Living in Colorado only 90 miles from Rocky Mountain National Park it only makes sense that this is a park that I have visited many times. At least once a year since 2010 we have visited some portion of the park to hike and enjoy the scenery. Even as a kid I had visited Rocky Mountain on family vacations, and thus among the parks it is one that I know particularly well.
Over the years Rocky Mountain has become increasingly popular and crowded but it’s still a great place to take a hike and to see wildlife. It’s a rare occasion that we don’t see elk, and certainly marmots are easily found in the high country. Moose are now so often seen on the west side of the park that it’s probably the best place in the country to find them without leaving your car.
Rocky Mountain makes the Rockies easily accessible with hundreds of miles of trails and Trail Ridge Road crossing a mountain pass that makes it the highest continuous road in the United States (Mount Evans and Pikes Peak summit roads travel higher, but are not continuous roads). A favorite time to visit is in the fall when the aspen light up the mountainsides in gold.
I decided that the best way to depict the Rocky Mountain that I know would be to put its iconic 14er peak, Longs Peak, in the background with the tundra of Trail Ridge Road in the foreground. And of course I needed to include the impressive elk that are denizens of the park, along with a marmot, the high country companion. Finally, no painting of Rocky Mountain (or Colorado in general) can fail to include the beautiful Colorado Columbine.