So, we’re in Rocky Mountain National Park in May. In Atlanta, we are long past the days of choking yellow pine pollen that highlight our Spring weather and are well on our way to Summer. But in Colorado, it’s a different story!
Trail Ridge Road is a high mountain pass that runs 48 miles through Rocky Mountain National Park from its East side across to the West. An amazing Highway to the Sky, the brochures tout this as the most scenic road there is.
Of course, that is when it is open…
I knew that the road was closed due to snow but, we wanted to at least see part of it so my wife Joyce, and I drove up to Rainbow Curve which was as far as the road had been cleared. I assume that this spot is named for what must be amazing vistas that can be seen here. Apparently, no one told Mother Nature that it is supposed to be Spring and we drove through what looked like a blizzard as we made our way up the road. Undoubtedly, things would clear up and we would see those great sights when we got to Rainbow Curve, right?
At the point where the road was closed, we found heavy winds with stinging snow and sleet blowing in our faces and near white-out conditions. You could see well enough but, except for a few fleeting moments when the sun peeked through, there was no sign of that fabulous view of the Rocky Mountains. I would have to wait till later in the day and at much lower elevation (Rainbow Curve is 10,829 feet) to see Horseshoe Park, where we shot the night sky later on.
We got a lot of variety in weather on this trip. In Rocky Mountain National Park there is always considerable variation when you go into the higher elevations but the “spring” weather here has surprising contrasts. Don’t laugh but, I thought about renting snowshoes at a couple of points. It is actually a nice time to be in the park since traffic is light but you need to be ready for the weather. Think about bringing sunglasses and shorts but also protection from rain, snow and cold. Yeah, just pack everything.