For our night in Colorado Springs we stayed at a lovely home that Elizabeth found on http://www.Homeaway.com. It was in a great quaint part of Colorado Springs. It had plenty of bedrooms for all of us and an adorable playroom filled with newer toys on the third floor. She is really great at searching for the perfect homes to rent at great prices. It was a newly renovated and decorated home, which of course delighted me, as I love good décor! It was perfect for our stay in Colorado Springs. The next morning we got up at 3 am. Yes 3:00 AM to head to Rocky Mountain National Park. This national park is one of the busiest in the country. We also were set to hike Bear Lake Trail at dawn, before the tourists all arrived and the lighting would be perfect for some great photos in the early morning hours. The kids slept on the drive and it was a little over 2 hours to get there. We got there when there was still parking at the Bear Lake Trail parking lot. It was completely full by the time we were done hiking, which was no surprise, as we had done our research and knew it would get busy. They were literally pulling in with busloads of people shuttling them in from further parking lots to see this area of Rocky Mountain National Park. I am so glad we made the decision to go early in the morning! It made life so easy to pull into a near empty parking lot early in the morning, pull out our BOB double jogging stroller and get right on the path with very few people out and about. We chose the Bear Lake Trail because it is handicap accessible (meaning it is also accessible for strollers). There are many miles of trails that go off from Bear Lake Trail which is why it is a desirable destination.
After our hike around the lake we took the scenic drive through the park. It was amazing! We saw plenty of animals. We stopped at the many scenic pull offs to take photos. Never in my life have I put kids in and out of car seats so many times in one day! But it was well worth the effort! There were memories made and things seen that we may never see again! We saw elk, marmot, deer, moose, and more! All in their natural habitat with no fences or zoo like feeling. People have to stay on the paths, for their own safety, which we happily did! We didn’t want to run into any bears on our trip, and from our research we found they are commonplace at the Bear Lake Trail location. I am thankful we didn’t see any bears on our hike!
As we drove through the scenic drive of the Rocky Mountain Park we eventually reached the top of the mountains where the Tundra area is located, high above the range where trees grows. I was surprised to see snow that we could actually get out to touch and play on! The kids had fun and it was certainly cold for the middle of July! It was quite the experience!