Rocky Mountain National Park
A Year in Pictures
102 color photos
At 13,514 feet, Ypsilon Mountain dominates the skyline northwest of Horseshoe Park. It is part of the Mummy Range, a group of mountains in the northern region of the park.
Springtime in the Rockies often looks more like winter. Precipitation from spring storms that falls as rain at lower elevations will be snow in these mountains. These trees near treeline as well as distant Bighorn Mountain are coated with snow from a mid-May storm.
The imposing east face of Longs Peak, rising nearly a half mile above Chasm Lake, is an inspiring spectacle that epitomizes the rugged mountain grandeur of the park.
Dream Lake reflects first light on Hallett Peak. The distinctive angular shape and central location of Hallett Peak make it a prominent landmark in the park.
Yellow pond lilies dot the tranquil surface of Cub Lake with Stones Peak in the distance. The trail to Cub Lake winds across Moraine Park, through a prime birdwatching area.
A great horned owl rests on the roots of a fallen ponderosa pine tree in Moraine Park before beginning its nocturnal hunting activities. Owls have extremely sensitive large eyes that are fixed in their sockets, so an owl must move its head to shift its gaze.
The colorful morning sky is mirrored in Sprague Lake. Abner Sprague built this lake in the early 1900's as a fishing spot to complement his nearby inn. He came to Colorado in 1864 at age 15, and during his lifetime he was a guide, explorer, surveyor, cartographer, innkeeper, and a prominent figure in the early history and development of the park.
These gnarled trees barely cling to life in the hostile environment near timberline. Scoured by wind-driven ice crystals in raging winter storms, these stunted trees seek shelter behind rocks and only grow branches on the downwind side of their own trunks.
A low-hanging cloud bank fills Forest Canyon, while Longs Peak shines with warm evening light. Rising to 14,259 feet, Longs Peak is the highest point in the park.
As summer slowly slips away, fall colors begin to appear on aspen trees of the high country. This grove on the north shore of Bear Lake is among the first to change each year. Over the next several weeks, waves of color will slowly sweep down the mountainsides.
The annual pageant of fall color fades as more aspen leaves flutter to the ground with each gust of wind.
A two-page fold-out shaded relief map gives an extremely detailed birds-eye view of the mountain topography of the park. This is just a small section of it.
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