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National Park Journal

National Park Journal Rocky Mountain Journal 2017

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Get the digital version of the National Park Journal with its four separate park editions (Grand Canyon, Rocky Mountain, Yellowstone and Yosemite) to discover all-time favorite road trips to the national parks. From Utah’s dazzling deserts, the adobe-lined streets of New Mexico’s charming towns, Wyoming’s authentic outposts, California’s stunning coastline and Colorado’s mountain towns, we feature all the amazing places to explore en route to the parks, no matter where you begin your adventure. Plus , our insider’s guide includes our top things to do in each national park in 48 hours. Discover the best hiking trails, campsites and attractions in our magazine. Our illustrated wildlife guide will help you discover the best of the park's wild animals, including tips on where to find them, and our packing list ensures you don’t leave anything at home.

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United States
Pocket Outdoor Media, LLC
4 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
paperless trail

When you drive up Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park, one of the mountains you’ll see is Longs Peak. Piercing the sky at 14,259 feet, it has a curiously flat summit that bears a striking resemblance to an uneven table top. It attracts avid hikers from all over the world to climb it. What many don’t know is the love story entangled with the peak. Without it, Rocky Mountain National Park might not exist. It started in 1884 when 14-year-old Enos Mills arrived in Estes Park from Kansas. When he spotted Longs Peak, it was love at first sight. He positioned his small log cabin, so it would have fantastic views of Longs. He climbed the peak 40 times on his own and an additional 300 times as a…

1 min.
paperless trail

Web Visit MyRockyMountainPark.com as an indispensible source for planning incredible road trips. We cover where to stay, what to do and the interesting characters who shape the areas through which you travel. Are you interested in exploring other national parks? Visit us online. MyGrandCanyonPark.com MyOlympicPark.com MyRockyMountainPark.com MySmokyMountainPark.com MyYellowstonePark.com MyYosemitePark.com MyUtahParks.com Trip Planner Start planning your dream vacation by requesting our Rocky Mountain Trip Planner online. It will arrive in your mailbox and give you the nuts-and-bolts of what to do and how to get there. You also can request vacation planning materials from our partners in the region. Events Join us for our Night Skies Photo Workshop series held in and near national parks. In partnership with Tamron’s professional photographers, we offer in-the-field instruction on how to take great night skies, sunset and sunrise photos. Learn more at nationalparktrips.com/photo-workshops. Enewsletter Don’t forget to sign up…

3 min.
entrance primer

1. BEAVER MEADOWS ENTRANCE On the park's east side lies the Beaver Meadows Entrance, the most direct entrance from Estes Park, a town that sits right outside Rocky Mountain National Park. An hour’s drive from Boulder and two hours from Denver, the lively Estes Park is the closest town to the park on the east side. Open year round, the Beaver Meadows Entrance is the most popular and is accessed by Hwy. 36. Stop by the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center to get information, books, maps and backcountry permits, as well to as catch the park bus. 2. FALL RIVER ENTRANCE If driving Trail Ridge Road or Old Fall River Road is on the top of your list and you have limited time, you may want to enter the park via the Fall River Entrance…

2 min.
48 hours in rocky

CLIMB LONGS PEAK If you are a strong hiker who has trained for a really long day of hiking, head to Longs Peak, the park’s tallest mountain at 14,259 feet. Round-trip hikes can take up to 15 hours, so it is important to start your hike really, really early [many will start long before dawn with head lamps] because you’ll want to be below treeline when afternoon storms roll in. HIKE GEM LAKE Located near downtown Estes Park, this 3.1-mile roundtrip trail is fun for the family and can be less crowded than other trails, mostly because it’s not in the heart of the park. While you’ll climb less than 1,000 feet, there are a number of rock steps that lead you to the sparkling shores of Gem Lake. WATCH THE SUN RISE ON…

3 min.
best hikes

1. BIG MEADOWS Elk can be spotted all over the park but moose? You’ll have to head over to the wetter, cooler west side for one of those. The huge ungulates (see page 14) are frequently seen munching on the marshy grasses in this expansive meadow — and elk are a good bet here, too. To get there, hike 1.8 easy miles from the Green Mountain trailhead through the lodgepole pine forest to reach Big Meadows, a wide, peaceful field tucked under 12,000-foot peaks. 2. UTE TRAIL It’s all tundra all the time on this trail, which meanders across the park’s highest elevations. The trail has two segments — one that runs between the Alpine Visitor Center and Milner Pass, and another that connects the Ute Crossing Trailhead on Trail Ridge Road to…

1 min.
trailhead talk

Backcountry vs. frontcountry campsite: A backcountry campsite requires you to get there on foot, carrying what you will need with you. A frontcountry campsite enables you to camp near your car. Cairn: This is a group of stones piled on top of each other, marking a route or landmark. Headlamp: An incredibly handy device, it's a light attached to an elastic band that you wear on your head to see in the dark. Privy: It’s another word for outhouse or bathroom. Switchbacks: A z-shaped trail up a steep hill that makes hiking easier than going directly straight up or down a hill. Trailhead: Often marked by a sign, the trailhead is the beginning of a trail. Water pump: These are often found at campgrounds, supplying potable water. Crag: A steep or rugged rock face. In Rocky, you'll…