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Discover Rocky Mountain

An alpine pond and trees in Rocky Mountain National Park

Ready to take on one of the "highest" national parks in the country? Rocky Mountain National Park is but a drive away from the papartments in Denver, and a perfect place to get outside and explore what the Colorado wilderness has to offer during the summer. Even though there's less snow on the grounds, and the range of animals you might see here is different than during the winter, this is still the Rocky Mountains, which means there's plenty on the menu regardless of when you come:

"Rocky Mountain National Park’s 415 square miles encompass and protect spectacular mountain environments. Enjoy Trail Ridge Road – which crests at over 12,000 feet including many overlooks to experience the subalpine and alpine worlds – along with over 300 miles of hiking trails, wildflowers, wildlife, starry nights, and fun times. In a world of superlatives, Rocky is on top!"
Now, if this sounds like your kind of summer adventure, then we suggest you read on. Today, we're going to be talking about the great many things to see and do within Rocky Mountain National Park during the summer, and offering up a few tips that will help you ensure a great time while you're out there in the beautiful Colorado wilderness.

Exploring the Rocky Mountains in the Summertime

We can't talk about summers in the Rocky Mountains without some mention of the diverse animal life that calls the mountains home, like the North American Elk. These herd animals are one of the largest specimen of the deer family in existence. They can weigh several hundred pounds, stand up to five feet at shoulder-height, and their dark-brown coat of fur is one that is instantly recognizable. You may catch them munching on some grass, as they tend to go where food is most available.

Perhaps the most famous denizen of Rocky Mountain National Park, though, is the Bighorn Sheep. they're the official symbol of the park, and you'll note that the Bighorn Sheep is the largest species of wild sheep in the whole of North America. Powerful and muscular, these mammals can weigh more than 300 pounds, and while they are shorter than you are eye (usually around three feet in height), they're plenty sturdy, and have mastered their home in the mountains:

"They have wide-set eyes that provide a large angle of vision. This along with sharp hearing and a highly-developed sense of smell can detect dangers at great distances. Specialized hooves and rough soles provide a natural grip as bighorn sheep make precarious jumps and breath-taking climbs up and down sharp cliff faces."
And those impressive horns aren't just for show. They will ram, especially during the mating season when it's time to show "who's boss," and they engage in battles called "ruts" establish their place on the social hierarchy. In the summer, you can find the Bighorns at lower elevations, where they'll graze on grasses and soil to gain some well-deserved nutrients. These animals are the pride of the Rocky Mountains, so be sure to show them the respect they deserve if you encounter them in the wild.

And that same advice goes for all of the Rocky Mountain's wildlife. Remember, there are also large animals like the Black Bear and Bull Moose, and crafty predators like the Coyote and Mountain Lion, who call this place home, so you'll have to be plenty respectful of their territory. Thankfully, there's a Wildlife Viewing Guide that tells you exactly how to watch these majestic creatures. The number one key is keeping your distance. You should try to stay at least 75 feet away from animals like Elk and the Bighorn Sheep, and at least 120 feet away from those predators and larger animals.

In addition to keeping your distance, you'll want to keep your interactions with the animals to a minimum. Don't feed them (as this is illegal and will disrupt their natural diet), and don't get cozy with them either. If animals lose their natural fear of humans, they could become needlessly aggressive (which could lead to scenarios where animals must be killed for the safety of others). Not an ideal situation, we're sure you'd agree, so be respectful of all the park's creatures as you view them.

If you're looking to get some up close and personal shots while you're at the park, though, why not try the plant life? The Rocky Mountains are home to hundreds of different wildflower species, and during the summer months, it's a great time to break out that macro lens and snap some detailed shots of those pink, red, blue, purple, yellow, orange, and white blooms. Refresh your knowledge on Wildflower Anatomyto aid you in identifying these many species, and have fun viewing all those lovely flowers (just be sure not to pick any).

And even if you just want to view the surroundings, and aren't interested in capturing any particular flora and fauna on camera, the Rocky Mountains are a great place to soak in your surroundings. You can read up on Just Ahead's list of the Best Sights in Rocky Mountain National Park, then plan a few hikes to reach these locations so you can bask in the glory of the mountainous backdrops for yourself. This is true, unbridled nature at its finest. Use the summer to get in touch with that wild side.

Getting There From the Apartments in Denver

Getting to Rocky Mountain National Park from find Denver communities like Colab is just a straight shot out of the city and north to where you can enjoy the wilderness. This makes it easy to get a bit of adventuring in, then return to the city where you can enjoy all the best that Denver's urban expanse has to offer. And there's so much on offer in the heart of downtown — from cool shops to fabulous entertainment and beyond — you're going to want to take your time exploring it all. Give yourself the chance to experience Denver, perfected. Drop us a line, see what Colab can offer you, and take the next step to making this your new Mile High City home.