The Rocky Mountain National Park is a national park located in the north-central region of the U.S. state of Colorado. It features majestic mountain views, mountain lakes, a variety of wildlife, varied climates and environments—from wooded forests to mountain tundra—and easy access to back-country trails and campsites. The park is located northwest of Boulder, Colorado, in the Rockies, and includes the Continental Divide and the headwaters of the Colorado River.
The American way for national parks
In France, if you want to reach more than 3K meters high summits, there is no choice. You have to walk at least a whole day after letting your car back in the car park or use the cable cars. In the US, the need for individual cars has created a total reverse concept for almost everything in that case for national parks. An interstate road crosses the national park which allows to reach all interesting points where you can see a breathtaking landscapes in a great conditions. Even though they were 3 meters of fresh snow around the road, it was easy to get up there. To see hundreds of pick-up trucks at 3500 meters high was astonishing!
Bear Lake: looking for Philip
Take caution with bears was quite a weird element when we know how many of them are still alive in wild conditions in Europe. The trashcans are by the way protected to avoid them eating garbage. Let’s mention that the two mountains lakes are reachable after an only 5-minute walk from the car park, American way of course….So when some students left and tried to make their own path through the snow and cliffs, when some others sledged on plastic bags; they got everyone late, one word to summarize: “NUL” 🙂
Lava cliffs: fresh snow for everyone
Some of us never experienced high elevation and fresh snow. What better than this place of 3.7K meters high, 2 meters of powder-snow without any mark, just some flashing white everywhere and being without a jacket was totally sustainable up there. Also, definitely a quick paradise for mountain lovers.
So we took the opportunity to have some fun playing with snow even if many of the group come from Grenoble which is situated just next to the Alps mountains et are very familiar with snow.
Hidden Valley: rest and food
This was a peaceful place to rest and eat. Our lovely Freddy (the bus driver) recommended us this nice place to make a picnic.
We had the opportunity to have a walk in a trail within the mountains there but we were so tired because of this long journey that we stayed near the bus, just eating and discussing this wonderful experience and funny moments we just had!
As in every places we visited, we met à lovely people with who we had a chat about the wonderful landscapes and also about France and how different it was.
We also met a cut squirrel to whom Gustavo gave cakes and then he stayed next us looking for more cookies, Giuseppe just liked him too much as you can see in the picture.
Alpine Visitor Center: gift shop at 3.5K meters high
When tourist attractions are mentioned in the US, the gift shop is never far away. So you can find at 3.5k meters high (or at 12k feet as they say) a huge car park with two different gift shops and a refreshment store. The air is rare, you loudly and hardly breathe, the sun heats your body more than ever, but let’s put everything in place to share this place with everyone who has a car, which is a great idea!
Only one thing is missing to this discovery report: a huge thank you to our natural-born driver Freddy!
By Simon PACCHIOLI – Oualid BAHOULI