We spent 2 days at Rocky Mountain National Park, and since I took way too many pictures as usual I will split this up into 2 posts.
The first day we went to the most popular (and therefore the most crowded) section of the park — Bear Lake. The parking lot at Bear Lake is typically full by 8:30am and since we were driving from our campground about an hour away, we didn’t make it that early. The second option is to park in the Park and Ride lot and ride the shuttle. We parked there and were lucky to get one of the last spots in that parking lot, and thankfully our truck fit in it! Then we had to stand in a super long line to wait for the shuttle bus. These bus lines make Disney bus lines look short!
Anyway, once we finally got to the Bear Lake trailhead, the crowds dispersed somewhat and we enjoyed some beautiful hikes.
We started off hiking to Nymph Lake and Dream Lake.
One nice thing about a more crowded park is there are always people willing to take family pictures for you so the 4 of us could be in more pictures together.
Next we hiked the loop around Bear Lake which was stunning!
Lastly we hiked to Alberta Falls.
These hikes were all amazing and it’s obvious why it seems to be the most popular and crowded section of the park. If you come here and want to do these hikes, plan to arrive at the Park & Ride lot early (I think we got there about 9 or 9:30ish and the lot was just about full). Another option is to go later in the afternoon if there is not a high chance of afternoon thunderstorms. We returned to the parking lot after hiking at about 2:30 and there were plenty of parking spaces then and the bus line was not quite as long.
We spent the night at a hotel in Estes Park so we could visit that cute and charming town and be close to RMNP for another day of hiking the next day.
Estes Park is very crowded and touristy, but there is a really nice river walk behind all the shops and restaurants that is less crowded than walking down the main street. We enjoyed walking along the river walk and having a yummy Mexican dinner at Ed’s Cantina.
Stay tuned for Day 2.