We only did one long hike during our short time on the western side of Rocky Mountain National Park, but it was a good one. The best part was that we were able to hike directly from our RV park just outside the park starting on a trail along the mighty Colorado River, a popular horse trail. But we had it all to ourselves on this weekday in mid-September.
We started here in Sun Valley at an elevation of 8680'.
We hiked alongside the beautiful Colorado River before turning to the east to make our way to the Green Mountain Trailhead.
We would hike to Granite Falls. We saw quite a few folks on the trail who were hiking to or from Big Meadows but only a few carried on to Granite Falls or beyond. The Granite Falls hike is rated moderate and gains 1046' in elevation.
It was a chilly morning, so we started off pretty bundled up but peeled off layers as we went.
Here is Big Meadows, along the way. We looked in vain for larger wildlife but saw only birds.
There weren't many obstacles on the well-maintained trail, but this one tested one's knees.
Tonahutu Creek ran alongside much of the trail after Big Meadow and was so clear.
We passed through a large portion of forest that had been burned in a wildfire. It was surprisingly beautiful and dramatic in its own way and such a contrast to the lush green woods that the fire spared.
We made it!
Here is Granite Falls. At this time of year, the flow was pretty low compared to other photos I've seen online. I am sure it is much more dramatic in the spring from snowmelt.
Barry climbed up for a closer look.
The hike back down the trail was certainly easier than the way up. This gorgeous foliage was at the trailhead.
We were both relieved to be back on the River Trail. Since we hiked to and from the RV park, we ended up hiking 15.4 miles total, our third-longest hike ever! And at this elevation; yep, we were tired pups after this one!
Stay tuned for our bike ride to Grand Lake featuring stunning foliage -- we were in this area at just the right time.
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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