We did our first hike in Rocky Mountain NP and picked the easy 3.4 mile (round trip) hike to The Pool, which begins at the Fern Lake trail head. On the way to the trail head, we drove past some burned area, not from this year. It’s interesting to see an area comes back from a burn. It opens up views and creates lush meadows.
And we’re off.
This is a nice easy trail that follows the Big Thomson River upstream so there’s little elevation change.
As always, I was charmed by all the wildflowers along the way. There were lots of wild roses.
And pretty ferns.
Ron and I had a difference of opinion on this one, but I looked it up and he was right. It's a red-stem dogwood (Cornus sericea.) I thought it was a viburnum.
When we arrived at The Pool, I was confused – where’s the pool? I brought my bathing suit. Where’s the slide and diving board?
This guy seems to share my confusion, but I think he’s just wondering why I won’t feed him.
Then on our way back out of the park, we saw a lot of cars pulled over to the side of the road. Aha! There must be a really special animal.
And was there ever! This bull elk was magnificent! Even this early in the year, he had 5 points on each side and was perfectly balanced so far.
Ron pointed out that the point on the far right in this picture was branching again. What a beauty!