Thursday, August 13, 2015

Hike and Run in Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park



Today I'm in one of my favorite places - Estes Park, Colorado, just outside Rocky Mountain National Park! This week, we hiked in the mountains and ran in and walked around Estes Park with a stop at Laura's for homemade Oreo Cheesecake ice cream, toffee and a cookie.

12,000' Elevation
My husband and I climbed 226 steps from the Alpine Visitor Center to the top of a mountain that is 12000' above sea level. Surprisingly, it wasn't too hard. Maybe that's because I was distracted by counting the steps. That hike was after I ran 7 miles with 2 at a hard effort in the morning.

Emerald Lake (My Husband is Along Water's Edge)
I've felt the elevation on some hikes, which causes shortness of breath and slows me down, like when we hiked for over two hours and saw three lakes (all near Bear Lake), Nymph, Dream and Emerald (10,110' elevation). That morning, I ran 3 hilly miles in Estes Park towards Mary's Lake.

Running from the RV Park (good wifi there) into Estes Park and to Lake Estes has been convenient. The lake is two miles away and main street is even closer. Wednesday, I ran 14 miles mostly beside Lake Estes. I drank Cytomax and ate four dates. It was windy and a little hilly, but the views were gorgeous and I saw some deer running through front yards.

Lake Estes

After my 14 mile run, I fueled up to get ready for more hiking. I knew I'd need lots of energy! We hiked to Cub Lake (8620' elevation) on a loop which took us passed Pool Lake (a bridge and rocky area) where we met up with another hiker who told us he'd just seen a bear on our trail. That was one of my favorite hikes because it wasn't all uphill and then all downhill like many of our hikes.

Alberta Waterfall

After that 3 hour hike, we hiked another hour to see Alberta Falls (9400' elevation).  I was tired by then, but the falls, the boulders and the pines and aspens were gorgeous and worth the energy. That night, it took me two seconds to fall asleep!

18 comments:

  1. The steps look really fun! The views are great, love that you are running and climbing. Good grief, I would sleep like a baby :) What a beautiful place for a long run.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. On the other hand, last night I hardly slept- pre-race jitters or that afternoon mountain-brewed coffee I drank from Leadville.

      Delete
  2. We were there last year. :) We also did the hikes to Emerald Lake & Alberta Falls (and beyond to that other lake whose name I forget ). We drove to the alpine visitors center but the weather was awful. It was snowing/sleeting and we were terrified of that drive!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Too bad about the snow. One of my favorite short hikes!

      Delete
  3. So completely awesome! We have been to all those lakes! You are having a blast of a trip!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Makes me wish we lived in Colorado, too!

      Delete
  4. Wow, what freaking amazing views.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amazing views everywhere you look!

      Delete
  5. Rocky is one of my favorite places EVER! So glad you had a good time there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So far, RMNP, Glacier and Banff and Jasper (both in Canada) have been my favorites!

      Delete
  6. Beautiful pics! I'm sure all that hiking was tough after completing your runs in the morning. I bet your legs are asking for a little relaxing now. I have never been to Colorado. That oreo cheesecake icecream sound delicious. I bet that hit the stop after all your hiking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The rest of my body feels more tired than my legs lately- overall tiredness from the elevation. Hope that improves soon !

      Delete
  7. Running and hiking in a day plus the elevation is quite the accomplishment! Such a beautiful area. Your pictures are gorgeous,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Talked to someone from Vail or Boulder who has some difficulty breathing normally in Leadville where we are now and that made me feel better since I'm from low Texas!

      Delete
  8. Estes Park is so stunningly beautiful. It's one of those places that pictures just do not do justice! Lucky you to get to hang out there for a bit! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I know! So much better in person!

      Delete
  9. We considered that race...but had to discard b/c none of us wanted to travel with our 14 year old daughter!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh, I love Estes and RMNP! Your vacation is so lovely. How many more days do you have?

    ReplyDelete

I love reading comments! I'll post your comment when I get back from my run so please don't worry if your comment doesn't show up right away.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...