happyrock
3 years ago5,000+ Views
USA Wonder: Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park has more than 60 peaks in the 415 sq. mile park: that's intense!! All the peaks are between 7,500 and 14,000 feet in altitude, thus making it the "highest" in any national park in the USA.
If you're the driving type, there's an amazing Trail Ridge Road, which you can take to the alpine tundra area--here you can see the sights typical of an alpine locations. In this area that's over 11,000 feet, trees can't grow here, and plants are often dwarfed; yet animals including elk, bobcats and bighorn sheep roam the high ground.
There are 350 miles of trails throughout the park, for those who are more inclined to spend their time in the park hiking right alongside the beautiful nature that is available to be seen! The trail to the pristine waters of Alberta Falls makes for an easy hike!
The trail is only 1.7 Miles roundtrip, and it only rises about 200 ft in total altitude, making it not difficult as far as adjusting to heights higher than you begin at. And you get to see the spectacular Alberta Falls, pictured here!
This hike is particularly amazing in the fall, but you'll want to try to avoid peak tourist season (end of summer) if possible! The trail begins at Glacier Gorge Trailhead, located on Bear Lake Road almost 8 miles from the turn-off at Highway 36. About 1/4 mile into the trail, just after crossing Chaos Creek, the trail briefly converges with the Glacier Creek Trail. After walking a very short distance the Glacier Creek Trail splits off to the right and heads toward Bear Lake. To continue on towards Alberta Falls hikers should turn left at this junction, and you're good to go!I
If you aren't going to leave early or will hit in peak season, try a different trail--this one will be overcrowded, and the view of the falls won't be as nice!
For more strenuous hiking that that, why not head to Flattop Mountain (at 12,000 feet)? This trek is 8.6 miles roundtrip, and rises about 2,849' if you net all the changes in altitude. Flattop Mountain is one of the few in RMNP that features a maintained trail all the way to the top, so anticipate you to not be the only one there.
This trail has a very small trail head, so make sure to go early or you won't be able to get a parking spot (and you'll be able to avoid afternoon thunderstorms, too)! For an extra adventure, you can also hike to Hallet Peak, which is an additional .7 miles and +389' climb from Flattop Mountain. Follow an unnamed but cairn-marked path south from the Flattop - Tonahutu Trail junction to the summit!

I advise bringing trekking poles, especially for the descent. The trail is steady ascend which is why the difficulty is ranked high. No dangerous drop offs however. Like any high country hiking, watch the weather!

5 comments
phew! just by your active narration had pumped up my adrenaline 2 d maxis! wao..I'm all puffed, tks 4 a virtual exercise!
3 years ago·Reply
@suranimh I had a similar reaction--but I still wanna get there myself! @happyrock you know the coolest places.
3 years ago·Reply
This looks like an AWESOME place to spend a week or two, if you're in shape to do a lot of hiking!
3 years ago·Reply
@suranimh hahah!!! Imagine how much better it would be if we had actually been there :D @yakwithalan Nah, I just am good at researching them! @TrevorGoldley Yes it would be!!! Even if you're not in super good shape, there's a lot of easy trails, and places you could just relax for some days, too.
3 years ago·Reply
Wow those falls look amazing. But I wouldn't want to be there when it's crowded--looks like i"d be heading out super early!
3 years ago·Reply
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