The Rocky Mountain Ridge Road connects the two main gateways to the Rocky Mountain National Park: Estes Park in the east and Grand Lake in the west. Trail Ridge is part of route 34, about 75 kilometers long, of which about 18 kilometers are above the tree line, in the alpine tundra environment, where trees cannot grow due to the harsh weather conditions during the winter, similar to those in Alaska or northern Canada.
The drive along the ridge passes between stunning overlooks and views. There is no need to stop at each overlook, but keep in mind that the views change, and you should occasionally stop at one of the overlooks and admire the view.
Please note: most people are not used to traveling at such heights, and some may develop altitude sickness due to low air pressure and lack of oxygen, with symptoms of headaches, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, and sometimes even loss of consciousness. It is very important to take your time, drink a lot, eat and rest. If you develop symptoms of altitude sickness - do not continue to ascend. If the symptoms worsen while resting - please go back down as quickly as possible. And never leave a person with altitude sickness alone.
The only place where you can find something to eat and drink on the way is the Alpine Visitor Center.
We hiked in the morning to Deer Mountain, and from there, we continued through the ridge toward Grand Lake.
"Many Parks" Overlook
Here you can get a beautiful overview of the great meadows below the Rocky Mountains.
Rainbow Curve Bird
The overlook is located precisely at the highest point where trees still grow and the transition point between subalpine and alpine climates.
Forest Canyon Overlook
A panoramic observation at an altitude of 3,500 meters above sea level. Be careful not to go off the paved path, as well as not to damage the alpine tundra plants - they are very fragile, and it takes decades for them to recover from trampling.
Alpine Visitor Center
The visitor center is at an altitude of 3,600 meters above sea level. You can get assistance from the park rangers in planning the rest of the trip. There is also a restaurant and a souvenir shop onsite, and, of course, an observation deck.
The drive along Ridge Trail is an amazing experience. The trip is comfortable (drive carefully, no need to rush), there are many places to stop along the way, including hiking and observation routes, and it allows you to understand this huge thing called the Rocky Mountains.
Please note: entrance to the Rocky Mountain Reserve requires the purchase of a ticket in advance, including registration for a specific time range for entering the reserve. Everything is detailed in this post.