Rocky Mountain National Park has been an amazing backdrop for the making of many Colorado memories. All the great visits with our Texas family who vacations in Estes Park weeks at a time each year who we would not see very often otherwise. Or the time (pre-kids)  after an “off season” snowshoe with visitors from back home, we discovered it’s darn near impossible to get dinner after 9pm in Estes Park. Forcing us to survive on beer and rationed granola bars…

It’s also the place one of my favorite family traditions was born.

312272_10150292037601734_701847979_nWhen L was about a year old we drove up with my mom to Rocky Mountain National Park with no real agenda. We had a picnic, walked around Sprague Lake and took in the autumn beauty. We happened upon West Horseshoe Park and we were met with the tallest, most vibrant aspens we had ever seen so of course we stopped and snapped a few photos. I didn’t know at the time that I’d come back to this same spot year after year for annual photos of aspens and kiddos. It’s not fall until I get my Horseshoe Park pics.

316270_10150292037736734_1764983647_nIt’s not a hike or a campsite or even a picnic area. It’s a parking lot that looks out over a beautiful meadow with the mountain peaks in the distance, surrounded by gorgeous aspens. It’s not a place we spend hours, but despite its simplicity it is the most special place in RMNP to me.

313601_10150292037826734_1218581115_nAll these photos were taken mid-September the past few years, in case this is a tradition you’d like to start, and maybe we’ll see you there this fall.

Where are your favorite places in Rocky Mountain National Park to capture fall color?