Aug 13 – Trail Ridge Road, Bear Lake, Colorado River Trailhead and more…

Today we decide to take Trail Ridge Road. It’s a one way dirt road that goes across the mountain.  As soon as we got off the main road, we encountered construction at Chasm Falls, and were told that it would be 15 minutes before we could pass, so we decided to take the short walk down to see the waterfall.  As we got close to the Alpine Visitor’s Center (where the trail ends) we encountered a few Elk, including one big Mule.

Once we finished with Trail Ridge Road, we headed back down to Bear Lake, where we took a hike along Flat Top Mountain Trail, and then cut over (and down the steep area of the mountain) towards Fern Lake Trail, which was much easier to follow, as it’s not nearly as steep, and is much wider.  We actually thought the Flat Top Mountain Trail was animal made, until we looked at the map, it’s that narrow.

Once done with that, we were told of Moose sightings near the Colorado River Trailhead, so we headed that way as the day grew late.  We hiked all over, in overgrown bushes, over logs that served as bridges over the creeks, and only saw one female Moose.  We decided that we would try our luck in the morning, and headed back west towards the Estes Park side of the Park.

On the way back, we stopped at the “Continental Divide”, where there was a rock face where big horn sheep were rumored to be earlier in the day.  Since we had nothing else to do the rest of the night, we decided to get out and take a look.  Now, since we had time to kill, we were hiking towards the rock face so we could get closer for good photos.  We took a trail that lead up the side of the rock face, and spotted some elk.  We decided to pause and keep a close eye out, just taking photos as they were eating, with several of them, including large males, laying down.  Within minutes, other people spotted them from the road, and began yelling at them to get them to look up so they could get a better photo.  This scared the elk, and they headed towards us, forcing us to remain still for almost an hour before we could go back to our car!

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