Want to see bugling elk in the majestic backdrop of the stunningly beautiful Colorado Rocky Mountains while learning about some of Colorado’s most important and historically significant rights of way infrastructure? Then this is your tour. This field session will take participants to the world renown Rocky Mountain National Park, and will offer a tour through the park with opportunities to see wildlife including elk bugling during the autumn elk rut season. During the field session, participants will learn about water conveyance and delivery in Colorado – a challenging and often controversial topic, particularly amid a changing climate and increasing resource demand. Participants will learn about the Colorado Big Thompson Project, a historic project that brings water through the Rocky Mountains to Estes Park and beyond, and the Prairie Waters Project, a more recent project that further conveys water through the Denver metro area. A stop in Estes Park at the end of the tour will provide time to see the historic town or take a stroll along the scenic banks of Lake Estes while taking in the mountain air.
Continental Divide Field Session
This field session will take passengers on a scenic route over (and under!) the Continental Divide providing breathtaking views of some of Colorado’s highest mountain peaks during peak autumn colors. The first stop will be at Loveland Pass at an elevation of 11,990 feet. Passengers will then descend to a site near the town of Montezuma to partake in a field introduction to one of Xcel Energy’s 230 kV transmission lines where tour hosts will offer information on how Xcel Energy has utilized remote sense data (LiDAR/imagery) to manage vegetation and utility assets both on and off the right-of-way for wildfire prevention and protection. Participants will be exposed to important topics related to management of forests and critical forest health issues such as the Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic. A break for lunch will allow participants to enjoy the fresh air of the mountains before making the journey back under the continental divide through the Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnels. A tour of the Coors Brewery will provide a final “taste” of the Rocky Mountains.