On the third day of our trip we left Denver and Boulder behind and headed up the Rockies to Estes Park on the edge of the Rocky Mountain National Park.
The morning hike was up the Rattlesnake Gulch trail to see the continental divide.
Rattlesnake Gulch was a cake walk compared to hiking up the flat irons.
Crags Hotel, a hotel halfway up the mountain that had been very popular in the 1920’s as a swinging getaway. Unfortunately it burned down and no one though to rebuild. Oddly enough, this fireplace was all that survived the flames.
We (apparently) found the continental divide. Water on the right side of the panorama will drain into the Mississippi River, while water on the left side is destined for the Colorado.
On the way back in the distance we spotted a train tunnel that could have been right out of a Chuck Jones animation. As we drew closer we were lucky enough to see a very long cargo train go by.
taking the long route to Estes Park we pass by Barker Reservoir and Nederland.
Estes is just over the ridge and we stop for a short walk around Lilly ‘Lake’.
Once we arrive in Estes we find that the town is beset by a plague of elk, and even worse a plague of nature photographers looking for the elk.