We got to the trailhead around 8am and barely ran into anyone our whole hike up. We used snowshoes the entire time but the trail is well defined. It wasn’t too windy for us but I have heard it can get really windy on this hike especially up at emerald lake. There are some inclines that will get your heart rate up but overall it isn’t too difficult of a hike. When we started to head back to our car around 9:30 the trail started to get really busy. When we left the parking lot was nearly full. If you want a quiet hike I suggested starting early.
Highlights of our trip were stopping and eating lunch at Hidden Valley, where we saw a bull Elk up close grazing.  Hiking the beautiful Bear Lake, Nymph Lake and then on to the breathtaking Dream Lake.  Fly fishing in Moraine Park on the Big Thompson River, with Elk surrounding us.  Seeing a Moose for the first time at Forest Canyon.  Seeing two Big Horn sheep at Sheeps Lake.  
Slightly strenuous hike. The first portion (after the trail splits from Bear Lake) is primarily uphill. Snowshoes are a great asset to have here. After some breaks to catch our breath, we made it to Nymph Lake, which offered a gorgeous view and prime photo opportunity. Then, across the lake continued the trail. More uphill climbing, followed by a beautiful vista and Dream Lake, which was very windy but gorgeous. Then came a 20-25 minute steep hike up to Emerald Lake, snowshoes REQUIRED for this portion. The steep hike is worth it as you emerge from forest to a view unlike any other. There are plenty of spots to enjoy lunch with an incredible view of tall peaks and the frozen lake.

Misty Mountain Lodge offers the best of both worlds. 2 miles to the National Park, 2 minutes walk to everything downtown. We have rooms, suites and cabins. Every single unit is different! The back of our property is Little Prospect Mountain, and the Big Thompson River is right across our lane. If you cross the bridge in front of our place, you can follow the Riverwalk about a block down to the River Plaza (at the confluence of the Big Thompson and Fall Rivers) on the back side of downtown Estes Park.
Accommodations can be filtered based on your personal preferences. Above, you can see the number of properties that include a specific amenity in Colorado. In Colorado, 29,999 rentals provide "TVs". So, if you want to tune out with some TV time, use the TVs filter to compare these rentals. Three amenities that are not typical are "cribs," "Pets Allowed," and "Jacuzzis."
Range Property Management is filled with vacation getaways of all sizes, shapes, and descriptions. We have a wonderful variety of cabins, condos, and homes in the Estes Park and surrounding areas. We can find the perfect place for your vacation, weather you prefer to walk to downtown shops or stay in a secluded cabin at the end of a mountain road. Come “Home” after a day in Rocky Mountain National Park and enjoy the beauty of the mountains.   
I would definitely recommend driving Trail Ridge Rd. between Grand Lake and Estes Park.  This is a great drive through the entire park with lots of great pull outs and stops along the way.  Be aware that this is the highest paved road on the continent at over 12,000ft. elevation and altitude sickness affects 50% of the visitors.  Trail Ridge Rd. is very scary to drive if you're not used to curvy roads with no guards rails.  Without stops, it will take 1.5hrs to drive from town to town.  Because we stopped so much, it took us 4 hrs to get from Estes Park to Grand Lake, we ate dinner in Grand Lake and then it took us 1.5 hrs to drive straight back.
Features: Sprague Lake offers up pristine, open views of Half Mountain, Thatchtop Mountain, Otis Peak, Flattop Mountain, Taylor Peak, Notchtop Mountain, and Hallett Peak, as well as much of the Continental Divide. You can also catch a glimpse of aspen groves on the hillsides surrounding the lake, making Sprague Lake another ideal spot to visit in autumn. Sprague Lake is considered a handicap accessible hike.
I live in Colorado and visit Rocky Mtn National Park often. I was collecting several good articles for friends who will be visiting so they can preview the area. Why do what others have already done so well? You did an excellent job! I hope you get a chance to come back and see the park from the other entrance. It is somewhat different, also beautiful and not to be missed.
When planning your next family vacation, you will not find a more inviting campground than Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort. Besides having the best cabin rentals available, Jellystone Parks are the cleanest, friendliest parks in North America. The campground staff is knowledgeable, and always available to assist you during your stay at our campgrounds.
We invite you to Wildwood Inn where you can experience the beauty of the majestic surrounding mountains, the abundant wildlife away from the congested areas of Estes Park. Nestled within 7 acres of private land and the National Park, you will enjoy spectacular views, and star studded nights that can let your spirits soar. Indulge yourself in beautifully appointed suites all with luxurious 310 thread count linens and some with Deluxe Temper-Pedic mattresses. Most offer private outdoor hot tubs with spectacular views of the mountain ranges or fireside hot tubs with shimmering candles aglow, and even ones with both.
Or enjoy a family wildflower hike to Gem Lake or Bridal Veil Falls. For a little more challenge, try the 2.8-mile Mills Lake trek. You’ll be rewarded with grand views of 14,259-foot-tall Longs Peak and the Keyboard of the Winds, a whimsical rock formation named for its shape. Pull over at Moraine Park for prime wildlife watching. More than 3,000 elk and 800 bighorn sheep live in the park, and this U-shaped valley is a regular gathering spot for bugling elk. 
Explore the stunning mountainous terrain in Colorado during your winter getaway, before coming back to the comfort of a cozy cabin rental. Wizz down the mountains on skis, or trek through the soft powder, and explore your surroundings. You'll find your inviting cabin, nestled in the wilderness, surrounded by pristine white snow. Spend your days taking part in one of the many activities on offer, and pass the evenings snuggled up in your warm, luxury cabin. Curl up by the radiating heat of the fire, or soak yourself in a long relaxing bath. Your luxury accommodation will provide all the comforts of home, shelter yourself from the cold winter outside as you enjoy being tucked away surrounded by the natural beauty Colorado offers.
Spa – This list would not be complete without a mention of our fantastic spas, many of which offer couples packages! On the River Massage has a romantic couples massage at either 60 or 90 minutes or a fun DIY package where you can enjoy a massage and learn the art of massage and techniques the therapists use so you can use them at home! Riverpointe Spa also has spa packages whether you want a hot stone massage or a massage and a facial.
During the winter most of Trail Ridge Road is closed due to heavy snow, limiting motorized access to the edges of the park.[68] Winter activities include snowshoeing and cross-country skiing which are possible from either the Estes Park or Grand Lake entrances. On the east side near Estes Park, skiing and snowshoeing trails are available off Bear Lake Road, such as the Bear Lake, Bierstadt Lake, and Sprague Lake trails and at Hidden Valley. Slopes for sledding are also available at Hidden Valley. The west side of the park near Grand Lake also has viable snowshoeing trails.[68][88] Backcountry skiing and snowboarding can be enjoyed after climbing up one of the higher slopes, especially late in the snow season after avalanche danger has subsided[89], and technical climbing remains also a possibility, although typically differing in style from the summer months[90].
American cowboy culture still has a strong presence in Colorado. Once a year, the National Western Stock Show – one of the nation's biggest rodeos – takes over. Artists, musicians, and cowboy competitors perform daily for two full weeks. Some of the most entertaining events feature local children riding and roping just like their parents. The event is kicked off with a cattle drive through Colorado's city streets.

Well-appointed guest rooms are decorated with country mountain flair including handmade quilts and calico dust ruffles and feature en-suite bathrooms and spectacular views. Guests are treated to a delicious gourmet three-course breakfast every morning and complimentary bedtime snacks. An intimate library and comfortable lobby offer the perfect place to curl up with a book in front of a crackling fireplace. The nearby Rocky Mountain National Park provides a variety of activities from hiking and mountain biking to mountain climbing, fishing and wildlife watching.


Denver, the state capital, is the destination of choice for art lovers who delight in the artworks of Georgia O'Keeffe, Frederic Remington, Man Ray, Andy Warhol, David Hockney, and Charles M. Russell - whose works are on exhibit at the Denver Art Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art. For another take on museums, head to Colorado Springs, which is home to the Museum of the American Cowboy and the ProRodeo Hall of Fame.
The electoral college works precisely as our forefathers intended, who were worried about small state's voter representation and the inherent horrors that the tyranny of the majority would bring.The EC affords equal representation for all states, large and small.In 2016 it did just that by preventing Hillary's 6 million vote victory in New York and California from cancelling her lose of 3 million votes in the 48 other states.To simplify this for you Kommon Kore math Dems, without it you would have 3 wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.But of course with Polis being the progressive Soros puppet that he is, he will sign this commie bill in a New York minute.

Trail Ridge Road is 48 miles (77 km) long and connects the entrances in Grand Lake and Estes Park.[92][93] Running generally east–west through many hairpin turns,[5] the road crosses Milner Pass through the Continental Divide[93] at an elevation of 10,758 ft (3,279 m).[92][94] The highest point of the road is 12,183 feet (3,713 m),[93] with eleven miles of the road being above tree line which is approximately 11,500 feet (3,505 m).[92] The road is the highest continuously paved highway in the country,[93] and includes many large turnouts at key points to stop and observe the scenery.[92]


At Brynwood on the River we are notorious for our cozy and relaxing cabins nestled on the charming Big Thompson River.  But did you know we also offer delightful motel rooms and spacious vacation homes?  Whether you are enjoying a weekend getaway or a family vacation, Brynwood on the River will make it special.  Book online today!  Brynwood on the River Details
We invite you to Wildwood Inn where you can experience the beauty of the majestic surrounding mountains, the abundant wildlife away from the congested areas of Estes Park. Nestled within 7 acres of private land and the National Park, you will enjoy spectacular views, and star studded nights that can let your spirits soar. Indulge yourself in beautifully appointed suites all with luxurious 310 thread count linens and some with Deluxe Temper-Pedic mattresses. Most offer private outdoor hot tubs with spectacular views of the mountain ranges or fireside hot tubs with shimmering candles aglow, and even ones with both.

The history of Rocky Mountain National Park began when Paleo-Indians traveled along what is now Trail Ridge Road to hunt and forage for food.[11][12] Ute and Arapaho people subsequently hunted and camped in the area.[13][14] In 1820, the Long Expedition, led by Stephen H. Long for whom Longs Peak was named, approached the Rockies via the Platte River.[15][16] Settlers began arriving in the mid-1800s,[17] displacing the Native Americans who mostly left the area voluntarily by 1860,[18] while others were removed to reservations by 1878.[14]

Get away and enjoy the surrounding beauty and frequent wildlife visits right from your cabin. Only 3 mi. from Estes Park, our quiet piece of paradise is set on 15 acres of pines & aspen next to RMNP. Full kitchen, living room, and fireplace in all cabins for evening relaxation. Private decks and gas grills.  Some w/private hot tubs.  Valhalla Resort Details
At Brynwood on the River we are notorious for our cozy and relaxing cabins nestled on the charming Big Thompson River.  But did you know we also offer delightful motel rooms and spacious vacation homes?  Whether you are enjoying a weekend getaway or a family vacation, Brynwood on the River will make it special.  Book online today!  Brynwood on the River Details
Glacier Basin: Located on Bear Lake Road, approximately six miles south of the Beaver Meadows Entrance Satation, this 150 site campground provide easy access to many areas of the East side of the park. Reservations are available for this popular summer-only campground which offers a shuttle stop, tent & RV (35 feet) spots and on-site Ranger-led evening programs. 
Jess and I recently visited Colorado, which was my first visit to this wonderfully mountainous part of the US. We were primarily there to attend a travel influencers conference, but we tacked on a few days to do a bit of sight-seeing, starting off in the capital of Denver, where I watched my first ever baseball game, after which we headed out to explore some of those incredible mountains.
Rustic River Cabins are tucked away in the Big Thompson Canyon, just four miles from the center of Estes Park. We offer seven all-seasons, pet-friendly cabins on 16 acres that sleep between 2 and 8 people. Built in the mid-1940s, our cabins have a rustic feel that makes you feel part of the Rockies. We wow you with charming decor, sparkling clean showers and bathrooms, and well-stocked kitchens. You'll love how our cabins bring the outside in while still maintaining a modern feel, including 26” flat screen TVs with satellite, free Wi-Fi, and microwave ovens. From your cabin, head down the trail to the Big Thompson River to spot brown and speckled trout. Grab your fishing poles for some fly fishing - we have one of the greatest spots for fishing!
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, The Baldpate Inn has been enchanting Rocky Mountain travelers for more than 100 years. It’s nestled among the aspen and evergreen trees right beside Rocky Mountain National Park and began as a lodging destination almost right away when homesteaders Gordon and Ethel Mace moved in and built a handful of small cabins on their land. In addition to location and history, the inn boasts the world’s largest key collection and a photograph collection that includes signed portraits of presidents, celebrities, writers, inventors and more.

The Pierre Shale formation was deposited during the Paleogene and Cretaceous periods about 70 million years ago. The region was covered by a deep sea—the Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway—which deposited massive amounts of shale on the seabed. Both the thick stratum of shale and embedded marine life fossils—including ammonites and skeletons of fish and such marine reptiles as mosasaurs, plesiosaurs, and extinct species of sea turtles, along with rare dinosaur and bird remains—were created during this time period. The area now known as Colorado was eventually transformed from being at the bottom of an ocean to dry land again, giving yield to another fossiliferous rock layer known as the Denver Formation.[58]
At about 68 million years ago, the Front Range began to rise again due to the Laramide orogeny in the west.[58][59] During the Cenozoic era, block uplift formed the present Rocky Mountains. The geologic composition of Rocky Mountain National Park was also affected by deformation and erosion during that era. The uplift disrupted the older drainage patterns and created the present drainage patterns.[60]
We started at Beaver Meadows Visitor Center and scored some hats at a great price. The park rangers were really nice and provided maps and advice on where to hike. Then it was off to Sheep Lakes. Not much to see here unless you get to see some of the big horn sheep that live in the area. No such luck for us this time around, but it was fun to see photos and read about those who had made an appearance in the days prior to our arrival.
The history of Rocky Mountain National Park began when Paleo-Indians traveled along what is now Trail Ridge Road to hunt and forage for food.[11][12] Ute and Arapaho people subsequently hunted and camped in the area.[13][14] In 1820, the Long Expedition, led by Stephen H. Long for whom Longs Peak was named, approached the Rockies via the Platte River.[15][16] Settlers began arriving in the mid-1800s,[17] displacing the Native Americans who mostly left the area voluntarily by 1860,[18] while others were removed to reservations by 1878.[14]

Baker Pass crosses the Continental Divide through the Never Summer Mountains and into the Michigan River drainage to the west of Mount Nimbus[36]—a drainage that feeds streams and rivers that drain into the Gulf of Mexico.[28] Other mountain passes are La Poudre Pass and Thunder Pass, which was once used by stage coaches and is a route to Michigan Lakes. Little Yellowstone has geological features similar to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. The Green Mountain trail once was a wagon road used to haul hay from Big Meadows. Flattop Mountain, which can be accessed from the eastern and western sides of the park, is near Green Mountain. Shadow Mountain Lookout—a wildfire observation tower—is on the National Register of Historic Places.[36] Paradise Park Natural Area is an essentially hidden and protected wild area with no maintained trails penetrating it.[39]
Fall River provides a beautiful backdrop for our lodging resort. After your hiking, snowshoeing or back-country skiing adventure, spend an intimate evening in a luxurious Spa Suite or relax in a spacious 1 Bedroom Suite. Enjoy sounds of the river from your private cabin/condo deck. All the conveniences of home in each suite.  Boulder Brook on Fall River Details
Trail easy to follow, mostly a trench with packed down snow. I tacked this onto Cub Lake Trail and made a loop. Fern TH to the pool is super easy (1.7 miles), no need for traction. Elevation starts after the bridge and doesn’t quit until Fern Lake. Last half mile of the trail has deep snow and it’s easy to post hole. Started this today (1/10) at 8AM, only person parked at TH (cub lake), did not see a single person until hiking back down from Fern.
Colorado brims with historic monuments and nature trails that families with kids will love. Visit Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site to learn about the old traders, trappers, and Native Americans who once traded at this post. For pristine wilderness and solitude, the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail is a good choice. There's also San Isabel National Forest, which is home to Mount Elbert, Colorado's highest peak.
The climate change study projects further temperature increases, with greater warming in the summer and higher extreme temperatures by 2050. Due to the increased temperature, there is a projected moderate increase in the rate of water evaporation. Reduced snowfall—perhaps 15% to 30% less than current amounts—and the elimination of surface hail, along with the higher likelihood of intense precipitation events are predicted by 2050. Droughts may be more likely due to increased temperatures, increased evaporation rates, and potential changes in precipitation.[53]

If you love the great outdoors but also want luxurious comfort on your vacation, let the Cabins at Rams Horn Village Resort be basecamp for your Rocky Mountain Getaway. Our western-styled Cabins are the definition of Rocky Mountain comfort w/ all the modern conveniences.  Each cabin is its own private retreat from everyday cares, allowing families & friends to come & play together, & build lifelong memories.  Rams Horn Village Resort Details


Probably one of my newest happy spots that I have been reintroduced to. I ahve not been here since I was a child and I had a wonderful day here enjoying the sites and taking pictures. I do wish there had been some staff around to kind of help answer some questions. The beauty of the park and the way people treat it with respect are pretty amazing. Thank you Colorado!
Rooms, suites and cabins--Misty Mountain Lodge has accommodations to fit every budget and every family size. Included are old stone fireplaces and outdoor hot tubs with a mountain view. The lodge is full of rustic elegance, where deer and elk are often seen, and yet it is only a short walk to downtown Estes Park. In the winters you can go for horse-drawn sleigh rides, and in the summer you can go for quiet walks in the beautiful woods. The Misty Mountain Lodge is the perfect romantic getaway.
The montane ecosystem is at the lowest elevations in the park, between 5,600 to 9,500 feet (1,700 to 2,900 m), where the slopes and large meadow valleys support the widest range of plant and animal life,[69][70] including montane forests, grasslands, and shrublands. The area has meandering rivers[70] and during the summer, wildflowers grow in the open meadows. Ponderosa pine trees, grass, shrubs and herbs live on dry, south-facing slopes. North-facing slopes retain moisture better than those that face south. The soil better supports dense populations of trees, like Douglas fir, lodgepole pine, and ponderosa pine. There are also occasional Engelmann spruce and blue spruce trees. Quaking aspens thrive in high-moisture montane soils. Other water-loving small trees like willows, grey alder, and water birch may be found along streams or lakeshores. Water-logged soil in flat montane valleys may be unable to support growth of evergreen forests.[70] The following areas are part of the montane ecosystem: Moraine Park, Horseshoe Park, Kawuneeche Valley, and Upper Beaver Meadows.[70]
Hot Tubs, Woodstoves, Secluded, Outdoor Fireplace for campfire, WiFi.  Charming, pet friendly, private vacation cabins off Hwy 7 in Allenspark and Raymond, conveniently located between Lyons and Estes Park.  Choose directly on the Middle St Vrain River OR on spacious, wooded acreage bordered by the famous crystal clear Willow Creek.  Year round-Great Value!  Hideout Cabins Details
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