Sunday, July 26, 2009

Colorado: July 12-14, 2009 Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP)

After spending four uneventful days in the tight cramped RV Park in Loveland we moved to RMNP to Glacier Basin CG at an elevation of 8600’. We do feel the increase in altitude. We run out of breath very easily, by doing very little.

I neglected to take pictures of our campsite. All I have is a picture of the view out our front window.

We needed the four days at the lower elevations of 5000 feet. The 9500’ elevation we were at earlier left us not feeling well. We are doing much better now. I don’t know what our problem is. We have been at 8000-9000 feet in other years without any problems. I wonder if we are getting old???? Mentally we are still in our 30’s or 40’s.

As with all very popular National Parks, RNMP is very busy in July. Finding a campground with an available campsite is not easy to do.

Years ago when we were camping with Sarita & Brett on vacations, none of the campgrounds took reservations. It was all first come first serve. So you camped somewhere outside the NP the night before you enter the NP. Early the next morning you entered the NP and drove around the CG’s looking for someone getting ready to leave. If they had not promised to save their campsite for someone else, you had your place to camp. Now most of the campgrounds are on a reservation system. That works fine if you know which campsite you want to reserve and know what days you will be visiting. However if you want to stay thru the weekend you need to make your reservation three or four months, or more, in advance. Some reservations systems only allow reservations to be made for six months in the future. Generally the system will have a date which they will open reservations for the next available month, six months in the future. For popular NP’s if you want to stay thru a weekend you need to make the reservation within the first few days after those dates come available. Since we almost never know just what days we will be somewhere, these reservations systems really make things difficult for us. Again we are back to the horrible hardships of fulltime RV’ing. Don’t you feel sorry for us????

Before we left San Antonio, in one of the RV forums Al follows, Al saw an entry from a man, named Wayne, who is a campground host in the only campground in RMNP which is first come first serve. Wayne invited folks who might be in the area to stop by and say hello. Al emailed him we were going to be in RMNP this summer and after a few emails back and forth Wayne volunteered that if he knew which day we would at his CG, he would save us a campsite if one came open the day we were arriving. He couldn’t make us a reservation as such, but if a campsite was being vacated the day we are arriving he would fill out the occupancy form with our name and put it on the campsite post, effectively saving that site for us.

Wayne was able to save us a really nice campsite with lots of parking space for our forty foot motorhome. Another good use of the internet.

We were planning on staying in RMNP for 7 days, but left after three nights. Again the altitude was getting to Sharon. Sharon insisted Al wasn’t doing well in the altitude either. Of course Al denied that he was having problems with the altitude. Part of the problem was even though our campsite was at 8600’, all the other places in the park were higher. Some parts of the park we visited were almost 12,000 feet high.

We were able to see most of the important parts of the park during our stay.

Here are some pictures

First some Elk. They all look well fed and content!

Don’t miss the elk in lower right corner with his head laying on his front legs. As with all pictures, click on the picture for a larger view.

This one has a radio tracking collar on

This is one big elk!

The next two elk are on the tundra at 11,900’ elevation.

This hillside is covered with Elk cows and caves

You can see the herd of elk better by clicking on this picture.

Mountain Goats

Yellow Bellied Marmot

Beautiful mountain views all around RMNP

Some of the trails were accessible by Sharon on her scooter.

So she could have closer views of the scenery.

Meadow & Steam

Mountain Stream


The hillside in the distance should be a bright green. Instead it is this orange/brown because of all dead pine trees killed by pine bark beetles. All of the Rocky Mountains in the US & Canada look similar to this. There are a few areas which are not infected, but everywhere you look, you see lots of dead trees.

That’s all for now. Next will be pictures from a hike Al took in RMNP

Al & Sharon

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