter 🙂

  2. Spectacular captures of the elk!! What a beautiful re-entry into the wild country you love so much. Every time I start thinking that I want to move up to a larger trailer, I realize how fortunate we are to be able to fit in anywhere. Good thing we like spending a lot of time outdoors. 🙂

  3. Those Rocky Mountain pics are giving me some serious reasons to do some trip-planning! I stopped over here (at the blog, I mean) last night, Ingrid, and did some long-awaited catching up with your July and August. It looked like lots of fun and good times with the kids, and the Chihuly(s) in the botanic garden – wow! Anyway – delighted to get your new post today!

  4. It’s been soooo long ago that we did Rocky Mt. Nat’l Park…long before we had an RV…I envy you two that beautiful spot and the hiking to Bear Lake. I have a photo of Dennis standing by Bear Lake…looking about 42 years old at the time. Don’t know if you have ever done Yellowstone or Glacier. Not sure about RVing in either. It’s been ages since we were there too..but both are well worth the trip!!!

    • Thank you Sylvia. Turns out that early start was a must. By noon there was no place for anyone to park and a scrolling, lighted construction sign placed along the road told visitors to turn around and come back after 3:00. Crazy busy on Saturdays!

  5. absolutely lovely – thank you for the vacation in my mind.. I am relying on you to give me snipppets of the west and beauty for the next month or so.. have a great week – school is back in session.

  6. Thanks for the tour. I sure hope our estimated time of arrival there is around the first of October is not too late. I know snow can come early there. Crossing our fingers and toes.

    • It’ll be cold and hopefully the trees will still have plenty of leaves at the higher elevation. The up side is you won’t be battling any crowds – enjoy.

  7. One of our many favorite parks! We visited at the beginning of June which was nice because we beat the big crowd and most of the trails had opened. But even then, many trailheads were crowded early. I love how prevalent the bull elk are in the park. I love those antlers!!

    • Yes, I remember you’re trip and Jessica’s visit. You were battling snow still on the trails. By mid August, we had no snow to worry about just people. I couldn’t believe how unbothered the Elk were by the presence of cars and people. Very exciting 🙂

    • Trust me, if they would’ve let me stay longer I would have. Now I’m trying to figure out a way to go back for fall colors and the Elk rut. Doubtful with some of our obligations.

    • Thank you and trust me when I say, ‘the list only gets longer’. We’re thinking of a Mackinac and Sleeping Bear Dune visit next summer, but I’m not sure if I can pull myself away from Colorado LOL.

  8. So glad you got to spend some time out of the city. Love all the shots of Elk! It really is a very busy park. We drove through with our RV last year and only found a spot to park because the attendants in the lot were stopping cars from parking in the large RV spots. You were smart to get an early start 🙂

    • I remember you driving through pulling the trailer last year which isn’t an easy task with all the tourists. We loved our campsite but even with the boost could barely pull in the internet. I think next year we’ll stay in Grand Lake 🙂

  9. Thank you so much for taking us along, Ingrid! Hiking at the 9,500 foot elevation, Wow!
    Beautiful, lovely, and delightful photos! Love all of them 🙂

  10. Score on the campsite…and score again on those shots! I particularly like the one of you on the rock by the lake. Beautiful perspective.

  11. What a fab campsite you got! I love the detail you captured in the lily shot…and those elk! Beautiful!

    We stayed on the West side of RMNP last summer and the day we drove to the East side we were astounded by the crowds. I would love to visit at the end of Sept.

    • I most definitely remember your stay in Grand Lake last year and will be using your blog for reference for next summer as we hope to spend a month in Grand Lake. We were hoping to get back over to RMNP for the Elk rut starting around the 2nd or 3rd week in September, but our daughter may be moving and needs us nearby.

    • Ah, you and your BFF would have a field day hiking at RMNP and remember it’s not all that different than driving from LV to Mt. Charleston. Perhaps a fall trip to Denver is NEEDED lol.

      • Definitely needed, but everything is in limbo until we list the house. Once it’s listed, Ed and I are headed to LV until offers come in (and daughter heads to grandma’s, as she is incapable of being neat). Our realtor is our friend, so we’ll leave everything in good hands. Depending on timing, we may end up doing a side trip from LV – because Ed’s “big” bday is Oct 2nd. Was originally planning a trip to Peru to hike the Inca Trail, but with the house stuff, I’ve had to postpone that plan. 😦

  12. Your photos are so lovely! I can’t wait to hear more about your trip, since we will be there in less than two weeks. See ya soon! 🙂

  13. Sounds like you chose wisely with you RV size. We can camp in some state parks and very few NP’s which I wish were different sometimes. We only spent one full day in RMNP but really enjoyed it.

    • I really wish they would improve some of these places. There were boulders and tree stumps that took some maneuvering around…. grrr. Thank goodness we aren’t any bigger. This was the longest we’ve ever spent exploring RMNP and we’ve lived in CO twenty years 😉

  14. If it isn’t too long a drive to our next destination, we, too, will scout out the campground.

    Luckily, if I tell Paul we are doing something that is very popular, he is the one that says we better be there before the sun rises…and he isn’t kidding.

    The lake photo is awesome.

    • We feel so much better arriving to a new campground KNOWING we’ll fit into our campsite. The internet works only so far and it’s definitely more reassuring having set our eyes on the place.
      I’m the one always pushing. There has to be one to push or we’d never get out of the RV LOL.

  15. What incredible wildlife photos Ingrid! The one of the adult and the baby nose to nose is stunning. In the first photo is the deer wearing a tracking collar?

  16. Beautiful photos!
    Will also make note of your trailer info. We have a 27′ now, but hardly livable for a ‘forever home’. We’re looking at 40′, however we’ll be limited as you’ve said, on where we can set it.

    • Just a thought…. you might want to consider 34′ – 36′. We know LOTs of folks with 40 footers that if they had it to do over again, would go shorter. We found a 34′ MH we fell in love with but the dealer wasn’t willing to deal 😦 So we’ll stick with our current rig a while as she’s working out pretty sweet anyway.
      If you’re not familiar with Nina’s blog over at wheeling it, check her out – she provides great RVing info and she’s one that wishes they had gone smaller (she commented above)

  17. Im so excited that we are actually going to make a mad dash trip up there this weekend! It is going to be fast and furious, for sure. We hope to mainly just make driving expeditions to the two parks and see some of Golden and Denver, if we can. I will try to brace hubby for the crowds, too. Been to Yosemite during summer months once, and it was wall to wall traffic in the valley. This is really the only time we can try to make our fact-finding trip, and I just hope at this point that it does not fall thru, as hubby just got a promotion and another department to manage that has… issues. We will also carry plenty of water along since those altitudes are definitely a big change for us. Thanks for your wonderful posts!

    • Awesome. Email me if I can offer up any suggestions for your quick trip. FYI…. I also took two aspirin every morning along with drinking lots of water, which both are recommended to help avoid altitude sickness. The weather is supposed to be nice this weekend. Enjoy and again let me know if I can help 🙂

  18. I have very happy memories of our last visit there in 2010. Your beautiful photos have strengthened my resolve to go again in the near future.

    • Yes, it is definitely one of those places to return to time and again. There’s so much to see and explore. It’s on next summers schedule already 🙂

      • Today’s move thru the hills of the Ozarks Mtns about did me in…..ecks, I got a long way of flatlander’s adjustment to go 🙂 Going to be at least TWO m ‘ Rita’s very soon!! 🙂

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