I hope everyone had a good Independence Day. This is always a big holiday for folks to head out into the woods, much like Labor Day. Consequently, I generally stay in town. Sometimes, though, you can get out to a popular venue or on a big weekend. A couple of years ago some friends and I took a long weekend and popped up to Rocky Mountain National Park. I have no idea how many people go through that park annually, other than "lots". Even so, we managed to see fewer than a dozen people once we got off the road.
Newlywed, my friends had been in the park but not backpacked, while I had gear but hadn't been up there. Despite the popularity of the park, we found a trail on the backside with no other folks signed in for a couple of open camping areas. We camped on a bench up above a little creek, a couple of miles in from the trailhead.
Next day, up to a lake which we shared with three other anglers and a couple of sightseers.
Once there, we found some nice Cutthroat:
and after a couple of hours of lunch and chasing the fish we headed back down the trail, rushing to beat a rainstorm. We camped the next night on an anonymous piece of Forest Service land, rigging a tarp to beat the rain and enjoying a bit of forest to ourselves.
Here's to public land, one of my favorite things about this country.