BOBBY MAGILL

Journalist • Photographer

Bobby Magill is a journalist and photographer based in Port Jervis, NY and Alexandria, Va.

Altitude, solitude and golden aspens

I'm always amazed when people say they avoid national parks because they're too busy. Yesterday — Saturday, September 25 — was expected to be the busiest day of the year at Rocky Mountain National Park. It was National Public Lands Day, which means free admission to national parks, and it was near the height of leaf-peeping and elk mating season, which traditionally bring tourists and hikers out in droves.

Of course, the crowds only stick to the main attractions, so way up on Stormy Pass at the northern border of the park, we encountered absolutely no one else on the trail during our entire 10 mile hike into Rocky via the Comanche Peak Wilderness and Pingree Park.

Though the light was harsh at midday, here's what we found instead of the traditional Trail Ridge traffic jam: