Off the Beaten Path: Trail Ridge Road

After our horse ride, we spent the afternoon with my family.  When the kids started to get restless, we thought it would be fun to take them up to see the top of Trail Ridge Road.  Unfortunately, Mother Nature was not going to cooperate with us.

It was a little cool and cloudy down in the village, but not bad.  We headed up into Rocky Mountain National Park and decided to give it a go.  At first, we had some nice views. Nothing spectacular, but still pretty.

The clouds were definitely starting to settle into the valleys, though.  We came across one nice herd of elk on the way up.

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Unfortunately, when we reached the top, two things went wrong for us.  First, the Alpine Visitor Center parking lot was full.  Which meant you had to drive down further until you found a place to turn around.  Second, the view continued to get worse.  The fog got really thick until this is all we saw:

Needless to say, we decided to just head back down to the hotel and hang out down there for the rest of the night.  We went and grabbed some pizza and then just took it easy.  It was even too cold to swim.

I’m going to get a little out of order here, because I can. 😉  We made another attempt at Trail Ridge Road a few days later.  We had better views this time, but it was cold and rainy.  G and I decided to stay dry and not walk up the stairs to the top.  The boys went, though, and came back down cold and wet.

On our way back down that first night, we did make one more stop.  We decided to stop at the ranger station and ask about hikes.  We all wanted to do some hiking, but we weren’t really sure which to do with the kids.  I kind of wanted to do one I”d never done before, which took out basically all of the really popular tourist hikes, but we knew the rangers would have some ideas.  And they gave us a good one!

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