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16 August 2009 @ 09:51 am
Rocky Mountain National Park  
A visit the Boulder meant that there just had to be a trip to the Rocky Mountain National Park. Now, just how different could the Colorado rockies be from all the other Rocky ranges we had seen in Montana and Wyoming? The trail-ridge road through the park, also known as U.S. Route 34, is the highest paved through highway in the country and it passes through some spectacular Alpine Tundra biome at over 12,000 feet. It was nothing like what we had seen before and the thin air at that altitude meant that it required a lot of effort to hike.

The trip was a short one, but we saw beautiful elk, moose, marmot, pika, coyote, chipmunks and squirrels and the hike in the tundra zone was particularly rewarding. The high-altitude road could get nasty during late afternoon thunderstorms because there isn't any tree cover and one such thunderstorm was building up when we left the park to have a late lunch in the beautiful city of Estes Park.

A male Elk in Alpine Tundra

An Elk...

...keeping watch over its home

They are impressive animals which can reach 5 feet at the shoulder and with their antlers they can stand at an impressive 9 feet tall!

Elk eye! You only realize how huge they are when they are really close like in this case!

Flowers just before the arrival of a storm


A Gold-mantled Ground Squirrel

A Pika

A young Moose

dr_koolaimzzdakini_bones on August 17th, 2009 06:20 am (UTC)
Awesome framing on the moose shot!