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Joann Hasse
Wilmington, DE
Our family first visited Rocky Mountain national Park in the summer of 1969 when we lived on the hot and humid Texas Gulf Coast and it changed our lives! Since then we have enjoyed this wonderful park many, many times, traveling from Delaware (several times), Texas again, North Carolina, Maryland and Massachusetts. We always returned to Rocky. We have camped, hiked, backpacked, fished, cross country skied and climbed. It is truly one of our favorite places in the world. Our children, all boys, were 4, 7, 9 and 11 when we first visited and are now long grown. We have done many of the same hikes and activities with our grandchildren and we hope they will enjoy them with their children in the future. My husband and I are reduced to “strolling” on mostly level trails but we always enjoy this special place and our memories of our more strenuous hikes! We did manage to get up to the Toll Memorial in 2015 (slowly, to be sure, but we got there!). What a wonderful memorial this is to the superintendent who envisioned this road through the tundra I think the Park Service has done a marvelous job of making the many features of this park available to people with a wide range of abilities. For those whose mobility is limited (physically or because of young children), Bear Lake is a wonderful opportunity to view a high mountain glacial lake and Sprague Lake is even more accessible. Trail Ridge Road with its spectacular views is available for all to enjoy and to get some appreciation of what tundra is. The variety of moderate distance hikes (2-6 miles round trip) to beautiful places is unmatched, in my view. (In fact, we have been disappointed in the lack of such middle distance hikes in some other parks we have visited.) For those more adventuresome souls and/or those with more time, there are higher lakes, backpacking and many summits to be conquered. One observation—the trails are considerably cleaner than they were in 1969! “Don’t be a litterbug!” is one campaign that has benefited all of us!! Happy 100th Birthday, Rocky!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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