Established in 1915 by then President Woodrow Wilson, Rocky Mountain National Park is one of our nation’s oldest National Parks. Sitting between 7,860′ and 14,259′ it is one of the nation’s highest and contains 415 square miles of which the majority is designated wilderness (Leave No Trace principles are a must). 77 mountain peaks over 12,000′ dominate the park. Alpine meadows, glacial lakes, a broad variety of wildlife and wildflowers, and subarctic climate create one of the most stunning displays of natural landscape on our continent.
Close to a year ago we began discussing the backcountry trip through a section of Rocky Mountain National Park. We snapped up our permits for our campsites the day they became reservable. Our mission was to tackle some leisurely (if you can call it leisurely anywhere between 9,000′ and 14,000′ while carrying 50lbs) treks to landscapes like Sky Pond, Andrews Glacier, and an attempt to summit Longs Peak on our final day for a total of around 35 miles with thousands of feet of elevation change. While our trip was cut short by a night, ultimately fouling our shot at bagging Longs (some rough weather sent us back below treeline), it was nothing short of extraordinary and life-changing.
The adventure, whether it be day hikes or multi night treks, and photographic opportunities in Rocky Mountain National Park are infinite. Dramatic scenes surround you at any time of the day and all day and night. From sunsets at Andrews Glacier, night skies above Timberline Falls, and bluebird skies at Sky Pond (along with an ice cold dip—best shower ever) the scenery never disappoints. Americans should be thankful we have this magical place. If you’ve never been, go.
I hope you enjoy the photos. If you are interested in a small collection of photos from the trip, head over to the store and pick up one of my limited edition zines.