Sunday, October 18, 2015

Estes Park Trip 2015

Scott and I haven't been to Estes Park since the summer we got married up there (it's quite far now that we've moved to the other side of the state!), so when I decided to do the Loveland Fall Classic Marathon, I also decided to take the following two days off from work so we could spend some time there. This was also our first mountain adventure together this year as we've been working opposite schedules for the past 6+ months. So needless to say, it was a much needed trip!

On Monday we hiked to Dream Lake within Rocky Mountain National Park - a shorter hike (2.2 miles round trip) that I've wanted to do for awhile now, but just never had the chance. This worked out perfectly though, as I was pretty sore from the previous days marathon - so the distance was just enough to stretch the legs out nicely. After the hike we spent some time in town, visiting some of our favorite spots!

The trail to Dream Lake.
Nymph Lake - on the way to Dream Lake.
A view of Long's Peak from the trail.
Made it! The gorgeous Dream Lake with Hallett Peak in the background (12,713').

Driving through part of the park, post-hike.
Spotted this guy on our way out of the Park.
The gorgeous Long's Peak - I will hike you one day!
One of my favorite places: The Stanley Hotel!
They're adding a maze to the front lawn at the Stanley. No more big weddings out there I guess?

After the best night of sleep ever in a tent at Mary's Lake Campground (sarcasm - it was SO windy, it felt like we were going to get blown away all night), we got up early and decided to start making the drive back home - as we were taking the long, but scenic route. We drove through Rocky Mountain National Park, over Trail Ridge Road - which leads to Grand Lake, then ventured up to Steamboat, west to Craig, down to Meeker, and finally getting onto I-70 at Rifle. With my need to stop and take pictures all along the way, it made for a long day - but at least it was scenic!

Photo's not great (no tripod) but wanted to show the views as we entered the park!
Early morning light on Long's Peak!

Making our way up Trail Ridge Road.
At the top of Trail Ridge Road. The weather made it feel a little ominous.

Heading back down the other side of Trail Ridge Road.
Saw this guy on our way back down - right outside the car window!

This clump of tree's was just stunning - right by the West Entrance. I could've stayed here forever!

Yes - this is those same trees!
And again :)
Until next time RMNP!
On the way to Steamboat!

We also drove over to Blackhawk on Sunday afternoon for a bit, so I had to snap these pictures of the gorgeous St. Malo in Allenspark:

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