Day 3: Rocky Mountain National Park
Day 3: After breakfast, a few of us decide to hike up to Mills Lake, and a lake simply called the Loch. We head back up towards Alberta Falls, up another 2 miles to Mills Lake. This trail is a little on the steep end, and the altitude is making some people in our group breathe a little heavier. We come up on Mills Lake, and its gorgeous! A large icy blue lake, very cold, in the middle of the mountains. We encounter some friendly ducks, one with a beautiful green/purple head, and another brown duck. At one point, the brown duck walks right over one of our friend's feet. The trail to the Loch meets up with the trail to Mills Lake, so we decide to do that trail as well. This trail is considerably more steep, and we have to hike over some slushy, icy snow at the end, but the Loch is also beautiful, and the rocks provide a nice place to have a snack.
When we get back to our campsite for a late lunch, we decide to do some autotouring on the Trail Ridge Rd. We travel up past 10,000 feet, then 11,000 feet, and finally reach 12,000 feet. We get to stand on the Continental Divide, see a female moose taking a bath, and touch the Colorado River, which looks small here, but carved the Grand Canyon. We also encounter other wildlife, including a beaver at 10,000 feet and nowhere near a body of water, some big horned sheep, and lots of elk. There were lots of different kinds of birds and insects in the park as well. We are pretty tired by the time we get back to the campsite, and briefly discuss going into Estes Park to watch the 4th of July fireworks, but decide against it. However, a lot of people in our campground must have gone into town because there were several vehicles making their way back into the campground up until 11 pm.