Friday, June 02, 2017

Trail Ridge Road, Rocky Mountain National Park

A late opening for the Trail Ridge Road, aka CO34, which spans the width of the Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP).  It's usually open for the season during Memorial Day Weekend but this time snow levels and late season snow fall delayed things till Wednesday, May 31.

I took the next day, Thursday, the first of June off of work and rode the 2.5 hours to Estes Park which borders the RMNP on the east side.  $20 is the fee one pays to get a day pass.   I went Thursday as I figured the crowds this first weekend after the road's seasonal opening would be maddening.

It wasn't too crowded in the park but at the first few miles, I did wonder as people were stacked up gawking and trying to find parking at the first couple of major overlooks.  Once I got clear of them, it was pretty much smooth going.

 Near the "Rock Cut", one of my favorite stopping
points for pictures within the park


At the first curve after the Alpine Visitor Center
near the road's summit






Usually, I enter the park via the Fall River Road entrance and exit via the Beaver Creek Entrance.  I elected instead to retrace my route and found this nice view of the mountains as one exits the park:


One last view of the mountains.

Another 2.5 hours or so for the ride back.

Almost 400 km (240 miles) ridden and with that some facts have become evident.

Highest temperature 82°F (27.7°C) in Denver, 42°F (5.5°C) at the summit of Trail Ridge Road.

Fiona's "Tractor Seat", which is basically a slab of thick rubber, isn't made for long distance riding in terms of my butt's comfort.  I think I'll have to look into getting a bench seat.

Although I'd moved the seat back before, I still couldn't get the "stretch" for my knees as I can with Scarlett (who has a bench seat on her).  My knees were killing me by the end of the riding.

Of course, it could be that I'm out of shape for long rides too.  

Fiona did great though she did idle a bit low at altitude within the park, no big surprise as we were much higher than normal; a bit over 12000 ft or 3657+ meters.

12 comments:

RichardM said...

It looks nice and cool up there. Beautiful pictures and a nice video. Still lots of snow.

I'm surprised you haven't picked up a National Park Pass. $80 per year, unlimited entry. Between Arches, Canyonland, and RMNP you're practically there.

Charlie6 said...

You're quite right RichardM. However, if I had the pass...is it tied to a vehicle like the Colorado State Park annual pass we have is tied to the RV, not usable on the motorcycles?

RichardM said...

I think the pass is tied to the person. As they have a variety including ones for active military, seniors and 4th graders.

Charlie6 said...

I'll definitely have to look into it for this summer's RV'ing plans then!

SonjaM said...

Lovely ride, Dom. Almost looking like the Alps...

Trobairitz said...

The views are just gorgeous with the snow still on the peaks.

Charlie6 said...

Thanks SonjaM, they both have their unique appeals...I found the Alps more striking.

Charlie6 said...

Mountains look best when snow clad! Thanks for the comment Trobairitz

motoventures said...

Dom - it you happen to be "mature" enough (Read: Age 62) then you qualify for the Senior Pass. $20 as a ONE TIME fee and it stays with you (the person) for ANY vehicle you drive! https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/passes.htm

Charlie6 said...

motoventures, wait are you saying I look old? :)

not quite at the right age yet, working on it.

CCjon said...

Great photos of the rockies as always. Love your choice of music for the video.

Charlie6 said...

Glad you liked this posting CCjon....