Epic Road Trip. Day 7.
We started our last day in Rocky Mountain National Park by being ‘those people”. My husband was slightly embarrassed and my kids were annoyed but we did manage to get one semi decent iconic photo with the park sign.
Our plan for the day was a moderately long hike out to Mills Lake, which would have been about 5 miles. Obviously because we made a plan that didn’t happen. It started off well, the girls were energetic and happy. They were running through the trail and climbing rocks pretending to be baby elk, so cute btw.
We were about a mile into our hike when it started lightly raining. No problem! We’ve got rain jackets right? We were all set to forge ahead like mighty trail warriors when it started to hail. I mean. I can tough it out quite a bit but actual hail that is hurting my head seems like a sign. So we opted to turn around and try some shorter hikes closer to the trail head. Being caught in a hail storm 3 miles from the car with a toddler isn’t exactly a dream vacation.
We did make it to Alberta Falls, which was appropriately scenic. Basically everything at RMNP is amazing and awe inspiring so it’s hard to go wrong. The kids and Jake had a good time dipping their toes into a slower moving area of the water. Safety first kids. Or mom the fun killer will appear.
We did manage to hike another trail out to Nymph Lake, and I cannot even tell you why it took us approximately 30 hours. Abby basically slept through the entire hike, and it wasn’t really that long. We did stop several times to build elaborate homes for our chipmunk friends, complete with food in the fridge. I also had to loudly announce to the chipmunks that their house was ready. Our fellow hikers are probably still laughing about the crazy mom yelling into the forest at chipmunks.
Nymph Lake is gorgeous and the girls had a great time playing in the water. We also got to see a huge elk on the opposite side of the lake.
For dinner we drove back into the park and had a nice picnic next to the river. It was kind of amazing and I’m giving myself all the credit for this genius idea. Abby only cried through the first half too, so that’s basically a win. Her little introvert soul might need some time away from us soon.
After some delicious camp stove nachos and more chipmunk house construction, we tried to drive over to Sprague Lake to watch the sunset and walk the short trail around the lake. Instead, we were treated to a black bear sighting just off the road. It was amazing. Even when we went to Alaska we never saw a black bear that close, so we were pretty pumped. The girls were a bit spooked so we had a long conversation about bear safety and I think some of it sunk in? Rest assured we weren’t in any danger, I’m pretty uptight about wildlife safety.
So after our bear sighting we were just driving and two huge moose walked right across the road in front us. After three days in the park we got to see a bear, moose, and elk all in span of one hour basically. It was a pretty great way to end our time in Rocky Mountain National Park.