Road Trip 2008 - Day Three: Estes Park, CO and Rocky Mountain National Park

May 26th, Memorial Day, was the first day of the season opening for Rocky Mountain National State Park. The weather was nice but there was still plenty of snow on the ground, especially at these high elevations. The 12,000 foot high Falls River Pass was still impassable due to the snow, so we decided to check out the Sprague and Bear Lakes hiking trails.

Sprague Lake is a shallow, 13-acre lake at an elevation of 8200 feet. There is an easily traversed hiking path of less than a mile around its circumference. The wind was a little nippy, but the sun was out and the sky was crystal blue behind larger white clouds. As we got about a quarter of the way, we saw a large female moose with her two calves headed through the shallow waters directly toward us. We had seen literature on what to do should we encounter a bear or cougar, but were at at loss as to what the protocol was for a ravenous, man-eating Moose. We decided to stand still and let them leisurely lumber by. I was able to get a couple good photos of them which you can see below.

Bear Lake sits at an elevation of 9,450 feet and also has some easily traversed hiking trails around its circumference. The snow was still quite deep in some places along the trail and we occasionally had to make our way atop snow packs four feet high or more. The scenery was absolutely beautiful, but as the day wore on the weather began to change with an incoming storm front. From the photos below, you can see how drastically the sky had changed between our visits to Sprague and Bear Lakes.

After our afternoon of hiking, we headed back to Estes Park and had dinner at Wine and Cheese, a very interesting and satisfying restaurant specializing in, well, wine and cheese. We had the Melange Platter and finished off with Belgian Sipping Chocolate. Yum!

Making our way up to the park.

Sprague Lake

The Man-eating Moose of Sprague Lake.

Bear Lake

Onward to Day Four: Estes Park to Glenwood Springs, Colorado

1 Comment

So...we're overnighting in Gothenburg, NE....on our way to Estes Park. I hop on the computer and low-and-behold, my friend Scott has a whole blog on his adventure to Estes Park!!! Thanks for posting this, Scott. I'll try to share our pics with you and the AAP crew soon.


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