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Photo Safari in Rocky Mountain National Park

Hey Everyone!

We're having a day trip at RMNP, so charge up your batteries!

Park Visitor's Guide:

Park Map in PDF:

The emphasis on this trip is show you as many of the easily accessible highlights of the park as possible in one day.  Obviously, you could spend weeks on end in the park and still only see a small fraction of it's beauty, but we'll try to get as much in as we can!

Directions (Travel time from Downtown Denver is approx 1.5-2 hours):

Take 34 or 36 to Estes Park.

Follow 36 through Estes Park to the Beaver Meadows Entrance Station.

Continue INTO the park (There is a $20 day pass fee to enter the park if you do not already have a national parks pass.  I HIGHLY recommend you invest in a national parks pass as it supports preservation of our nation's natural treasures. You can purchase one at the park entrance as well that is valid for 1 year at every national park and many state parks).

Turn left AFTER Bear Lake Road, onto the dirt road labeled Upper Beaver Meadows Trailhead.

Continue to the end of the dirt road, approximately 1/2 mile.

We'll be meeting at the trailhead at 8:00am.

Schedule (ROUGH, we'll adjust it by group size)

8:00am: Upper Beaver Meadows Trailhead

9:00am: Alluvial Fan (Waterfall)

10:00am: Hidden Valley (Meadowlands) and Many Parks Curve (Overlook)

11:00am: Rainbow Curve (Overlooking Alluvial Fan)

12:00pm: Forest Canyon (Overlook)

1:00pm: Rock Cut (Tundra and Overlook)

2:00pm: Gore Range Overlook and stop for lunch at Alpine visitor center

4:00-7:00pm: Colorado River Trailhead and Kawuneeche Valley (Trailheads, marshland, and Moose!)


We'll be on paved roads with the exception of the short dirt road to Upper Beaver Meadows Trailhead, which is hard packed and does not require a 4x4 or high clearance.

Anyone who would like to carpool for the trip is welcome, please let me know if you need or would like to carpool, or can take additional passengers.

A tripod is recommended as you'll have lots of opportunities for panoramas, but not a necessity.  I would also recommend both a wide angle and a telephoto zoom for the mixture of landscapes and wildlife.

It will be 30-50 degrees colder in the park than in the city of Denver (we'll be above the treeline during the hotest part of the day) so bring a good windbreaker or warm jacket and a hat/gloves to keep you comfortable in the tundra areas.  Jeans and light hiking boots are a good idea as well.

We'll be skipping the parts of the park with the highest concentration of mosquitoes, but if you are tasty to them, remember to bring repellent!  We'll also be under the sun most of the day, so be sure to bring some sun protection.

Pack a lunch and any snacks you want for the day.  Don't forget to bring plenty of water.

Mobile phone signal is limited in the park, so please contact me before Saturday morning if you have questions.

Anyone who would like to continue at the end of the day with me to one of my favorite stellar photography spots (Just outside of Walden, CO) is welcome to, but I'm not including it in this outing as we already have a long day planned.

I'm putting this meetup on the group's schedule 3 times this summer as the Trail Ridge Road is only open from Memorial day to Mid-October because of heavy snow. Please do not miss out on this opportunity!




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  • Jeff H.

    Andy opened up RMNP to my wife and I like I has never seen before. Super well organized with all the great locations charted out and I finally saw my first Colorado moose!

    1 · June 8, 2014

  • Stephen

    Does anyone know if I can buy a pass right at the site? I heard they have special military passes and wanted to know if I get it there

    June 6, 2014

  • Shibu G.

    Anyone want to carpool? I can drive and have a park pass. I live near exit # 225/I25. I am planning to take Hwy 66 from I25 to Estes Park. BTW, I am not expecting any money for the gas/ride.

    June 6, 2014

    • Lin

      I was just up From Lyons to Estes via 36 and had an hour delay for road construction. Might want to consider taking 7 instead of 36 out of Lyons.

      June 6, 2014

    • Shibu G.

      Thanks Lin for the information,

      June 6, 2014

  • Lin

    Turns out I can't go this time but I will definitely catch one of the others this summer.

    June 6, 2014

  • Alan

    Next time, I hope!

    June 6, 2014

  • Mitch N.

    I'm going to pass this time, hopefully I can make the next one...

    June 5, 2014

  • Joshua H.

    I'll try to make the next one sir. Have plans this month.

    June 5, 2014

  • Shari K.

    Can't make this one, but hoping to attend one of the other two you are planning...

    June 2, 2014

  • Mike C.

    Sorry I can't make it. I really want to make it this year.

    June 1, 2014

    • Andy J.

      No worries, Mike. Glad to see you whenever you can make it.

      June 1, 2014

  • Kathleen

    Hoping you schedule something similar again this summer!

    June 1, 2014

    • Andy J.

      We'll repeat this trip at least 2 more times before trail ridge road closes for the winter. They'll be posted to the group in the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

      1 · June 1, 2014

  • Bob C.

    any chance of getting a ride. I live in littleton right off 470 but can drive to recommended meet-up spot.will help with gas as well

    May 23, 2014

    • Bob C.

      ps my phone number is[masked] (recently moved from Md)

      May 23, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hello again Bob. Note below that I brought up car pooling back before Xmas. I'm really busy Sat, but I'm available most of Sun & will call then. I can get you in free also (not burdened by youth).

      May 23, 2014

  • Lin

    Forgot about a prior engagement so I'm having to miss this one.

    January 16, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I have the "Old-Phart" card that will get up to 3 others in the vehicle into the park with me. I'd be glad to car pool.

    December 23, 2013

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