Hey, hey, hey!
I miss Fat Albert sometimes.
This is a follow up to my last post, Lily Mountain Trail, so if you haven’t read that yet – go check it out!
As I said in my last post, Rocky Mountain National Park doesn’t allow dogs on any trails. They are allowed in picnic areas and parking lots but that’s about it. Talk about pissing in my cereal. At this point in my life, I don’t go many places without Zuzu. So whenever dogs aren’t allowed somewhere I take it personally. If you don’t believe me, you should re-read my rant in my previous post.
Anywhoo, this rule solidified the fact that we wouldn’t be hiking in the park but we still wanted to ride around and enjoy the view and we only had the afternoon to do so. So, here is my guide to RMNP when you only have like 4 hours to see the sights.
This is a beautiful time of year to visit the park but there are some cons as well. A chunk of the park is closed off starting at Many Parks Curve which was extremely disappointing. However, there is still plenty to do in the open parts of the park.
We decided to hit 4 sites within the park and leave enough time for driving and lunch in our 4 hour allowance. We entered the park at Beaver Meadows, where we paid $20 for a one day pass, and headed up towards Hidden Valley which is the only place in the park where sledding is allowed. We had no sleds but we got to watch a few people wipe out in addition to a really awkward engagement photoshoot.
Next, we back-tracked and drove over to Sheep Lakes. I have to say these were underwhelming. However, it was a good place to walk Zuzu (in the parking lot ) and enjoy the view…and the extreme wind. I don’t think I’ve properly warned you about the wind. The wind is crazy. Pack your windbreaker.
Just past Sheep Lakes is another park entrance/exit and you can exit the park here and go to the visitor center just past the entrance and take a potty break or eat at the restaurant there! Getting back in is easy if you have your receipt from when you paid for your day pass.
After our much needed human potty break, we started our trek to Bear Lake. Along the way, we stopped at Glacier Basin.
The drive to Bear Lake was definitely the longest and most tedious. However, we ended up behind a snow plow so the drive wasn’t that difficult.
Bear Lake was completely frozen over and was SO beautiful! The walk out to the lake was pretty short too.
The parking at Bear Lake was extremely crowded so I would advise to head there first thing and be prepared to circle the parking lot for a little while.
After Bear Lake, we started our trek out of the park. It was such a beautiful place and we found out after our trip that there is a dog boarding facility in town. I do want to spend some time hiking in the park. While I will be sad to leave Zuzu at home, this is just one of those places you can’t miss.
Thanks for reading!