Backcountry Skiing in Rocky Mountain National Park

Summer skiing in Rocky Mountain National Park is as easy as driving up Trail Ridge Road and booting up.  - ©Liam Doran

Summer skiing in Rocky Mountain National Park is as easy as driving up Trail Ridge Road and booting up.
Copyright: Liam Doran

Summer skiing in Rocky Mountain National Park is as easy as driving up Trail Ridge Road and booting up.  - ©Liam Doran
Even in June, the snowbanks on Trail Ridge Road tower over 12 feet tall. With a top elevation of 12,183 feet, Trail Ridge is the highest continuous auto road in the country. - ©Liam Doran

Even in June, the snowbanks on Trail Ridge Road tower over 12 feet tall. With a top elevation of 12,183 feet, Trail Ridge is the highest continuous auto road in the country.
Copyright: Liam Doran

Even in June, the snowbanks on Trail Ridge Road tower over 12 feet tall. With a top elevation of 12,183 feet, Trail Ridge is the highest continuous auto road in the country. - ©Liam Doran
Rocky Mountain National Park celebrated its 100th anniversary last year, and skiing has been a big part of its history. - ©Liam Doran

Rocky Mountain National Park celebrated its 100th anniversary last year, and skiing has been a big part of its history.
Copyright: Liam Doran

Rocky Mountain National Park celebrated its 100th anniversary last year, and skiing has been a big part of its history. - ©Liam Doran
A quick approach from Trail Ridge Road allows skiers to access the wide snowfield of Sundance in Rocky Mountain National Park. - ©Liam Doran

A quick approach from Trail Ridge Road allows skiers to access the wide snowfield of Sundance in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Copyright: Liam Doran

A quick approach from Trail Ridge Road allows skiers to access the wide snowfield of Sundance in Rocky Mountain National Park. - ©Liam Doran
Summer turns on Sundance in Rocky Mountain National Park means great scenery, sun and soft snow. - ©Liam Doran

Summer turns on Sundance in Rocky Mountain National Park means great scenery, sun and soft snow.
Copyright: Liam Doran

Summer turns on Sundance in Rocky Mountain National Park means great scenery, sun and soft snow. - ©Liam Doran
Bighorn Sheep are well adapted to the high alpine tundra around Trail Ridge Road. The park is home to more than 350 sheep, which were nearly extinct at one point. - ©Liam Doran

Bighorn Sheep are well adapted to the high alpine tundra around Trail Ridge Road. The park is home to more than 350 sheep, which were nearly extinct at one point.
Copyright: Liam Doran

Bighorn Sheep are well adapted to the high alpine tundra around Trail Ridge Road. The park is home to more than 350 sheep, which were nearly extinct at one point. - ©Liam Doran
Guide, Ian Fowler looks for

Guide, Ian Fowler looks for "the sweet spot," where the summer snow is soft enough to edge but not so soft it's slushy.
Copyright: Liam Doran

Guide, Ian Fowler looks for
Keep your eyes on the skies while summer skiing in Rocky Mountain National Park as afternoon thunderstorms are common. - ©Liam Doran

Keep your eyes on the skies while summer skiing in Rocky Mountain National Park as afternoon thunderstorms are common.
Copyright: Liam Doran

Keep your eyes on the skies while summer skiing in Rocky Mountain National Park as afternoon thunderstorms are common. - ©Liam Doran
The now-defunct ski area Hidden Valley is accessible by a hike over high alpine tundra peppered with wildflowers. - ©Liam Doran

The now-defunct ski area Hidden Valley is accessible by a hike over high alpine tundra peppered with wildflowers.
Copyright: Liam Doran

The now-defunct ski area Hidden Valley is accessible by a hike over high alpine tundra peppered with wildflowers. - ©Liam Doran
Hidden Valley's old trails offer great backcountry skiing right off of Trail Ridge Road. - ©Liam Doran

Hidden Valley's old trails offer great backcountry skiing right off of Trail Ridge Road.
Copyright: Liam Doran

Hidden Valley's old trails offer great backcountry skiing right off of Trail Ridge Road. - ©Liam Doran
The montane ecosystem of Rocky Mountain National Park provides a perfect habitat for a juvenile moose.  - ©Liam Doran

The montane ecosystem of Rocky Mountain National Park provides a perfect habitat for a juvenile moose.
Copyright: Liam Doran

The montane ecosystem of Rocky Mountain National Park provides a perfect habitat for a juvenile moose.  - ©Liam Doran
Colorado Mountain School guide, Ian Fowler and Scarpa event coordinator, Joe Risi skin up Sundance for another lap of summer turns. - ©Liam Doran

Colorado Mountain School guide, Ian Fowler and Scarpa event coordinator, Joe Risi skin up Sundance for another lap of summer turns.
Copyright: Liam Doran

Colorado Mountain School guide, Ian Fowler and Scarpa event coordinator, Joe Risi skin up Sundance for another lap of summer turns. - ©Liam Doran
Snow melts literally under your feet while summer skiing in Rocky Mountain National Park. - ©Liam Doran

Snow melts literally under your feet while summer skiing in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Copyright: Liam Doran

Snow melts literally under your feet while summer skiing in Rocky Mountain National Park. - ©Liam Doran
Elk sightings are a common occurrence in Rocky Mountain National Park. - ©Liam Doran

Elk sightings are a common occurrence in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Copyright: Liam Doran

Elk sightings are a common occurrence in Rocky Mountain National Park. - ©Liam Doran
Alpine Touring or randonee gear work well for summer ski adventures, and avalanche safety gear is a must. - ©Liam Doran

Alpine Touring or randonee gear work well for summer ski adventures, and avalanche safety gear is a must.
Copyright: Liam Doran

Alpine Touring or randonee gear work well for summer ski adventures, and avalanche safety gear is a must. - ©Liam Doran
Colorado Mountain School in Estes Park is a year-round guide service for skiing, climbing and mountaineering adventures. - ©Liam Doran

Colorado Mountain School in Estes Park is a year-round guide service for skiing, climbing and mountaineering adventures.
Copyright: Liam Doran

Colorado Mountain School in Estes Park is a year-round guide service for skiing, climbing and mountaineering adventures. - ©Liam Doran
An owl, camouflaged by moss rock, sits watch in Rocky Mountain National Park. - ©Liam Doran

An owl, camouflaged by moss rock, sits watch in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Copyright: Liam Doran

An owl, camouflaged by moss rock, sits watch in Rocky Mountain National Park. - ©Liam Doran

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