Rocky Mountain National Park
Our daughter was able to fly in for a visit and we have had a wonderful time. Due to the heat, we have made plans to visit areas in higher/cooler elevations.
No visit to the area would be complete without a visit to the Rocky Mountain National Park. All of the information says to get there as early as possible. They are not kidding. This place is crowded but beautiful.
We were planning to hike the Emerald Lake Trail and were told to turnaround and “come back in four hours” to secure a parking spot in the overflow lot. Fortunately, there are many other things to do including the Trail Ridge Road that travels above treeline and has spectacular views.
The Trail Ridge Road traverses the park and spends much of its time in higher elevations. There are plenty of places to stop on this unique roadway. For those visiting, the road is closed much of the year because of large amounts of snow, so plan accordingly.
We saw marmot sunning on the rocks.
There was a large herd of elk near the roadside.
The Emerald Lake Trail takes you by two other lakes on the way and is a very pleasant hike. The trail elevation is over 10,000 feet, so it never feels hot even on a warm day. Hikers do jump into the lake but their howls let you know that the water is really cold. There is also a short hike around Bear Lake from the same trailhead.
For the best photographic light, the Emerald Lake Trail is a morning hike, but you need to arrive early to get a parking spot. I can’t stress enough how many folks visit RMNP in the summer, just like Grand Canyon or Yellowstone National Parks.
Colorado Rockies Game in Coors Field
We are all baseball fans and the Rockies were in town so we took in a game. We got to the ballpark early so we could see the facility itself. This stadium is the third oldest in National League. We also enjoyed a concert by the “Margaritaville Tribute Band” before the game and for the struggling Rockies that was the best part. We also waited through a long rain delay and saw lighting that would challenge Florida’s storms. And yes, they still play John Denver music at the park.
Near the ballpark is a very pedestrian friendly area with one of the highlights being the newly renovated Denver Union Station. There is a free transit bus that traverses the downtown area of restaurants and shops in what is called LoDo.
On one of the hottest days, we wanted to do something indoors and Ashley suggested the Celestial Seasonings complex in Boulder. To our surprise this is the only factory for this massive international enterprise and it is located in a residential area on the outskirts of town.
The tour was better than most because the visitors are able to walk the factory floor (but no pictures). The aromas of all the ingredients is at times almost overwhelming. They even sell souvenirs that say “I survived the Mint Room.” Of course, there is ample opportunity to taste the over 100 varieties of teas that they sell.
Celestial Seasonings is the first herbal tea company. It started bagging tea using hand-sewn muslin bags in 1969. Now it produces 1.6 billion tea bags a year. The company is known for its iconic product artwork and its most famous teas, Sleepytime and Red Zinger.
We had a great week with our daughter exploring Denver and the surrounding area.
Our month-long visit to Colorado continues with more to come. Next, the western side of Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Lake.