Spring Splendor in Rocky Mountain Natl. Park

Deep snow, broad views & a splendid wildlife day.

015My most recent post was about Rocky Mountain National Park’s centennial. Today, we took two visitors — one from Switzerland, one from Malaysia — to see the newly plowed Trail Ridge Road. As always shortly after the road opens for the season, vehicles travel between high snow walls on parts of the road and on other parts with jaw-dropping views of snow-covered peaks. Today provided an exceptional wildlife experience too: elk, bighorn sheep, a marmot and even an owl.

There is still plenty of snow at the Alpine Visitor Center at 11,796 feet above sea level.
There is still plenty of snow at the Alpine Visitor Center at 11,796 feet above sea level.
It is often possible to see elk in Horseshoe Park. Today was no exception.
It is often possible to see elk in Horseshoe Park. Today was no exception.
Two weeks ago, we were thrilled to see bighorn sheep on a slope high above. Today, they were close to the road.
Two weeks ago, we were thrilled to see bighorn sheep on a slope high above. Today, they were close to the road.
Bighorn sheep at Sheep Lakes.
Bighorn sheep at Sheep Lakes — and a small rodent of some sort (prairie dog, perhaps) paying minimal attention.
The marmot at the Forest Canyon Overlook is hard to spot, but trust me -- it's there.
The marmot at the Forest Canyon Overlook is hard to spot, but trust me — it’s there.
Owl up in a pine tree, also right at the edge of the road.
Owl up in a pine tree, also right at the edge of the road.