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hiking the east inlet trail in RMNP

As I mentioned here, I’m going through a little bit of a Colorado withdrawal, and I realized a few days ago that I have a few photos from some of my last little solo adventures I took while I was still living there.

On the last Sunday of summer – a golden, warm September 20th – I woke up at 5am to catch the early morning magic hour along Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park.

“I’d been hiking in RMNP a number of times this summer, but stuck entirely to hiking trails easily accessible from the Estes Park entrance on the eastern side of the park. My plan for this golden Sunday morning in late September was to drive along the park’s famous Trail Ridge Road, which would take me west from Estes Park all the way through the park to Grand Lake along US-34.

The distance between Estes Park and Grand Lake is just under 50 miles, but it took a little more than 2 hours to drive the entire road due to winding roads next to steep cliffs and no guard rails — my frequent stopping for roadside photo-taking slowed me down a little too.”

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The beauty of late summer in Colorado didn’t end once I reached the western side of the park. I located the trailhead for the East Inlet Trail, parked, and hit the trail. I didn’t know what this hike would look like, but it was as though the universe had been saving the best (and most beautiful) Rocky Mountain adventure for last. I only wish I had discovered the quieter, lesser-known and less-visited natural brilliance of western RMNP earlier in the summer. It was the perfect day.

IMG_5422I don’t know this guy, lolIMG_5445IMG_5459IMG_5462

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I could have watched this fly-fisherman and stared at the mountains and soaked up the sun and eavesdropped on this little outdoorsy family all afternoonIMG_5500

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What is your favorite photo from the East Inlet Trail hike? 

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11 Comments

  • Reply camerapacker

    Beautiful set of images. It is hard to pick a favorite.

    December 30, 2015 at 8:28 am
    • Reply Kristen

      Thank you! I can’t pick a favorite either 🙂

      December 30, 2015 at 12:14 pm
  • Reply The Joyce Half of Poppies and Popcorn

    The East Inlet Trail is on my list of RMNP hikes for next summer. Thanks for sharing your photos!

    December 30, 2015 at 8:52 am
    • Reply Kristen

      You won’t be disappointed!

      December 30, 2015 at 12:14 pm
  • Reply Margie's

    All of these pictures are beautiful, but my favorite is the last one. It’s just gorgeous!

    December 30, 2015 at 3:50 pm
    • Reply Kristen

      Can’t wait until we get to go back to RMNP!!!

      December 31, 2015 at 12:40 pm
  • Reply Hannah Myer

    Love that little trio of photos right before the last one. <3

    January 2, 2016 at 10:08 am
    • Reply Kristen

      Thanks Hansicles! Me too!

      January 11, 2016 at 10:20 am
  • Reply Postcard from Grand Lake, Colorado | skyward eyes

    […] upon Grand Lake after my end-of-summer morning along Trail Ridge Road and before I hiked the East Trail Inlet in Rocky Mountain National Park. The fact that I was so fortunate to have laid eyes on this […]

    January 6, 2016 at 8:05 am
  • Reply goatsby

    I grew up in Estes Park and these photos bring me back to many fond childhood memories. Thanks for sharing!

    March 22, 2016 at 3:51 pm
    • Reply Kristen

      Growing up in Estes Park sounds like a dream. Glad you could relive some good times 🙂

      March 23, 2016 at 9:29 am

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