They are not as famous as the Andes or the Alps, nor as magnificent, but certainly the world of cinema and TV have made them popular. I speak of the Rocky Mountains which are in North America.
HR Rockies They belong to the United States and Canada and are a popular hiking and nature destination in this part of the world. Today they are part of the Rocky Mountains National Park, in the state of Colorado.
It is a mountain range system that runs parallel to the west coast and has the Mount Elbert as the highest point, with 4401 meters highra. They were formed millions of years ago, it has been affected by the glaciation of the Quaternary Era and by the erosion of the atmosphere and volcanic activity.
Before the arrival of the European colonist they were and still are the home of American Indian peopless like the cheyenne, apache or yesx, just to name a few. Here they hunted bison and mammoths. The arrival of European explorers with their weapons, animals such as horses and various infectious diseases, greatly transformed the reality of these peoples.
The Rocky Mountains were seriously studied scientifically between the late XNUMXth and early XNUMXth centuries. The hides and minerals, mainly gold, motivated them, and the same counts for the different settlements that began to occur from then on.
Rocky Mountain National Park
This protected area was established in 1915 and has an extension of 1.076 square kilometers. There is a eastern part and western part and both parts are different. While the former is rather dry with many glaciers, the latter is rather rainy and humid, which has allowed the growth of very dense forests.
Inside the park there are about 60 peaks over 3.700 meters high and 150 water bodies of different size. The lowest sectors in altitude have meadows and forests with pines and firs, but as we climb the subalpine forest And if we are already talking about more than 3500 meters high then there are no trees and the alpine meadow.
The best time to visit the park is in summer, between July and August, as it is almost 30 ºC, although the nights are still cold. It snows between October and the end of May. The park open 24 hours a day all year, except for certain special dates that should be checked on the website, and there are different types of ticket for the visitor:
- 1 Day Pass per person: $ 15
- 7 Days Pass per person: $ 20
There are also tickets for vehicles with less than 16 people or for people arriving by motorcycle. The Alpine Visitor Center It is a good place to start, at the highest point in the park at 3.595 meters high, with great views of glacial valleys and peaks. In addition, it provides a lot of information about the place. There is another place like that, the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center where a 20-minute film is shown and there is a topographic map of the park, plus a gift shop and free WiFi.
Another visitor center is the Downtown Fall River and there is also a historical site called Holzwarth that takes us back to the 20s of the last century, to see how people lived at that time. The buildings here are open in the summer, but in winter you can see them from the outside. The Kawaneeche Visitor Center, north of Grand Lake Village, offers maps, camping permits, and displays about the park. The Moraine Park Discovery Center It is on Bear Lake Road and offers its own exhibits and a nature trail that provides wonderful views of Moraine Park.
In addition to these visitor centers distributed throughout the interior of the park, the traveler can follow different scenic routes. If you like mountains there is the Trail Ridge Road, the paved road at the highest altitude in the country, which crosses the Milner Pass. There is also the Old Fall River Road, of land, open then from the beginning of July to the end of September, because it has many curves.
As well there are many picnic areas and many possibilities of go hiking, horseback riding or get out of camp and sleep under the stars. The Kawuneeche Valley is a beautiful place to hike and is where the Holzwarth Historic Site and the Coyote Trail. This is all on the west side of the park. Unfortunately many of these trails were ruined by the floods of 2013 so everything has to be checked before in the visitor centers and with the rangers.
On the east side of the park is the Bear Lake Area, with many beautiful picnic spots, trails and vantage points. There is a free bus in the summer and fall months. Also here is Lily Lake with beautiful views of Longs Peak, a lake fishing pier, and an easy trail great for families.
So basically Rocky Mountain National Park offers options for Hiking, days of picnic, starry nights in five camping zonesor that can be booked up to six months in advance, more rugged camps are also allowed, horseback rides in two stables open from May and as many outside the park, fishing trips in 50 lakes and many more streams, bird watching and wildlife, visitor centers with information on human occupation of these lands and many programs that dictate the rangers or ranger.