As I stated in my previous post Colorado in June- Hiking in Boulder although some people that are avid skiers wouldn’t consider traveling to Colorado during the summer, I found it to be spectacular and highly recommend it. The home base for our vacation was in Boulder, but an easy day trip is to Estes Park and on to Rocky Mountain National Park.
Estes Park is only about an hour from Boulder and Rocky Mountain National Park is just a few minutes from Estes Park. We spent several hours walking around the town of Estes Park and Lake Estes. While Estes Park is much more touristy than Boulder, it is still a beautiful area of Colorado. The Stanley Hotel, most famous as the inspirational role in Stephen King’s “The Shining,” is also in Estes Park. We wanted to catch a glimpse inside but decided to skip it when we were told there was a parking fee. Since we were limited on time, we didn’t think it would be worth it for just a few minutes. After a short walk around the lake and some souvenir shopping we had a delicious lunch at Moon Kats Tea Shoppe, which was a fun little place full of all kinds of cat-themed merchandise and really good tea and sandwiches.
From Estes Park, we drove to Rocky Mountain National Park and spent the rest of our daylight hours here before driving back to Boulder. This is a park where you never even have to get out of your car if you can’t walk much or just don’t want to. Since we had a limited amount of time here, we decided to drive and see as much as we could rather than hike and see less. Normally we are avid hikers and jump at the opportunity to hike up and down beautiful mountains, but in this case it just made sense to limit our time on the trails. We saw more elk than we had ever seen anywhere else, including Canada and Montana. We also saw a new creature to us, the marmet. They look kind of like a groundhog and they were everywhere at Rocky Mountain National Park. The snowdrifts were quite high and there was a good amount of snow on the ground at the highest elevations, but for the most part, the weather was pretty nice. It doesn’t get much more beautiful than at Rocky Mountain National Park.
As I said in my post Colorado in June- Hiking in Boulder vacationing in Colorado during June is a fun way to spend a summer vacation and I can’t recommend it enough if you enjoy hiking and spending time outdoors! I know we only scratched the surface of places to explore in Colorado and we’re already excited about going back another summer and exploring other areas like Colorado Springs, Durango, Steamboat Springs, or Mesa Verde National Park. Any other suggestions?