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Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) is nestled close to the town of Estes Park, one of the most beautiful towns I have seen. Estes Park is home to the Stanley Hotel where Stephen King wrote "the Shining".

RMNP features a wide variety of hiking trails for visitors to explore. It also has a neat little single track dirt road called "Old Fall River Road" that is well worth the trip. Virtually any car can make it up this dirt road - just be sure to set your parking break if you get out of your car! (See below).

If you do go up to the top, I would recommend you bring a coat. It can be quite cool at the top, though it's not quite as bad as Mt. Evans, Pikes Peak, and the other Fourteeners can be. It can be a walk up to the top but you will quickly notice the effect of the thin air if you are out of shape or unacclimated.

RMNP is also a great place to see a lot of the wildlife around Colorado. You can find more out about it at The Rocky Mountain National Park Web site run by Karl Snyder (no relation).


Chasm Falls
Chasm Falls
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Chasm Falls here can be found along Old Fall River Road. A little creek runs along where the road does and forms this pretty little water fall.


Ooops!
Ooops!
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If you ever go up Old Fall River Road, be sure to make absolutely sure you have your parking break on if you get out of your car!

Can you spot the Ford Mustang? Click to enlarge the picture if you can't see it. If you still can't see it, look at this close up.

The poor owners of this car were still there crying at the top of the hill when I got there. A trio of teenagers taking their Mustang out for a drive. I probably didn't help matters by taking pictures of their unfortunate incident. Luckily, nobody was in it!

They apparently thought they had it in park or something when they got out of it to look around. Unfortunately for them, it wasn't and rolled down a very steep drop - the cliff face is at close to a 60 degree angle and goes down for what must be over 100 feet. After it rolled down and hit the bottom it flipped over onto her roof in the same creek that forms Chasm Falls. A park ranger was already on scene when I got there handling the situation. I'm sure they got it out - the only question is if a wrecker could do it or if they needed a helicopter to pull it out. Either way I bet it was expensive!


Majestic Marmot
Majestic Marmot
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This is actually one of my favorite pictures of all I took in Colorado. The large granite boulders the Marmot is sitting on and the nice texture created in the background by the tree covered mountainside really make it stand out in my opinion.

Marmots are all over the park and a fairly common sight. For the most part they're prey animals for large birds and cats.

The dense trees that cover RMNP create a nice deep rustling noise as the wind whips down through them. It creates a nice, peacful noise and a quiet place of beauty to sit and think.


Miles of Trees
Miles of Trees
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This is one of the mountain vallies that line RMNP. I have always liked this one because of the nice contrast between the deep green of the trees and the lighter green of the marsh grasses below them. The trees go on for miles forming a green carpet over the lower mountain peaks.


Distant Valley
Distant Valley
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This is another nice sight you see along the roads in RMNP. It shows still move pine tree over mountain sides with a green valley off in the distance. The weather was cooperating that day providing a pretty sky and a slight haze over the other mountain far off in the distance.


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