We entered Colorado for the first time as motorhome travelers. Our first stop was Loveland, in order to visit Rocky Mountain National Park. In Loveland we parked at Riverview RV Park.
The picture above is from Bear Lake in the Rocky Mountain National Park. We did some hiking in this area which took us to Dream Lake, Emerald Lake and Alberta Falls. On a different day we drove the length of Trail Ridge Road that takes you to 12,183 feet above sea level. Above 11,400 feet you enter an Alpine ecosystem where no trees grow. This is a tundra that has a six week growing season. The plants here hug the ground closely where temperatures will be warmer.
They warn that the weather can change suddenly. We had this experience. When we began, we had mostly clear blue skies. When we got near the peak we could see storm clouds moving in our direction. We were pelted with hail, sleet and rain. A short time later, they closed the road after there were a couple of motorcycle accidents. This is the only road that goes all the way across the park and we were caught on the side of the park away from where we entered. We had to drive an additional two hours to get back to Loveland.
The eastern and western slopes of the Continental Divide run directly through the park. In the west side of the park, in the Never Summer Mountains the Colorado River begins as a tiny stream fed by snowmelt. Downstream it will provide water to 40 million humans.
A nice treat in Loveland is the Benson Sculpture Garden. This park has provided a beautiful and unique outdoor setting for showcasing sculpture since 1985. The Loveland High Plains Art Council hosts a Sculpture in the Park event each summer and through fundraising efforts is adding pieces every year. Currently, the park has 158 pieces on display by world renowned artists.
Next stop: Wheat Ridge, CO