Location: Rocky Mountain National Park
Distance from Denver: 69 miles (~1.5 hours) ♡ ♡ ♡
Hike: ~1mi RT ♡ ♡ ♡
Difficulty: Easy ♡ ♡ ♡
Parking Situation: Side of road, can be crowded ♡ ♡
Parking Fee: N/A, but there is a fee to enter the park.
Happy Saturday you guys! What better way to start the weekend than with an easy, but absolutely stunning hike!?! If you remember our post earlier this week, we were rained out of hiking Mt. Chapin & Mt. Chiquita. We were able to get to our cars right as the heavy rains started and we started to drive back towards Trail Ridge Road. A curve or two right after the Chapin Pass trailhead, we pulled over to the side of the road (by the fences) to wait out the rain & boy were we glad we did!
This unassuming trail (on the right side of the road) starts across the street from this "pond" (on the left side of the road). A lot of tourists do pull off here to take pictures near the rock formation by the road, but not many venture up the trail to the top. I'm not sure that this is a particularly high (elevation-wise) peak, but she offers gorgeous views around the area nonetheless.
The incline looks pretty steady as you start, but pretty soon you realize it is actually an incline. There is a false peak, although the real summit is not much further. We saw the cutest little marmots at this point (the trail is thus aptly named), and they were bigger than we expected them to be! They weren't very afraid of us so we were able to get relatively close to them to get some pictures. They sure know how to pose for the camera!
The vistas are breathtaking. Stunning. Magnificent. Basically any adjective to amazing that you can think of! We felt as though it was extra special when we hiked because of the skies after the storm - it alternated between clear blue to big fluffy clouds that we felt we could almost touch!
Pretty soon, we saw cairns that marked the summit. And you guys THE VIEWS! We feel like a broken record saying it, but it is absolutely incredible and we could not believe that this little gem was tucked away within the park.
It is so difficult to explain how we felt standing here - it simultaneously is like you are at the top of and at the edge of the world! It is absolutely exhilarating and an experience we will not forget!
The drive back to town is equally stunning because Old Fall River Road connects to Trail Ridge Road, therefore you get a double dose of awe inspiring views. True, you are back with the throngs of tourists, but with views like these who is complaining?
Have you been here before? What is your favorite hike in RMNP?
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