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Thread: Rocky Mtn National Park...

  1. #1

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    Question Rocky Mtn National Park...

    I'm looking into taking a trip out west to visit the park sometime this spring, and I'm wondering if there are any locals on this board that might be able to advise on the weather, park conditions, and when would be a good time to head out.

    I plan to sleep in the bed of my truck, and I would like to hike the glacier trail, and some of the lower elevations. I realize the upper road across the park will still be closed.

    Really looking for any suggestions on making this a good trip.

    Thanks in advance,
    Kevin

  2. #2
    Ted Harris's Avatar
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    Re: Rocky Mtn National Park...

    Kevin,

    Why not come to foto3 www.foto3-2008.info. Some of the pre conference workshops will do some shooting in Rocky.

    Weather can be unpredictable ... not much else to say. Make sure you book a space for your truck well in advance or you may find yourself parked far from facilities.
    Last edited by Ted Harris; 11-Mar-2008 at 15:39.

  3. #3

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    Re: Rocky Mtn National Park...

    Thanks for the tip, I didn't really think about not being able to find a place to park my truck... I don't need much else.

    That linky no worky for me...

  4. #4

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    Re: Rocky Mtn National Park...

    Kevin,

    There are several of us who live in the general area. I live in Colorado Springs, about 3 hours south.

    As far as weather goes, anything goes. You could see 2 feet of snow, or warm and sunny. Hard to say without more specifics as to when in the spring. One of our largest snowstorms ever came in late March, 2003 and brought up to 80 inches of snow to some areas. Last year we had a good snow (8-12 inches) in the mountains above Colorado Springs on May 24 last year. Here is a shot from that storm. http://www.ladewigs.com/Gallery/d/76...0070524_01.jpg The shot was taken from around 6500 feet. It looks like snow was at 9000 feet.


    As far as the trails go, I hiked to dream lake in June last year and was hiking in the snow in many places. You might need snowshoes through May and even June depending on how much travel the route you're planning to hike has seen in the winter and spring. You should get a set of light gators to keep snow out of your boots.

    Trail Ridge Road is typically open by memorial day, literally.

    Camping in your truck is generally frowned upon in the National Parks, especially if you don't have a camping permit.

  5. #5
    Ted Harris's Avatar
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    Re: Rocky Mtn National Park...

    link fixed

  6. #6

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    Re: Rocky Mtn National Park...

    Here is the correct link for Foto3:

    http://www.foto3-2008.info/

    I used to live in Monument, just north of Colorado Springs. We had 3.5 acres and were only 6 miles from the National Forest. I miss it desperately!

    It is so grey here in Michigan from November to April. We get 169 days of sun here, none in winter, compared to 300+ days in Colorado.

    For the first 2-3 years that we were here I would dream about Colorado every few nights. Then I would wake up slowly in the morning, and as I was coming out of my fog I would realize ... his isn't Colorado ... and the depression would set in.

    My favorite times to visit Rocky Mountain National Park are just before Memorial Day, and just after Labor Day. You might get snowed on a bit at either time, but not many people in the park at those times of year. You are actually OK in June until the 13th or so, when most schools let out.

    Reserve a camping spot in one of the campgrounds in the park, then you can park your truck at the camp site and sleep in it if you want. You can make reservations online.

    My favorite camp site is above (east of) the horse stables on the west side of one of the RMNP campgrounds. I forget the name of the campground, but should be able to identify it by the horse stables.

    There are 4 or 5 walk in sites in a little loop that are about 200+ feet from the road. They are seperated from the road by a small ridge. They are on top of a small hill that falls away to the west and south, leaving only a view of the peaks and valley with nothing between you and the mountains (the horse stables are hidden by the hill, and you can't see the road from the sites.)

    Have fun!

  7. #7

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    Re: Rocky Mtn National Park...

    Thanks for the tips guys.

    Why is it they frown on sleeping in the bed of your truck? Makes for a perfect portable tent with not set up or take down...

    I was hoping to go in April, but it sounds like the weather might be too questionable at that time. Maybe I will wait until mid may, I just want to beat the crowds of summer.
    I have snowshoes and plan to bring them either way.

    I'm super excited to get back out to the Rockies, I used to visist Colorado several times a year, but then I bought a house and things sure changed... Good friend of mine lived in Canon city, spent lots of time roaming the surrounding area, simply beautiful country out there...

  8. #8

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    Re: Rocky Mtn National Park...

    Quote Originally Posted by trink408 View Post
    Thanks for the tips guys.

    Why is it they frown on sleeping in the bed of your truck? Makes for a perfect portable tent with not set up or take down...
    Well really they don't want you to camp in a parking space instead of a campsite. I suppose it is OK if you have a camping reservation and park your truck in that spot, but it isn't well regarded to sleep in your vehicle at the trailhead. Expect to be woken up by the ranger and asked to move. Several of my friends have had this happen to them in various parks.

    I don't see why April would be a problem other than potential weather issues with road travel. There will definitely be more snow on the ground, but its pretty stable by April, so not much avalanche risk.

  9. #9

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    Re: Rocky Mtn National Park...

    If it were me, I would wait till trail ridge road opens. The light up there at sunrise is just unbelievable. You can only camp in the designated campgrounds which means no parking in any of the pullouts (been there, done that and was told to find a campground). The east side campgrounds tend to fill to capacity. The campground near Grand lake rarely fills up. It is a beautiful park, you'll enjoy it any time of the year I would think!
    regards
    Erik

  10. #10

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    Re: Rocky Mtn National Park...

    thank guys, I will have to look into some of the local campgrounds, looks like a few are first come first serve and open all year round!!

    So at what point does the park start to get really busy? I could wait until May, but I don't want to wait until schools close for summer because all the parks get too crazy after that. I'm thinking the Trail Ridge Road wouldn't open until June?

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