A favorite summer drive for us includes visiting Winter Park, a stop at Grand Lake where we enter Rocky Mountain National Park. We drive over Trail Ridge Road, the highest continuous paved highway in North America. Exiting the national park at Estes Park we stay there for a little shopping and then return home. It is a full day, but a wonderful day. That is the plan for today. First stop is Winter Park, Colorado.
This is a mountain resort, skiing in the winter and many opportunities in the summer. In the winter there is a ski train from Denver to Winter Park. In the summer we love the Alpine Slide.
It is hard for mom to get photos of this, but here you can see the half pipe track we use. Also there is a rider on a sled at the end of the ride. When we finish, we take our sled and hang it on the line so it can be taken back to the top of the ride. We ride the ski chair lift to the top of the mountain, get off, walk a little way to get a sled, put our sled on the half pipe run, sit on sled, check our brakes and ride to the bottom of the mountain. It is really fun! We can make music here at Winter Park Village.
In the winter humans ice skate on the lake behind us. Back in the car, we drive to Grand Lake, Colorado. Grand Lake is the name of the town, but there is a lake, named Grand Lake here.
Hardy souls swim here, but we don’t want to swim in a cold mountain lake. But these boats on Grand Lake are really fun. Now let’s enter Rocky Mountain National Park.
This is one of four national parks in Colorado, and probably our favorite. Here I, Zeb the Duck, am admiring the beautiful mountain scenery.
You may notice dead trees behind me. The Pine Bark Beetle is killing many of our lodge pole pines. This beetle epidemic is in Canada, the United States and into Mexico, killing trees in the forests. This beetle epidemic has occurred several times in the past 500 years, but it is so sad to see so many dead trees. I just love lakes.
This alpine lake is so beautiful and so serene. Driving further up the mountain on Trail Ridge Road, we are now above timberline.
The growing conditions at this altitude and temperatures are too severe for trees to grow. You can see a lake and snow below us. We were there in August, so this snow is from last winter. Remember, the higher you go, the colder it gets, so snow in some areas doesn’t always melt during the summer. On Trail Ridge Road we have experienced incredible mountain scenery.
We climbed through alpine conditions. Visited above timberline. Stopped near Visitor’s Center.
Passed through Arctic tundra. We crossed the Continental Divide.
Viewed landscaped shaped by volcanic activity.
And descended into the resort town of Estes Park. We could spend days or more exploring this park and take thousands of stunning photos, but not today. We enter Estes Park.
We walk through town and of course mom always stops at Laura’s Fudge Shop and at the Taffy Shop. At one of town, we watch the river and listen to the soothing sounds of water tumbling over the rocks.
We love this town and we love this drive. When you visit Colorado, we encourage you to drive over Trail Ridge Road.