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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Wildlife and ghost towns around Rocky Mountain National Park

We are getting excited about our return trip this fall back to Rocky Mountain National Park after 8 years. Our guidebooks will be updated to include new segments. I'm sure that the outskirts and Estes Park has grown more with tourism. It was fun to ride bikes around Estes Park and explore the town, but our favorite was around the park itself. We did go to Denver recently. Read about in our Colorado destination guide.

Here's a snippet of our travels around the outskirts of the park back then -
Remnants of Lulu City

"Today we hiked 7.5 miles along the Colorado River to Lulu City, an old ghost town. There sure wasn't much left of Lulu City though (probably nothing left now). It was an old silver mine town. All we saw was a few tumble down logs that used to be a house. We wandered off the trail and found the old mine which had iron bars across it. We had a good time playing with a golden-mantled ground squirrel (looks just like a chipmunk except bigger and with spots on his stomach). I was sitting down eating peanuts and raisins and the squirrel came right up and got on my shoe and took a peanut. While hiking back we came upon a cow elk grazing beside the river. We watched her for a while and got some videotape. When we got close to the parking lot there was a deer walking across near our truck. She went over to some picnic tables and licked the barbecue grills. We got footage of that also. On the way back over the park we saw 2 big horn sheep rams at the very top, where I videotaped them though there was nowhere to pull over to get a real good shot.

Then a few miles later we saw 2 big bull elks grazing on the side of a mountain. We got out and got some excellent videotape footage and some photos with the telephoto lens. One of the elk was a FOURTEEN point (see above, this was before advances in digital cameras..). The rack was huge, I don't know how he held his head up. After that, it started raining and we came on back to the campground. When we got to our campsite, we could hear coyotes howling in the distance. You could also look up in the night sky and see the cloudy sketch of the Milky Way galaxy."

As we traveled, we had one of the first wireless networks, two wireless cards. People would be amazed that we both could be connected via a dial up! Course, connecting was sparse in remote areas. Now, wireless is everywhere. So much the better for travelers today! Read more about our first trip in our travel archives.
Recommended Colorado travel books
For detailed Colorado maps and directions, check out our recommended books on Colorado.

Have tips on great places to see around the park and Estes Park? Add to our blog comments and let us know.

Posted by Carl Burnham at 12:31 PM
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