Fifteen minutes away to the next stop from Señor Loco (cough) I mean The Ponderosa lodge, we hopped back in the car and made way towards Rocky Mountain National Park. Entering all parks are straightforward. Make your way towards the gate where you'll be greeted by a park ranger, then you’ll hand over your weekly/annual pass with ID, or having to purchase one that is good for up to a week. The ranger will gladly hand you a map, and newsletter of the park
Next, we made our way to the visitor center for some insight about the park, and what we could do for a couple hours. We soon learned that the top half the park was closed due to snow, and was not accessible. Once the game plan was set, and few souvenirs purchased, we hopped back into the rental and drove up the mountain. Soon after the first bend, a small heard of Elk were grazing on both sides of the road. Surprisingly, they were comfortable around humans stopping by to take photos.
After spraying action shots of the Elk with my go-to Canon 7D, I decided I got enough shots to hit up the views for those epic landscape views of the park, and finally stretching the Sony A7 legs out with the attached Carl Zeiss 16-35mm lens. Longs Peak and horseshoe bend were one of the sights to check out. I took the time to organize my thoughts staring out, and just enjoying how beautiful this place is.
Further up the mountain at 10,000 feet, snow appeared on this beautiful, but colder thinner climate. After spending about 45 minutes up the mountain taking pictures, and enjoying the views, we were no longer able to proceed towards the north section of the park. Due to time, we had to make our way back down the mountain for the Stanley Hotel night tour! As a huge fan of Stephen King, and his book "The Shining" I have always wanted to come here, with the added bonus from shows like Ghost Adventures, and Ghost Hunters finding evidence of the paranormal here. I knocked this off my bucket list to places I wanted to explore and experience. Great time, and so worth it.