Shot of the Day: North St. Vrain Creek
There's a certain peacefulness in one of the most popular corners of Rocky Mountain National Park when all the peak baggers aren't around. I spent about an hour solo hiking up the Longs Peak/Chasm Lake trail today with hardly anyone else around to break the silence. Or the monotony. The goal was turn around at timberline because I really just wanted to see how high the snow line is right now in this abysmal snowpack year. But the hike to timberline on the Longs Peak trail is a relentless trudge through a monotonous lodgepole pine forest miraculously disturbed only minimally by bark beetles. After just under a mile and a half, I got bored, turned around and decided to head down to Rocky's Wild Basin area for some midday river photography on St. Vrain Creek.
The National Park Service still has the last mile or two of the gravel Wild Basin road closed for the winter. The parking area behind the seasonal closure gate was completely packed, suggesting big crowds and gaggles of screaming kids. But I only saw four people over the hour or so I was hiking in the area, proving once again that solitude and silence can be abundant even in the busiest and most famous national parks in the country.