Wrapping up our Estes Park/ Rocky Mountain National Park/ Jellystone first camping trip with the photos from RMNP which was the best part of our week. You now have to get an entry pass 2 days prior and they give you a window for when you can enter then park. We got an 8:00am entry which was ideal for us. Not too hot that time of day and not too crowded since they only allow 65ish people in during that time and in the 6:00am window which is the earliest and probably best for heat and crowds, but I didn’t want to overcommit especially when lazy mornings are such a perk of camping.
There were no lines at the gates to scan our pass and luckily we found the last parking spot in the Bear Lake lot. Had we not found this spot, they told us we’d have to take a shuttle which was out of the question for us.
The hike around Bear Lake itself is a dreamy, easy, flat hike that’s under a mile and pretty well trafficked. The best part of it is its little alcoves all the way around it with rocks where you can stop and enjoy. We stopped and had a snack and just hung out for a while before continuing about a half mile up to Nymph Lake. The girls were troopers on the climb which was a 250 foot half mile climb that’s sometimes narrow. 90% of people had masks that they lifted when passing others, we would also just ‘pull over’ allowing others to pass by, great to see that people were being courteous on the trails.
When we got to Nymph Lake it was like something from a fairy tale. It’s about 1 mile around with some parts that aren’t well groomed so it feels like an adventure with lily pads scattered all over the water’s surface. Everywhere you look you see wildflowers, huge shady thick trees, and rocks that feel almost like you’re in a movie set and they were set out purposely in perfect spots.
After hiking around the lake, we were several hours in so we began our descent back to our car. It was the perfect amount of hiking for us and since it wasn’t completely remote, it felt safer. I know I need to work on being comfortable on a trail that’s more remote, I’ll get there. This day felt great though and it was one we’ll all remember.
I love the ages the girls are right now and I can see that in just a year’s time Lola can hang really well with physical things and we’re able to enjoy times like this more easily which I really appreciate especially going into he next few months when this is the bulk of what we’ll be doing.
After lunch, we wanted to go and see our last sunset at Lake Estes so we brought scooters again and spent about 40 minutes riding around.
Jellystone was great for our first adventure. We appreciated the full hook ups and a ‘staff’ there knowing we’d get help should we have needed it. The site was limiting in its offering for open space to explore and places to walk. For us, just a place to park while we went into RMNP and Estes, was enough. Maybe we’ll explore some spots closer to the park for next year, but Estes is always a summer destination for us. The girls look forward to going to this cherry juice stand where they make their own juices and jams and these little hand pies that we’re obsessed with. It’s all part of our tradition.
Onward to our next adventure (which is actually where we are right now!) Catch me on Instagram to see my stories. I also have a post coming up about essentials I’ve found helpful if you’re going on some camping adventures. I’ve been getting a ton of questions asking about this so I’ve finally rounded it all up!