Colorado is a mecca for outdoor activities and beautiful views. One place that enriches Colorado's natural beauty is Rocky Mountain National Park. Just in the backyard of Boulder, this quick day trip is perfect for seeing Colorado wildlife, ecosystems and stunning views within this massive protected land.
When you first approach the park, a visitor's center welcomes tourists and natives alike to help guide their guests to the best destinations in the park. If you want to camp, hike to waterfalls and lakes or observe animals in their natural habitats, this is a place not to miss. But, be cautious, the park is so massive, you might not be able to see everything in one day. So, get to the park early or buy a week pass to take full advantage of your admission fee.
Pictured above is Mills lake, which lies just past Alberta Falls. Not too far from the Estes Park entrance to the national park, you will come across these two stunners in the same hike. One thing that is nice about Rocky Mountain National Park is its ease for outdoor adventurists and families alike. The hike to Alberta Falls is generally mild and the trail is well kept, making it easy to maneuver and find your way up the trial. Take a moment to become mesmerized by the sound of rushing water forcing its way through large rocks before hitting the tranquil stream below.
If you are a more advanced hiker and want to keep going, head towards Mills Lake or follow signs to the other majestic show stoppers in the area. Towards Mills Lake, about 2.5 miles from Alberta Falls, you will walk parallel to a the river, walk through forestry and pass over large rocks that have been delicately colored with mint green moss. Once at Mills Lake, prepare to soak in the peace and quiet that comes with it. The lake, which is speckled with fish, is clear and ripples gently with the light breeze that sneaks past the lake's protective mountainous walls. Sitting and relaxing, you can see how far you have traveled, as the Alpine line is all of a sudden shockingly close.
After your trip to Rocky Mountain National Park, it might be nice to stop for a beverage or some food in Estes Park. If you are in a hurry to get back to Boulder, however, Lyons or North Broadway are great stops as well.
For more information on Rocky Mountain National Park, visit https://www.nps.gov/romo/index.htm
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