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Pictures of Rocky Mountain National Park


More pictures. We’re in the homestretch on our vacation. Only a few more sets to go. After that, I have more California pictures to show you.

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  • We entered the park on the west side, toward Grand Lake. Most of the trees in that area are dead, killed by large numbers of pine bark beetles. Because the US Forest Service does its best to prevent forest fires, this means that old trees don’t die off, and they get progressively weaker and less resistant to pests like the beetle. A few warm winters have let the beetle reproduce twice as fast, and haven’t killed off the beetle with cold, so now it’s a veritable plague. Vast swaths of the trees in RMNP are dead, which is why the mountains look gray and not brown. On the west side of the park, they’ve cut down all the trees on both sides of the main road for 50 meters in both directions, and they stacked the dead trees in pyramids widely separated from each other. That way, if one pyramid of dead trees is ignited by lightning or arson, it won’t catch the other stacks of dead trees on fire. I’m very surprised the whole park didn’t catch fire in 2011. 2012 will be different, I think.
  • We saw elk with their “velvet” on their horns, eating along a flooded road. We sat and watched them for a long time while we ate lunch, which consisted of cheese, crackers and elk sausage that we’d bought in Grand Lake. We thought it was delightfully inappropriate.
  • They’re rebuilding the retaining walls along the road in spots. These walls were built back in the 1930s, and they’re a historical monument. They’re dismantling the walls, numbering each brick, and then shoring up the mountainside. Then they’ll reassemble each wall, putting each numbered brick back the way it was originally.
  • We make snow angels in the snow near the top of one of the passes. It was July, and we live in the jungle, so we were pleased that there was still snow.
  1. 2012-01-30T02:59:39+00:00 02:59

    fantastic photos of the velvet horns


  2. 2012-01-29T20:49:55+00:00 20:49

    Elk may have good hearing, but I wonder if it smelled its brethren in your sausage.

    Still lovely with all the downed trees.


  3. 2012-01-29T19:57:00+00:00 19:57

    Oh these are beautiful elks!
    Anna :)


  4. 2012-01-27T09:14:00+00:00 09:14

    Beautiful photos! Eating elk sausage while watching elk? Yes, probably inappropriate but also very tasty I bet!


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