Old Ski Slopes At Former Hidden Valley Ski Resort In RMNP

 

Hidden Valley Ski Resort in Rocky Mountain National Park used to be a very popular ski resort from 1955 until 1991 when it was closed by the national park to try to get it back to its natural beauty. Reading and listening to stories about the old ski area  is like going back in time to the old T-Bars and chair lifts. It was a hopping place back then.

Today it is used as a sledding and tubing hill in the winter. If you feel adventurous you can hike up and ski down one of the many old trails or try some snowshowing. We’ve done both of them a few times. It’s lots of fun but what a workout!

In the summer you can hike the many trails or or ski slopes up to Trail Ridge Road. It’s a beautiful place for a hike, whether it be long or short.  Near the bottom there are many picnic tables to eat at while you enjoy the spectacular views. It’s a geat place to visit either in summer and winter.

Two American White Pelicans Fishing On Lake Estes in Colorado

 

It is not uncommon to see a pelican here in the summer in Estes Park, CO fishing in Lake Estes. Each summer we seem to have a pair that come to stay for a while. My bird book says that their common breeding grounds are up in Yellowstone area of Wyoming.

We saw them yesterday for the first time and they were just beautiful. They swam around for a while and then took off in flight only to land a couple of minutes later.

Phil happened to have his camera out at the time. They are just beautiful birds. Wonder how long they’ll stay?

 

2 Elk Playing In The Water On Cub Lake Trail In RMNP

 

Phil and I were taking a hike on Cub Lake Trail and saw 2 elk in the distance in the meadow through the trees. A few minutes later we heard some very loud munching. Was it the elk or maybe a moose? It was pretty loud! We decided to investigate.

We bushwhacked through the trees and grass and found a pond that we had never seen before. In it were 2 elk who were playing in the water. It was so much fun to see. One would take a step or two in the mud and then slap his hoof on the top of the water. It was very comical! They seemed to be having a great time and we certainly enjoyed watching them.

The Shooting Star Wildflower Is Exquisite In Rocky Mountain National Park

 

I think that the Shooting Star is one of the prettiest of the wildflowers. The magenta color is so vivid and they have such an extraordinary shape. I just love them.

I took this photograph on Gem Lake Trail…not too far from the trailhead. It was very moist and they love that type of site. I’ve also see them near the entrance to Cub Lake Trail and at Lily Lake.

The Shooting Star has 5 long lobes that are swept backward from a yellowish collar, with a wavy purplish ring at the mouth. There are 5 fused anthers about 1 cm long that project from the mouth.

The Shooting Star blooms from May to August, so they should be around for a while.

Don’t Forget Your Safety Rules When You Are Kayaking or Boating In Estes Park or Colorado

 

I was walking around Lake Estes the other day when I saw this man putting his kayak in the water. It was the middle of June and the air temperature was about 70 degrees. The water temperature, however, was in the 40s. It comes straight from the melting snow in the mountains.

He had on shorts and a t-shirt and a PFD strapped on the bow of his boat. If a gust of wind came by and he went over, he didn’t have a chance. Hypothermia would set in within less than 2 minutes. There’s no way he could get to shore and there were no other boats on the lake.

Remember your boating Safety Rule: Dress for the water temperature, not the air temperature. He should have had a dry suit on, or at least a full wet suit. It’s better to sweat a little than to die.

And ALWAYS wear your PFD…if he went over, there was no way he would be able to get his PFD off his boat, put it on and zip it up. You should ALWAYS wear your PFD…you never know what might happen out on the water.

I went sailing with a friend of mine many years ago…we were both very good sailors. A gust of wind came by and the boom flew across the boat, hitting  him in the head and knocking him out of the boat and into the water. He did not have a PFD on. Luckily he was still conscious and I was able to get him. The only thing he lost was his prescription sunglasses. Ever since that day, I have never gotten into a boat (and I am an experienced boater) without my PFD. It’s not worth the alternative…

I just thought with summer coming and the water still being so cold, a few safety rules might help. Enjoy your time on the water, but please be safe.

 

Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park outdoor adventure and outdoor photography blog. Explore the RMNP Blog and the Estes Park Blog to discover ALL the amazing, hidden beauty that nature has to offer.