Thursday, July 17, 2014

Forest Canyon Overlook - RMNP


On July 12, 2014, we drove through Rocky Mt. National Park.

Forest Canyon Overlook

Driving through clouds at Rocky Mountain National Park.
Cars headed towards the Forest Canyon Overlook.

The clouds were coming over the rise, just over there.

To give an idea of scale, there is a jeep headed out into the clouds.

Notice the tree line below us.

Wildflowers in the foreground.

Fantastic views of the mountains and the clouds.

My first ever (bad picture) far off view of an elk.
Taken from the Forest Canyon Overlook parking lot.

I was thinking, "that guy is way too close."

Still, it was cool to check another animal off of my bucket list,
and this sighting was just a small precursor of what was in store.

Up the road, around the corner, we saw a small gang of elk bulls.
Just a short distance further, we would see marmots and pika.
(Keep an eye out for future posts to see those.)
All were first ever sightings for me.

FYI:  Just a few minutes before these pictures were taken, several people were injured, and one man was killed by a lightning strike at the Rainbow Curve, which is just around the corner from Forest Canyon Overlook. We were (naively) oblivious to the extreme lightning danger at this altitude. Being above the tree-line in CO during the month of July after noon is one of the worst possible place/month/time combos, as far as the risk of being struck is concerned. If you're going to be that high in the summer - it's safer to plan your adventure before noon, when the risk of lightning is lower. Don't become a statistic. In the future, we'll either go before noon, or stay in the car on cloudy days, after noon, above the treeline.