Take a walk on the West side, the West side of Rocky Mountain National Park!  The Continental Divide splits Rocky Mountain National park North and South. During the summer  Trail Ridge Road is a breathtaking short drive over to Grand Lake from Estes Park. You can stop along the way at the Alpine Visitor Center and if you have strong lungs-take the short hike up the Alpine Trail behind the AVC.  Check out this photo sphere to experience it for yourself. 


In the summer months when the road is open I like to hike on the West side of RMNP at least a couple times looking for moose or rare orchids. With smaller crowds and a higher average rainfall the vegetation is more lush and the wildflowers are spectacular.  One of my favorite trails is the Green Mountain Trail, once you hike I am sure it will be one you come back to again and again.  It is a short 1.8 miles out to Big Meadow if you are looking for moose or complete the entire loop and head North to the Onahu Loop and make it about a 7 miles hike.  Afterwards we like to have dinner at the Sagebrush BBQ & Grill-where you can throw your peanut shells on the floor.  You won’t leave hungry with the BBQ they serve, pulled pork and smoked brisket! There are many resources if you are looking to hike on the West side of RMNP, this site has a great list.

Trail Ridge Road

Forest Canyon Overlook

White Calypso Orchid

Multi-colored Orchid

Red Columbine

Blue Columbine

Onahu Creek

Creamy Yellow Columbine

View of Grand Lake

Spotted Coralroot