Free National Parks Day

I’ve always wanted to visit one of the National Parks on one of their free days. Mountain man and I do not live close to any of the National Parks that we enjoy visiting. However, this year I found myself in Colorado Springs for my best friend’s (from highschool) wedding.

Jan. 18th was a free day for Rocky Mountain National Park. There is one winter hike in particular that I had done way back in highschool. Ever since then it has sat at the top of my favorites list.

My parents were up for the adventure, so we decided we would go for it. It is a 2 1/2hr drive from Colorado Springs, well worth the drive for the beauty you get to see.

We packed up a lunch, some mint brownies (to celebrate my mom’s Birthday early) and plenty of water and layers of clothing. We reached the park along with everyone else in the whole state (it was a free day, afterall).

The moment we opened our car doors, it felt like the wind would blow them off. You would open the trunk to grab something out and the wind would slam it down. Thankfully we were prepared. With merino wool long underwear, fleece long underwear and REI windproof/waterproof hiking pants the lower half was toasty warm. The upper half just needed merrino wool longunderwear, Patagonia fleece and my Patagonia down sweater hooded jacket and of course my favorite pom pom beanie.

We went from Bear lake, crossing over nymph, crossing over dream lake and ending at Emerald lake, 3.6miles roundtrip. Such breathtaking scenery!

 

  1. Before entering the Park,  we are headed to the white out between the mountainsRocky Mountain National Park 0292. Mom crossing Nymph Lake (below)Rocky Mountain National Park 0433. Getting closer to Dream lakeRocky Mountain National Park 0584. Dream Lake crossing…the wind was fierce! the face was cold (below)Rocky Mountain National Park 0615. Me at Dream Lakesnowshoeing with parents 0476. Isn’t this place incredible? the final climb up to Emerland lakeRocky Mountain National Park 0717. Our final destination, Emerald lakeRocky Mountain National Park 076It was so cold up here, the winds were intense, we did not stay very long. Just long enough to set up my ELEVATE HAMMOCK

snowshoeing with parents 030

 Where are your favorite places to snowshoe?

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