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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Estes Park, Colorado, United States

Sep 28, 2020 - MacGregor's Falls

Estes Park, CO Today’s goal was MacGregor Falls. MacGregor Falls is a side visit from the Black Canyon Trail in the Lumpy Ridge area of Rocky Mountain National Park. It requires finding an unmarked cutoff and walking along a ranch road to the "official" trail. This made things a little tricky but we prevailed. Although the morning started out very cold - 28° - it was a nice hike and added to our wildlife list for the day. In fact, today we spotted a mountain cottontail, a red-tailed hawk, a woodpecker, evidence of beaver, 22 deer, a...

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Sep 27, 2020 - Peak to Peak Highway

Estes Park, CO Today began with a bull elk walking through our back yard. We also had three deer beyond the fence. After admiring them all, we took off to explore. We went on a photo safari to find the huge valley of aspen south of Estes Park. Our first stop on our journey was 70-foot tall Boulder Falls. The trail leads to a cliff-lined notch in Boulder Canyon where the creek gushes out to form what is billed as one of the best waterfalls near Denver. Nice. We proceeded up the Peak to Peak Highway. The 55-mile long Peak to Peak Highway was...

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Sep 26, 2020 - Fern Falls and Cub Lake

Estes Park, CO We headed out early as usual for a hike but ran into something unusual. There was a traffic jam in downtown Estes Park. The elk were doing a little window shopping and wandering around on the streets. It made a mess of traffic but was fun to see. We finally worked our way through the jam, made our entrance into the park, and then spotted 19 turkeys as well as another traffic jam. Elk were in the meadow and some were crossing the road. In fact, one large bull crossed right in front of us. After viewing even more elk with a few...

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Sep 25, 2020 - Deer Mountain

Estes Park, CO We were thrilled to start our day by spotting elk. We are getting pretty good at it. Our total for the day ended up being 22 elk and 12 deer. Despite the distraction of our first elk for the day, we made it to the trailhead for Deer Mountain in plenty of time to get a parking space. The hike to Deer Mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the more popular destinations in the park. It was our intention to climb the mountain to the top at 10,013’. We enjoyed the views as we climbed and even found both deer and elk...

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Sep 24, 2020 - Bierstadt Lake

Estes Park, CO What an incredibly beautiful day! The aspens are turning color. The sky is a gorgeous blue. The air is crisp and clear. To celebrate the day, we got up early so that we could hike the Bierstadt Lake trail. Actually, one needs to get to the park early to hike ANY trail because parking is a challenge. En route we came across a doe and her fawn right next to the road. The fawn was nuzzling her mama. It was cool! Once parked, we took the shuttle up to Bear Lake and were blown away by the splendor of the aspens. We went around the...

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Sep 23, 2020 - Acclimating

Estes Park, CO since Estes Park is at such a high elevation, it is a good idea to acclimate oneself to the thin air before venturing even higher. That means a whole day of shopping in the village - in the interest of health, of course. We actually started the day by checking out our window to see if any wildlife was nearby. There were two bucks less than 100 yards from us and they were clashing their antlers. We could hear them banging together. Exciting. We then drove into the park to validate our entry pass and spotted some more deer...

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Sep 22, 2020 - Estes Park - Part II

Estes Park, CO Although we were just in Estes Park in August, we are returning to see the fall colors and, of course, do some hiking. We eschewed the interstate as we often do and proceeded across country instead. This gave us the opportunity to see some of the country and to spot some deer and some antelope. We have also seen road kill of porcupines, fox, skunk and other things no longer identifiable. In addition, we finished a couple of stops on our quest for passports so it was a satisfying day. We are staying for the week in a condo in...

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Aug 2, 2020 - Wild Basin

Estes Park, CO This was our last hike of our stay. We decided to tackle Copeland Falls, Calypso Cascade and Ouzel Falls in the Wild Basin area. We were out the door fairly early because the weather people were again promising rain and warning that it could be a bit heavier than we had been having every day. We were able to get the second to last parking space big enough for our vehicle so things were off to a good start. The trail begins as a leisurely walk through the forest. We arrived at Copeland Falls fairly quickly and delighted in...

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Aug 1, 2020 - Alberta Falls

Estes Park, CO For most people a hike to Alberta Falls would have been a quick in and out. Afterall, the falls are only .6 miles from the trailhead. We do not do things that way. The falls parking lot was, of course, completely full but we were again able to score a spot at the Bear Lake lot. This added .4 miles to our hike, but it was a beautiful walk. Along the way we, of course, had to climb rocks and explore everywhere. Our group provided entertainment to fellow hikers by finding challenging rocks on which to perform a box jump –...

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Jul 31, 2020 - Lily Lake

Estes Park, CO We, of course, had to get a hike in for the day. Today we chose Lily Lake. It is amazing how a 1-mile trail can take 3 hours when there are rocks to climb, vistas to view, logs to balance on, and rock cairns to be built. It was a beautiful day with beautiful views and we added to our wildlife sightings by spotting a coyote. We also had a little culture for the day. Built in 1917, the Baldpate Inn was named after the mystery novel, SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE by Earl Derr Biggers. In the novel, each of seven visitors traveled to...

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Jul 30, 2020 - Wildlife!

Estes Park, CO What an amazing day! We drove up Old Fall River Road, taking our time to appreciate the beauty of our surroundings. Old Fall River Road was the first auto route that led to the high country in Rocky Mountain National Park. It opened in 1920. The 9.4-mile gravel, one-way uphill road is dotted with some really serious switchbacks. It follows along the steep slope of Mount Chapin's south face past waterfalls, pine forests, and leads to Fall River Pass (11,796 feet above sea level). The posted speed limit on Old Fall River Road...

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Jul 29, 2020 - Lake, hike, lake, hike, repeat

Estes Park, NE Today was a major hiking day. Because Bear Lake is THE most popular trail in the park, we got moving early today. Perhaps that is why we encountered an elk on our way. Normally they are higher in the mountains at this time of year. That was our first stroke of luck. Our second was when we arrived at the Bear Lake parking lot. We intended to drop off the group and one person would take the car back to the park-and-ride, returning on the shuttle. Instead, we scored the last parking space. We had started in Estes Park at 7,522’....

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