We had a long weekend planned and decided to meet up with Corrie's parents for an overnight in Rocky Mountain National Park. Driving up from Moab, UT, we arrived in Grand Lake and made the drive over Trail Ridge Road. We stopped at the Alpine Visitor Center to check out the views. This was my first time being over 12K ft elevation and I could definitely feel the altitude. Once we were on the east side of the pass, we started seeing lots of elk and deer with their antlers in velvet.
The following morning we picked up our permit and headed to the Glacier Gorge Trailhead. Our camp spot was only a few miles in, so we dropped our gear and decided to hike up to Andrews Tarn.
The mountain views on the way up to the lake were spectacular. Jagged spires in all directions, lots of wildflowers, and sounds of marmots and pikas echoed around us.
Once we were up at the lake we grabbed some lunch and enjoyed the views.
Once we sat down, we started noticing all the little critters around us. Pika gathering grass for the winter, marmots sunning on the rocks, and even a baby marmot hiding in the rocks.
It's fairly common for afternoon thunderstorms in the CO mountains, so we slowly started making our way back to camp as the clouds started to build.
Back in camp we headed into our tents as the skies opened up. We listened to the rain on the tent and the thunder echo around us. The rest of the evening we hung out in camp and relaxed. The following morning we woke up early and made our way back to the car. We had beautiful weather on the hike out.
Once back at the car we had to head back home, but mad a short detour to take our photo at the sign before we left. A very short, but fun trip to a new national park for me!
Trip notes: even though we only hiked 9 miles, it was tough backpacking at that elevation for the first time. I REALLY felt the altitude at the top of the road just walking around. I made sure to drink a bunch of water and take my time hiking which seemed to help. Looking forward to returning for more trips!