Huge Bull Elk At Hidden Valley In RMNP

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This “Big Guy” was about 5 feet from the trail at Hidden Valley in Rocky Mountain National Park. He looked at me and I looked at him, clicked a few photographs and left him alone to rest. He must be exhausted from the rut!

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Black And White Or Color Photograph At Hidden Valley In RMNP?

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I couldn’t decide if I liked the black and white photograph or the color photograph of the stream by the Junior Ranger Station at Hidden Valley in Rocky Mountain National Park.

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Which one do you like better?

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Great 100th Anniversary Celebration At Hidden Valley In RMNP!

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The buses were loaded and the chairs were full as everyone made their way to Hidden Valley in Rocky Mountain National Park for the kick-off celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the park. It was a great time!

Cowboy Brad introduced his new Centennial song for Rocky Mountain National Park which was a big hit and the first time he ever sang it in public. There were speeches by some of the dignitaries as well as the park superintendent, Vaughn Baker. Kurtis Kelly did a great rendition of Enos Mills, the founder of Rocky Mountain National Park. But I think the students from Eagle Rock School in Estes Park who have been working for the park all summer stole the show. They each talked about their summer duties in RMNP and how much it meant to them. They each ended with telling us their name, where they were from and stated, “I am your future.” What a show!

There were cookies with “100” written on top and a whole shop of all the commissioned 100th Anniversary products. It was really cool to see my RMNP Centennial Logo cards there. What an honor to be chosen to make something that will be sold for the next year with their logo on it!

What a great time and a great kick-off party! Happy 100 years, Rocky Mountain National Park! We look forward to all the festivities in the coming year!

 

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Pretty Blue Chiming Bell Wildflowers At Hidden Valley in RMNP

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The blue Chiming Bell Wildflowers at Hidden Valley in Rocky Mountain National Park are just gorgeous! They hang over the little streams and bring such color to landscape.

Have you ver seen a Chiming Bell wildflower?

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Beautiful White Olympia Marblewing Butterfly In RMNP

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I was chasing this white butterfly at Hidden Valley in Rocky Mountain National Park the other day when it finally landed on a wildflower. I clicked away, thinking it was just another white butterfly. Was I wrong!

This is an Olympia Marblewing butterfly with yellow-green marbling in discrete patterns. It is about 1 1/2″ to 1 3/4″ and loves the open woods and meadows. It was just beautiful!

Its tiny head looks like a little puff ball…almost a light lavender in color.

Have you ever seen an Olympia Marblewing butterfly? Pretty, don’t you think?

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Pretty Yellow Clouded Sulphur Butterfly In Rocky Mountain National Park

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I figured it was time for another spring-like photograph to remind us all that the real spring weather in Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park is not too far away!

I took this photograph of a yellow Clouded Sulphur butterfly at Hidden Valley in RMNP last summer. You can even see his eye as he feeds on the purple clover.

Pretty, don’t you think? Are you ready for spring?

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Showshoeing Hidden Valley Ski Slopes In Rocky Mountain National Park

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I had to bring back an old time movie that we made of us snowshoeing Hidden Valley in Rocky Mountain National Park in honor of the recent snow fall that has fallen in the past week. We filmed this video with our Leica Cameras (our older Leica Cameras) and edited the videos into an old-time super 8 type film. We will be snowshoeing and AT skiing Hidden Valley again soon as there is possibly enough snow fall available now as the river has to freeze over and fill with snow.

The video starts off with us snowshoeing up the main t-bar slope which is extremely steep and very tiring to arrive at the top.  Then we head down Trail Ridge Road for about 1 mile and end up at the bowls (bowl skiing for AT skiers).  Then it is down Columbine (which we have skied down)  and through the back country trees.

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 snowshoeing. 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 great place to visit either in summer and winter.

Hope you enjoy the video as much as I do!

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Beautiful, Blue Chiming Bells Wildflowers At Hidden Valley In RMNP

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Chiming Bells are such a beautiful wildflower and could be seen along the banks of the little stream at Hidden Valley in Rocky Mountain National Park this summer.

When they start blooming they are a pretty pink and, as they mature, they turn a gorgeous blue. You can see them along the rivers and streams all over RMNP, even at the higher elevations during the summer months.

Chiming Bells are a perennial that grow  to about 4′  tall with small, bell-shaped, blue flowers that grow in nodding clusters.

Pretty, don’t you think? Have you ever seen Chiming Bells in RMNP?

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Hidden Valley Stream In RMNP In A Black And White Photograph!

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I always love to see landscape photographs in black and white. Phil took this photograph of the stream running through Hidden Valley in RMNP last summer.

Hidden Valley is a great place to hike or just meander around. There are picnic tables all around for those wanting to spend a little more time there enjoying the scenery. We took a lot of our landscape, wildflower and butterfly photographs at Hidden Valley this past summer. It is always a treat to go there.

Have you ever been to Hidden Valley? It is a treasure in Rocky Mountain National Park!

 

 

 

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Dark Maroon Dusky Beard’s Tongue Wildflower On The Tundra In RMNP

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I’ve seen the Dusky Beard’s Tongue wildflower at lower elevations at Hidden Valley and on the the tundra in Rocky Mountain National Park. Up on the tundra, they do not grow nearly as tall.

Dusky Beard’s Tongue is a perennial that grows to about 15″ high (it was about 8″ tall on the tundra). Its flowers are long maroon to white petals in whorls around 3 upper nodes. They grow from the sub-alpine elevations to the alpine elevations.

I had never seen Dusky Breard’s Tongue wildflowers before either. I’ve had a  lot of “firsts” this summer! Maybe because I’m looking a little bit harder. You can see the little hairs on the petals of the flowers…I presume that’s why it is called “Beard’s” tongue. Pretty, aren’t they?

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