Scenic USA - Colorado

Horseshoe Park

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Horseshoe Park - Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Photo by Sam Cox
Sam's Landscape Imagery

          Northern U.S. Route 34, from Estes Park, takes Rocky Mountain National Park visitors through the Fall River Visitor Center, Horseshoe Park and the Old Fall River Road. Opened in 1920, Old Fall River Road was the first auto route in Rocky Mountain National Park, providing access to the park's high country. In this morning view, a chilling February snow has settled about Colorado's Mount Chiquita and Mount Ypsilon, both topping 13,000 feet elevation. The Old Fall Road, one way up, is closed in winter and often remains snow covered until June.
     Long before Rocky Mountain National Park was established in 1915, North American elk were plentiful. Over-hunted and reduced to a handful by the late 1800s, park plans park included the reintroduction of elk herds, and today their population hovers just over 3000. And it seems that Horseshoe Park is a popular site in the park for elk, clustering up in the mornings and late afternoon. A natural mineral lick and mountains meadows nearby attract the elk as well as black bear, bighorn sheep, moose, bobcat, deer and coyote.

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