The Art of Exploration · a diary of day trips, natural places, and miscellaneous adventures

Horseshoe Park Overlook

Sunday, August 9th, 2015 in Colorado
Horseshoe Park Overlook

Today I made a quick trip up to Rocky Mountain National Park to renew my annual pass and to drive around the park for an hour before heading back home to catch up on laundry and cleaning. It didn’t me take long after passing through the Fall River entrance station to discover that the park roads were as busy as a bumper car rink and it was no time to attempt a relaxing, scenic drive. My best bet for an enjoyable visit was to pull off, park up, and find a comfortable chunk of granite on which to sit and stare at the mountains.

As you can see by the photo above, that approach worked well. Instead of inching along Trail Ridge Road in an endless conga line of cars, I spent an hour taking photographs and soaking in the view from the Horseshoe Park overlook which includes (from left to right) Mount Chapin, Mount Chiquita, Ypsilon Mountain, and Fairchild Mountain.

By about two o’clock I started my journey home. As I drove out of the park I made note of the various license plates I saw along the way. A random sampling included plates from New York, Florida, Iowa, Texas, Illinois, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Utah, Wisconsin, and California. I don’t envy those folks their drives home.

My drive home, though comparatively short, was done in silence because I had forgotten to bring a CD with me—I usually swing by my local library and check-out a random CD to listen to on my mountain drives, but forgot to do so today. Without a CD, the radio is a feeble fallback—the local stations are all lost as soon as you enter Saint Vrain Canyon west of Lyons and the airwaves remain inundated in static until you reach Estes Park, which makes for a scenic but soundtrack-less drive.

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Assortment

Sky Pond
Sky Pond 1
Snow Day
Snow Day
It snowed last night and most of today and although the total accumulation didn’t top two inches, it made everything look wonderfully white. It also screwed up traffic across the midlands.
Jackson Lake Lodge
Crossing Wyoming
We drove into Grand Teton National Park along Highway 26, a ribbon of pavement that bisects the Teton National Forest from east to west. This quiet road winds its way through the pass between Mount Leidy and Mount Randolph.