Driving Trail Ridge Road is always a highlight of any trip I’ve made to Rocky Mountain National Park. I love the beautiful views and short, easy trails that lead to scenic overlooks. Caleb and I thought it would be a hit with the kids too, but it didn’t go as well as we expected.
The morning started out great with a pancake breakfast at the KOA campground where we are staying. Everyone had full bellies and happy faces as we headed up into the mountains around 8:45 a.m. The drive up was fun as Abby requested the Momma-juke box to sing her favorite songs. We even saw some elk and caribou along the way up.
It was a fairly cold morning, so we had the kids dressed as warm as we could, being from Texas. When we arrivde at our first scenic area, Forest Canyon, we realized that Josh had lost a sock. We still have not bought the boy a pair of shoes, so he hiked the alpine tundra with one sock on. Yep, Mom of the Year is in the bag!
It was windy and cold up there around 11,000 feet, but the kids enjoyed the short walk to the overlook. Next, we hopped back in the car and drove further up to Rock Cut, which features a 1/2 mile paved trail with beautiful panoramic views. This is where things got ugly.
At about 12,500 feet elevation now, the wind was REALLY whipping and it made the cool air feel stinging. Caleb took off one of his wool socks and let Josh wear it on the sockless foot. He also gave Josh his fleece hat. But Josh was not the problem. I think that boy would have gladly hiked up there naked.
Abigail was having a hard time with the wind and the cold. Caleb carried her up the path in the pack, but she was not a happy camper. We made it about a 1/4 mile up the path before everyone was fussed-out. We decided the humane thing to do was to turn back and head back to the truck.
Honestly, I think we were all glad to be out of the wind! We drove back down out of the tundra and enjoyed a warm picnic at Upper Beaver Meadows trailhead. So we really didn’t get to hike as much as we wanted to today. Who would have thought toddlers would not enjoy hiking the alpine tundra? Oh well, memories were made and that’s what matters.