Summer Home at Rocky Mountain National Park

Greetings from Colorado! This summer I am stationed at Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Park, CO. Created in 1915, this is one of the most visited National Parks in the United States. Last year they had over 4.3 million visitors from all over the country and globe. There are stunning views here of mountains, rivers, valleys, and all sorts of geological formations.

A beautiful view on Trail Ridge Road

The highest point in the park is over 14,000 feet in elevation. Visitors can hike different trails to see the different sites. One of these sites is the continental divide which runs through the park. The divide determines where the water will drain and flow. On the east of the divide it will flow east, and on the west side it will go to the west.

Another cool fact about Rocky Mountain is there are three different ecosystems in the park, which depend on the altitude and climate: montane, subalpine, and alpine (increasing in elevation). There are different species of plants and animals found in the ecosystems. Another ecosystem found here is called the riparian ecosystem. This ecosystem is the area that surrounds different bodies of water, lakes, rivers, etc.

The park is home to different wildlife which can be found all over the park. Some of the common animals you can see are elk, mule deer, moose, ravens, chipmunks, and more.

A herd of bachelor elk we saw while driving
A male mallard duck spotting at Sprague Lake

Bighorn sheep are also found here, but they are some of the shier residents. There are also several different species of firs, pines, and spruces. Rocky Mountain is also home to a few threatened and endangered species, such as the Greenback Cutthroat Trout. The park also works on invasive species management and has a team which specializes in clearing out invasive plants.

Different things that people should be mindful of when visiting here is keeping a respectful distance from the animals, the weather, timed entries and making reservations, altitude sickness, road closures, and general first aid safety. Rocky Mountain is a beautiful park and I hope everyone has a chance to visit it in their lifetime!

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