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Trip Report Day Trip To RMNP

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We've lived in Colorado for many years but still seem to have a long list of places we want to explore further. Rocky Mountain National Park is one of those places. We have gone to RMNP, but with the park's size, have not explored it fully. We decided to take a day trip and had big plans of all the areas we wanted to see. On our agenda was a waterfall hike. The RMNP web site was very helpful in planning our trip, as well as reports on Fodor's. We decided to do the Calypso Cascade/Ouzel Falls hike based on the reviews we had read. I cannot recommend this hike enough. It was absolutely gorgeous and well worth our trip.

We arrived a little later than planned and were told at the gate that the parking lots were full and we'd have to park around a mile from the trailhead. This was frustrating, but even more so when we saw several cars going to the parking lot as we were walking down the road to the trailhead. Also, the distances listed on the web site are one way so even though we saw 2.7 miles to the falls, it would actually be 5.4 round trip, plus the two-plus miles total from our car. This added time to our hike that we hadn't planned on, but it was worth it.

This hike had river views practically the entire way, and included several other scenic points prior to Ouzel Falls. We had lunch by Copeland Falls, less than a half mile from the start of the hike. We got to another beautiful spot that we originally thought was Calypso but it was another cascading falls. After we enjoyed Calypso, we decided to continue on to Ouzel, which is a waterfall about 60-feet high.

We enjoyed this hike so much because of all it had to offer. There was a beautiful forest, huge rock formations, wildflowers, a rushing river the entire way, and several falls. It is quite busy on the trail. Our four-year-old did this hike with us and had a great time.

Because of the extra time we spent hiking, we didn't do some of the other things we had planned, but we did drive around the park a bit and saw a brown bear on the side of a hill! It was a fantastic day trip, although we know there is still a lot for us to see!

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