Be still and know …

Untitled. Copyright © 2017 Erik Stensland and Used with permission.
Untitled. Copyright © 2017 Erik Stensland and Used with permission. Click several times until you get all the way up to a fullscreen Facebook image with a black border.

Estes Park photographer Eric Stensland shot this unidentified trail in Rocky Mountain National Park last week. There’s so much more to our national parks than crowded roads and panoramic views. It’s hard to beat the sweet serenity of a quiet mountain trail.

13 thoughts on “Be still and know …

  1. Hi after reading a blog on today’s politics from one point of view and then finding your blog…it was like a fresh breeze went through me and in my mind I could visualize this path in the woods. thank-you. Therese

    1. I especially appreciate the picture because anymore I can’t hike far enough to get away from the crowds and find places like this. I often check “my” webcams, and the ones at the RMNP entrances are especially discouraging. Too often they show every lane full of traffic, bumper to bumper as far as you can see. I wouldn’t for a moment deny those folks a chance to enjoy the park, but I’m glad my memories are of the park as it used to be. These days the park is being loved to death.

      1. Wild Basin (in the southeast part of the park (off Hwy 7 about 13 mi south of Estes) and Brainard Lake (near Ward) used to be good alternatives. But I haven’t visited either in many years and neither has web cams, so not sure what they look like these days.

        When my family used to vacation in the area, we stayed in Allenspark. Could hike into Wild Basin from there.

      2. Wild Basin is one of the area we’ve focused on the last 2 trips…even then ran into far too many parked cars…either have to nom early, or later when people (especially with kids) are tired and leaving. Brainard sounds familiar but I’ll have to check the map for sure. We’ve haven’t done all the Trail ridge options or the upper part . (Ute trail?)
        Not going to attempt anything until mid week after school starts – so many of the mountain entryway road in CO look bumper to bumper on weekends – we look in the webcams and sigh at the mobs. If only some other state would get popular…it’s like dog breeds going downhill after being discovered and “trendy”

      3. If you hike some of the higher trails along Trail Ridge, watch out for lightning. There have been several deaths up there in recent years along Ute Crossing Trail and in the Rainbow Curve parking lot. I know you know that, but it’s now tattoed on my forehead.

        The trail west out of Allenspark is little known and you’ll need a good map to find the trailhead. Also there are some trails I’ve never hiked off Ski Road > Rock Creek Road that runs south out of Allenspark. (Here’s a decent map I just found that shows all this.)

        If you’re just wandering around, the Meadow Mountain Cafe on the Hwy 7 business loop just east of “downtown” is a good place for lunch.

        Ah, and I just noticed you can scroll down on the same map and see all the trails out of the Brainard Lake area.

      4. HA -you are right. Lightening is to be respected. Once while I was in college, we were racing to shelter down a trail and a bolt hit a huger pine tree above us and then ran down the trunk stripping the bark all the way to the ground. Talk about loud. I kept a 8 – 10 foot 3 inch wide piece of bark for a quite a while..
        We do watch the skies more than most, I think and have made some real scrambles down the Mts when the wind gets that certain way before the storm. Prefer to get up very early to hike rather than risk afternoon storms….(the openness of the Trail Ridge trail is why we’ve left most of those alone.
        Really appreciate the travel info. and the map. I’m hoping maybe this fall if the tropics stay quiet. Hard to leave home during hurricane season – house can’t button itself up HAHA (Gads more rain and flooding in north and west…we’re just soggy beyond belief…more muddy dog towels…)

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