In May 2005, Rachelle and I took a vacation to Colorado. We spent the last few days of our vacation visiting Rocky Mountain National Park. After driving up Kawuneeche Valley on the western end of Trail Ridge Road, we then drove to the eastern side of Rocky Mountain National Park.
After a stop at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center, we decided to drive down to Bear Lake and take a short hike out to Nymph Lake.
Eventually, we stopped to take a break, and decided we were not adequately prepared to be sloshing around in all this snow. The trail seemed to be getting steeper, and we were concerned about getting back down safely. So we opted to return to the trail head and hike around Bear Lake instead.
Bear Lake was almost completely frozen and covered with snow. Only the part at the bottom of this photo was free of ice and snow. The mountain to the left is Hallett Peak with Flattop Mountain to the right.
Hereâ€™s another photo of the surface of Bear Lake, completely covered with snow. The trail was also buried under snow. At various points along the trail, we could see the tops of the trail fences sticking up through the snow.
Next, we headed to Sprague Lake and took a short hike around the lake.
Hereâ€™s a wide angle shot of the mountains rising above Sprague Lake. I also have a panoramic photo of these mountains and the lake.
Rachelle and I had both caught a cold during our trip, and after lunch we were both feeling a bit run down. So we retired to our hotel room for some needed rest. After our nap we continued our exploration of the park by driving into Horseshoe Park, which we had visited the night before.
On July 15, 1982 an earthen dam built on Lawn Lake for irrigation purposes failed. The U.S. Geological Survey website has before and after topographical maps, as well as aerial photos of the area. There is a short trail to a bridge over the Roaring River and an excellent close-up look at the debris that was left behind.
The resulting flood waters deposited this debris, known as an alluvial fan, in Horseshoe Park at the mouth of the Roaring River. The debris also dammed up the Fall River creating a new lake in Horseshoe Park.
Many Parks Curve
Next, we drove up to Many Parks Curve which is the farthest we could go on this end of Trail Ridge Road. The overlook wraps around a bend in the road, giving spectacular views of both Moraine and Horseshoe Parks.
At this point we called it a day. I made plans to get up the next day to take some photos at sunrise. *[U.S.]: United States