My wife and I went to Rocky Mountain National Park in August 2018 to take pictures of this rugged, beautiful portion of the Rocky Mountains. In the image above, you see the length of the glacial valley known as Horseshoe Park. You reach this viewpoint on US 34 out of Estes Park, Colorado. The line of sight pictured here is to the southeast. I have labeled some of the local mountains to help orient the viewer.
In the second image, I have enlarged the far end of Horseshoe Park to show the curved walls of the valley between Dark Mountain and Lumpy Ridge. These shapes show the power of glaciers to cut these granite mountains to produce the terrain you see today.
In the third image, the alluvial fan produced by the Roaring River is visible. This fan is located at the juncture of the Roaring River and the Fall River. The Fall river flows through Horseshoe Park and on into Estes Park. Fast moving water descending steep inclines can move large rocks and boulders as well as finer sediment. The alluvial fan was created in 1982 by a catastrophic flood caused by the collapse of an old earthen dam at the mouth of Lawn Lake roughly 4.5 miles upstream and 2500 feet higher in elevation. The dam wasn’t properly maintained by its owners and its failure cost 3 lives and 31 million dollars in damage to Estes Park. Read more about that here, and here.
Erosion by water continues the work started by the glaciers to shape these mountains and valleys. Melting snow, high in the mountains, can produce periodic floods in the tributary rivers that feed the Thompson River draining this part of the Rocky Mountain National Park. Mother Nature takes no vacations from her work and sometimes what she produces is spectacular.