I hope you had a great weekend!
Today, I am finally going to finish my recaps from our vacation to Colorado this year. It was one of the best vacations we have ever went on! Please check out all the previous posts if you missed them.
We had a timed entry pass for Rocky Mountain National Park that Thursday morning starting at 7:00 a.m., so we were up bright and early.
We knew we wanted to go to Bear Lake Road and hike as many trails there, so that’s where we headed.
That parking lot was already full, so we had to park at the shuttle sight and get shuttled by bus to the trailhead.
We finally made it to the Bear Lake trailhead.
We hiked this easy half a mile loop around the lake and loved it so much!
Easy hikes with beautiful views are our jam!
Next we decided to look back at the trailhead signs and decided to head towards Emerald Lake.
Our first stop on this trail was Nymph Lake. I LOVED this lake because of all the lily pads. Reminded me of something you’d see in a movie.
Next we headed to Dream Lake. This was a good little hike that had steeper elevation.
Dream Lake lived up to it’s name! It was the clearest, prettiest water I had ever seen on a lake!
We stayed here for a while and ate a snack and rested. Definitely would’ve loved to stay here all day if time allowed!
We kept hiking and we were able to see the prettiest waterfalls after Dream Lake.
After what seemed like forever, we finally made it to Emerald Lake! And all I can say about this lake was WOW! It was so pretty and green and the mountain views were spectacular!
We were hot and tired, but so glad we went this far and saw all the pretty lakes!
We headed back to the start of the trailhead and it was starting to get really crowded and hot, so we were glad we came early.
We grabbed lunch and then decided to drive the Trail Ridge Road. There were so many different places here to pull over and look at all the pretty views.
My favorite was the Rainbow Curve Overlook, but there were so many good spots!
We also saw a moose as we were driving! The girls were so excited to see a moose!
Our hearts were so full from a great day in Rocky Mountain National Park! Memories I will cherish forever for sure!
We went back to the hotel and crashed that night around 9:00! We were wiped out!
The next morning we left Estes Park and headed to Colorado Springs.
This would be the last leg of our trip.
We made it to Colorado Springs at lunch time and hit up Chick Fil A, then went to Garden of the Gods.
We had heard great things about this place but honestly, we were kind of disappointed with it.
The mountain views weren’t that great and I think because we had just came from RMNP and saw all that beautiful scenery, that Garden of the Gods was just okay.
It was super crowded, really hot, and their parking lot was awful.
So we drove around a big loop, got out for the 10 minute time limit to take some pictures and went on our way.
Next we went to Royal Gorge. This was poor planning on my part because I thought it was in Colorado Springs, but it was actually about an hour drive away. And we had just came from Estes Park, so the girls weren’t too thrilled to drive more.
But we already had tickets for the Royal Gorge and it was expensive ($30 per person), so we went!
It was so cool to see this area! This is a huge bridge over the Arkansas River.
We walked across the bridge, which terrified Emily for some reason. I think because some of the boards were squeaky!
Instead of walking back, we rode the gondola back across. This was cool! And we rode with another family from Missouri also.
We were only here for a total of 30 minutes, so Chris and I said we didn’t know if it was worth the hefty price tag to get in, but we were glad we were able to experience it!
We drove back to Colorado Springs and had one more stop we wanted to make- Pikes Peak!
We were going to wait until Saturday morning to do this, but we had enough time left Friday evening so we decided since the weather was good to go ahead and go to the top.
We paid our entrance fee and told the girls to prepare for more driving because it was 19 miles to the top!
This drive up was no joke! So many switch backs and no guard rail on a lot of the roads! Whew! It made Elizabeth a nervous wreck the whole time going up!
When we started driving at the bottom it was 74 degrees! When we made it to the top it was 47 degrees and it started HAILING on us!
They put a shelter in place order in effect because of the hail, so we had to hang out in the car for about 20 minutes. We were so glad we had made it safely to the top though!
We were finally able to get out of the vehicle so we went in to the visitor center.
Chris was feeling pretty lousy because of the high altitude (14,000 feet up) and it was FREEZING, so we didn’t stay long at all!
I was also sad we weren’t able to find the Pikes Peak Summit sign, but we wanted to start driving down while the weather was decent and no more hail.
I did snap a quick picture of the girls. There was so much construction going on at the visitors center, that it was hard to walk around a lot.
We made it down Pikes Peak and couldn’t help but just laugh at how crazy of an experience that was! Sun, hail, crazy roads, altitude sickness, oh my! Lots of great memories made, though!
We went out to eat at Chili’s and then went to our hotel and crashed again! It was a full day!
Since we did everything I wanted to do at Colorado Springs on Friday, we decided to drive all the way back home on Saturday.
It was a looonnnnnggggg 15 hour drive home, but we were so glad to see our house and our own beds that night after 8 days of hotels and being on the road.
Hope you enjoyed our recaps. If you’ve ever thought of a Colorado trip, I say DO IT! We loved the mountains!
Hope you have a great week!