Camping in Moraine Park

I’m gettin’ too old for this sh*t. ???

Months ago, Dan snagged a campsite at Moraine Park in Rocky Mountain National Park. (I always say if you can camp at Rocky on a Saturday, go for it… if you can camp on a Wednesday night, even better!) That night finally rolled around, so we mounted our Tepui rooftop tent onto our Volkswagen and headed out.

We field a lot of questions about the roof tent. In my opinion it shakes out to be about the same as a ground tent, with a few benefits and a few drawbacks. Benefit: you sleep on a (thin) mattress instead of the ground, which is more comfortable and warmer (and, if it’s raining, there is no comparison). Benefit: once you have initially set up the roof tent, every setup afterward takes just minutes — you can even keep the sleeping bags inside it if you want. Drawback: you cannot drive your car away once you set up the tent at the campsite. Drawback: the tent definitely impedes gas mileage. The height clearance was also a big drawback when we had our Tiguan, but our Golf is a good deal shorter and that helps immensely.

I have to be honest and say boy oh boy, am I feeling too old for tent camping! Dan and I both woke up incredibly sore and neither of us slept well due to the cold. We are taking the tent back out in a little more than a week to head out to Utah for the weekend — we are already planning for a few modifications.

I feel that in the world of sexy camping Instagram pictures, it’s important to occasionally stop and say: “Camping can also be pretty rough, actually.”

(You can, and should, camp at any age! It just felt sooooo eeeeeasy when I was in my 20s…)

But oh, it was worth it. We had a lovely night at the campsite.

In the morning I had hoped to wander Moraine, certainly a stunning view of the mountains, but Moraine was already mobbed with no place left to park the car. Instead we took Trail Ridge Road, a steep and breathtaking road which has never been open on our previous visits. Trail Ridge leads up to the Alpine Visitor Center — also mobbed, but that’s just Rocky Mountain National Park in the summer. The views were fantastic; all photos come up short.

On our way out we grabbed a quick lunch in Estes Park (the photo below is the view of the creek from our patio table at Mama Rose’s), then drove the hour home. It’s lovely to be so close to the park that we can make many quick visits and leave while it’s still fun.

Hello, gorgeous.
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