The road had just opened for the summer (the first week of June). It was not terribly crowded at the pull-offs to view the scenery. The views were amazing. Seeing alpine tundra is a rare sight to appreciate. It was hard to catch our breath because of the altitude at the top and it was cold. It was well worth the time it took to drive over the continental divide. We decided to return to Estes Park going south around the mountain instead of back using Trail Ridge Road.That was a mistake. It took about 2.5-3 hours compared to 1.5 hours to use the Trail Ridge Road. We saw marmot at the top of the mountain and we saw many birds that were new to us. We saw a moose on the western side of the mountain grazing in a wetland along the road. It was well worth the time traveling the Trail Ridge Road and I'd heartily recommend it, especially if it's a clear day.
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