The view at Rainbow Curve is outstanding. A wide valley opens up below, and if it looks familiar, there’s a good reason. Look closely (and with a set of binoculars) and you can spot US 34, and the turnoff for Fall River Road. You can also see the Alluvial Fan from here, as well as the many switchbacks of Trail Ridge Road, as it makes the slow climb uphill.
At Rainbow Curve, I found this friendly bird perched atop an interpretive sign. Clearly, this guy had plenty of experience around humans.
I turned around at Rainbow Curve and backtracked through the park, heading west. You could continue east, and eventually return to Estes Park, however you would miss the western half of the park.
As I backtracked through the park, I was lucky enough to find a few elk grazing just above the road. I didn’t even have to get out of the car to take these pictures.
Note: This trip was first published in 2005.