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Untitled. Copyright © 2018 Erik Stensland. Used with permission.

This is an untitled photograph from Erik Stensland’s Facebook page. Stensland is a professional photographer based in Estes Park, Colorado, and his photos of Rocky Mountain National Park are favorites of mine.

In order not to contribute to a concentration of visitors, Stensland does not reveal his vantage points. However, based on my experience, this appears to have been taken along the Toll Memorial Trail on Trail Ridge Road, areas that are already heavily trafficked in the summer. The trail is an out-and-back paved walkway above 12,000 feet. With Trail Ridge Road closed in winter, Stensland probably had to ski up to this location. I’m glad he did.


  1. Well that’s pretty good. A Quisling in our midst! Giving away Mr Stensland’s secrst location.
    . I can see and feel a surge of environmental saboteurs invading this spot now.

    • The trailhead is a major stopping point on Trail Ridge Road and he might well have shot this from the parking lot. Still, nobody else gets up there in winter. The really secret spots are backcountry gems that involve a lot of hiking. And they are gems because not many people get there. And we want to keep it that way.

    • As you know, one can barely find a parking place up there in the summer. I envy Stensland having it all to himself in the winter. And grateful to him for sharing the experience.

"A republic, if you can keep it." ~ Benjamin Franklin

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