Tour Plan - Day 02
Keystone - Estes Park - Rocky Mountain (up to Alpine Visitor Center and Milner Pass from the Beaver Meadows Entrance) - Bear Lake + Alberta Falls - Keystone map: https://goo.gl/maps/5JMFf3WEhMKk7Lsc8
We visited the Rocky Mountain National Park on the second day. It is known for the Trail Ridge Road, bear lake section, and the alpine visitor center. Here, in this video, I will share some moments throughout the journey.
RMNP requires an early reservation and it is better to reserve your spot a few weeks before your planned date. However, we did it on the previous night and had to pick entry time between 11 am-12 pm without permission for the Bear lake. However, we reached there at around 1 since we took some breaks on the way. I guess The entry time is not followed strictly, so it is okay to enter anytime after your reserved entry time. From the recreation.gov site, you can reserve your permission.
Book your spot from here:
We entered the park through the Estes Park Beaver Meadows Entrance located at the right corner of the red line. The regular fee at the checkpoint is 25$. However, we bought the annual pass for any national park (80$). If you plan to visit multiple national parks in a year, this is the best discount you can have.
There are actually many viewpoints throughout the Trail ridge road. Also, the Milner pass hike is close to the alpine visitor center. Taking the road, at the end of the day, you can visit the Grand Lake. However, we returned back to the Bear lake section and spent time there until evening.
From Rainbow Curve View point, we were able to see the Horseshoe Park, Deer Mountain, and the Mummy Mountain range.
Forest Canyon Overlook
While walking towards the Forest Canyon Overlook, in the end, you can have a panoramic view at 11,716 feet! It’s almost a 4-5 minutes walk to the end. The noticeboard suggests staying on the paved asphalt trail so that the fragile alpine tundra areas can be protected.
Alpine Visitor Center
The Alpine Visitor Center is located 11,796 feet above sea level. It is almost the highest point of the entire trail ridge road. This is just a view near the parking.
And here’s a short video:
There is also a panoramic 360 view on top of that area which requires a few minutes of hiking. Here is a picture from the near top stair.
Based on their survey, the Bear lake section is one of the most popular areas and has comparatively fewer parking spots. It is close to the Beaver Meadows entrance point. Since we did not have permission, it was after 6 PM, we were able to enter the bear lake section. So, definitely book your reservation as early as possible.
First, we visited the Bear lake. It’s the closest one from the parking.
There are also many other short and long hikes from here.
We hiked to one of the closest waterfalls- Alberta Falls. Here is the trail map: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/colorado/alberta-falls-trail
For more details, watch my vlog on YouTube: