MORE INFORMATION: Rocky Mountain National Park 1000 Highway 36 Estes Park, CO 80517 970.586.1206
HIGHLIGHTS: Rocky Mountain National Park was established by Congress on January 26, 1915 and includes dozens of peaks that tower more than 13,000 feet high. Longs Peak, the highest mountain in the park, is 14,259′ in elevation. There’s also a park road, the Trail Ridge Road, that crosses the Continental Divide at 12,183′.
Almost 90% of the park is managed as wilderness, making it a great place to enjoy solitude and the natural beauty of the Rocky Mountains. Elk, mule deer, big horn sheep, moose, coyotes and a great variety of smaller animals call the 416 square miles (265,769 acres) of the National Park home. During the winter months snowshoeing and cross country skiing are very popular, and hiking is available on 355 miles of trails, some of which can be hiked any time of the year.
I hiked this section with The Cowboy in the southwestern corner of the park near Grand Lake. We spent three days hiking past meadows and trout streams along the North Inlet Trail to the Porcupine backcountry campsite. Two alpine lakes, Lake Nanita and Lake Nokoni are not far from this area. Most campsites along this route allowed fires at the time, which was a major plus. Overnight temperatures were well into the 20’s during our hike in October.