Our first adventure into Rocky Mountain set the stage for the rest of the trip, and it was a great stage! After stopping at the Fall River Visitor Center and getting lots of helpful information from the Ranger there, we made our way into the park. First, we decided to go to the Alluvial Fan. That short half a mile hike was easy and brought us to a wonderful waterfall. After spending some time there, we decided to continue on down towards Old Fall River Road.
We decided not to make that trip this morning. Instead, we took the main way, Trail Ridge Road, up to the top. Just because Trail Ridge Road is paved doesn't mean it's any less terrifying, there are no guardrails, and on one side is a steep cliff. We were treated to some amazing views all along that drive though, so it was more than worth it. One of the best parts was spotting the pockets of yellow that were the Aspens as they changed at different paces. The mountains weren't quite in their peak, but they were pretty close.
We made it up to the visitor center at the top of Trail Ridge Road, just below 12,000 feet, the highest elevation either of us have ever reached. I think spending a day getting acclimated to the 8,000 foot elevation down at Estes Park helped, because neither of us were really very light headed. The visitor center was packed, but we managed to explore a bit, there was a family of elk on the hills behind the visitor center. They were difficult to see without a long lens, but they were neat. As we were leaving the visitor center parking lot, a snow squall came up. High winds blew light snow all around us and we had to go slower until we got around one mountain peak and it was like a brand new day!
That wasn't the only thing we did today though! We entered the park after we ate looking for more Elk, since it was getting towards sunset. Boy did we find them! There were close to 100 Elk hanging out in Moraine Park. It was hard to count them all, especially since the bucks were herding them all together. It was fun listening to them, and watching them run around the park.