"Rocky: Land o' Lakes & Looking Back" Top 5 Page for this destination Rocky Mountain National Park by richiecdisc
Rocky Mountain National Park Travel Guide: 272 reviews and 639 photos
Rocky Mountain National Park is a quintessential alpine region as well as a diverse and well run endeavor that ensures the enjoyment of this pristine area for generations of Americans and those from further afield looking for an America of past glory. The Rockies are an iconic image of the lure of the west and without this expansion, the United States might have remained a quaint colonial country not so unlike the European counterparts from which it was attempting to escape. The wild west was where America truly started to diverge from its past with gold rushes, frontiers not yet explored by “civilized” man, and the “discovery” of landscapes in some cases beyond imagination. Taming these terrains was no easy task but the residual scaring of a land previously unmarked led to calls for protection in the form of the national park system.
Rocky Mountain National Park came into being in 1915. By then, the elk population of the area had been hunted to extinction and had been re-introduced along with the elimination of their nature predators, the wolf and grizzly. Ironically, the park at present has an over-population of the large and majestic member of the deer family. The lesson to be learned is that nature knows what nature needs. Hunting elk was probably not such a bad thing but hunting them commercially and sending the meat to Denver to be packed was irresponsible and an insult to natural order. Killing grizzlies and wolves to help elk rebound was a similarly ill-fated abomination of nature. Good intentions do not necessarily have their desired results.
What does all this mean? Perhaps that man must come to realize he is only part of a much larger picture. If in fact we are so superior to the planet's other inhabitants, we need to look at how it reacts to our choices and adjust our motives accordingly. When I first came to these mountains, I knew my life was very far away from them. Not just in a physical sense but also in one of how I had been living my life. Walking along an alpine stream, looking down from a mountain top at an incredibly beautiful landscape, one not indelibly altered by man, I felt more at peace with the world, and with myself. Come to Rocky Mountain National Park not so much to see the sights but to find a part of you that may have escaped your previous discovery. With a renewed kinship to the land, you just might make a difference in what direction our planet goes.
Rocky Mountain National Park has a great infrastructure for all types of use. One great alpine drive that averages 11,000 feet crosses its entire 265,00 acres. Another one cuts into the most popular area and is smartly serviced by Eco-friendly shuttles. Short hikes allow access to incredible natural beauty, making them accessible to anyone with a bit of determination. They even has some wheel-chair accessible backcountry camping! For those looking for more solitude and adventure, it's here too. The Rockies are part of an amazing American heritage and this park strives to preserve at least a part of them for future generations. It's one Colorado Rocky Mountain High you might not want to do without.
The steep and adventurous hike to Chasm Lake is one of Rocky Mountain National Park's best. Starting at Long's Peak... more travel advice
Fall foliage is one of the great wonders of nature. Leaves that once thrived and were luscious green turn bright colors... more travel advice
- the ability to find (& enjoy) Plan B
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