Between sickness and basketball we were finally able to get away for a long day and get one thing crossed off of our Colorado Bucket List 2018!
If you have never been to Rocky Mountain National Park before, there are two main entrances- Estes Park and Grand Lake. The road that connects the two towns through Rocky Mountain National Park is Trail Ridge Road. During the winter this road is closed due to incredible amounts of snow, but during the summer it is possible to drive from one town to the other through the national park.
We’ve been told by so many friends and family that the Grand Lake entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park is where the moose hang out. Neither of us have been to this side before but have been several times to the Estes Park side of Rocky Mountain National Park (where you are pretty much guaranteed to see hundreds of elk!).
We arrived early afternoon and first stopped at the Visitors Center. The park ranger was very helpful in directing us to the hikes that would be the most kid-friendly. There are approximately 7 miles from the Visitors Center to where Trail Ridge Road is closed. We drove that stretch first to get a good feel of this side of the park.
HIKE #1-Coyote Valley Trail:
The first hike that we did was Coyote Valley Trail. This is a shorter hike (.5 miles) and takes you down a path and leads to an open area with a fantastic view of the mountains.
Since we went the last weekend of March, there was quite a bit of snow- several feet! Snow shoes definitely would have been helpful, but we were able to do the whole hike with only falling through the snow a few times.
We also brought along the sled to pull the three year old, and to finally let the boys go sledding since there’s been so little snow this winter in Colorado Springs!
HIKE #2-Holzwarth Historic Site Trail:
The second hike that we did was Holzwarth Historic Site trail. The distance of the trail was 1.0 miles round trip.
This part of the trail contains old abandoned cabins that you can walk to.
We did not find a moose on either of these hikes (which was probably good since they’re dangerous), and we drove one more time to the end of Trail Ridge Road with no sign of any moose 🙁
After these two hikes we called it a day and had fabulous pizza at Grand Pizza. Grand Lake is such a cute little town and I definitely see why it is so popular in the summer!
Everything that we write about is our own opinion and experience. PLEASE always check with the original source as exhibits, prices, location, terrain, hours, availability, etc., may have changed from when we went to current day 🙂
Check website for information on fees, location, hours, etc: www.nps.gov