Through the years that I hiked by the Colorado River (also Lake Mead near Las Vegas), spent nights in Laughlin and the Grand Canyon beside it, and read about it; I had been curious about what it looks like near its headwaters in the snow melt mountains of Rocky Mountain National Park. It was inevitable that I one day I would see it. That day came last summer when we visited the third most visited National Park of 2015: Rocky Mountain National Park. During my years of hiking by the Colorado River and hours of hiking in the mountainous climate of the Spring Mountains I was also curious about the high mountain climate of this very park.
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.
The park is home to some 2,000 to 3,000 elk in summer, and between 800 and 1,000 elk spend the winter within its boundaries. Because of lack of predation, the National Park Service culls around 50 elk each winter. Overgrazing by elk has become a major problem in the park's riparian areas, so much so that the NPS fences them out of many critical wetland habitats to let willows and aspens grow. The program seems to be working, as the deciduous wetland plants thrive within the fencing. Many people think the elk herd is too large, but are reluctant to reintroduce predators because of its proximity to large human populations and ranches.
About 300 million years ago, the land was uplifted creating the ancestral Rocky Mountains. Fountain Formation was deposited during the Pennsylvanian period of the Paleozoic era, 290–296 million years ago. Over the next 150 million years, the mountains uplifted, continued to erode, and covered themselves in their own sediment. Wind, gravity, rainwater, snow, and glacial ice eroded the granite mountains over geologic time scales. The Ancestral Rockies were eventually buried under subsequent strata.
The outdoor adventurer remains busy throughout the year in Rocky Mountain National Park. Open 365 days a year, there are activities and sports throughout the summer/fall and winter/spring seasons. Whether looking for a new route to an adrenaline rush, or simply enjoying a favorite pastime, Rocky Mountain National Park's unique and varied landscapes offer something fun.
If you’re looking to hit the trails and experience the grandeur of Rocky Mountain National Park, stay with us here at Rams Horn–we’re just about as close as you can get to RMNP. Plus, we’re just a minute away from downtown Estes Park. Book a stay in one of our luxury cabins, and enjoy all of the magical views of the Rockies, the quaint mountain-town feel of Estes, and all of the luxuries of home (and more!). Schedule your stay at our resort today!
Located in the moose capital of Colorado — Colorado State Forest State Park — Never Summer Nordic has built and operates seven yurts and two huts inside the state land. Their headquarters is located in Walden on the outskirts of the park, but their backcountry yurts can be found in jaw-dropping, secluded locations throughout all 70,838 acres. Whether you’re looking for a weeklong backcountry ski trip or a romantic weekend getaway, Never Summer Nordic has the yurt for you. See them all here.
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
Horace Albright, director of the National Park Service between 1929 and 1933, once said about Trail Ridge Road, "It's hard to describe what a sensation this new road is going to make. You will have the whole sweep of the Rockies before you in all directions." Trail Ridge Road was a sensation when it debuted back in 1932 and it remains so today for the travelers that make the 48-mile drive from Estes Park to Grand Lake, rising above the tree line for 11 miles at an elevation of nearly 11,500 feet. Visitors should keep that in mind when they're stopping at the lookout points that the road experiences temperatures that are 20 and even 30 degrees lower than both Estes Park and Grand Park.
We have a wide variety of vacation rental homes to suit your taste and budget. From mountain town, lakefront, golf course, luxury cabins to lodo Denver lofts. We offer short term and seasonal Colorado rentals. So many differnt types of homes are available to you from Condos, cabins, carriage houses to Mountain lookout villas. From Downtown lofts to suburban homes. Also some amazing benefits like ski-in, ski-out, home theaters, heated pools and hot tubs, saunas, fireplaces, games rooms, workout rooms and more.
In the subalpine zone, lodgepole pines and huckleberry have established themselves in previous burn areas. Crystal clear lakes and fields of wildflowers are hidden among the trees. Mammals of the subalpine zone include bobcats, cougars, coyotes, elk, mule deer, chipmunks, shrews, porcupines and yellow-bellied marmots. Black bears are attracted by the berries and seeds of subalpine forests. Clark's nutcracker, Steller's jay, mountain chickadee and yellow-rumped warbler are some of the many birds found in the subalpine zone. Sprague Lake and Odessa Lake are two of the park's subalpine lakes.
Smith Fork Ranch is a traditional homestead within the Rocky Mountains and rolling meadows of Colorado featuring old-fashioned Western hospitality and sophisticated wine and cuisine. The cozy mountain lodges envelop guests in homely comfort with plush furnishings, wood burning fireplaces, original artwork, slate tiled bathrooms, handmade soaps and organic lotions, feather beds with fine linens, and hot tubs. The undulating landscape is teeming with wildlife and offers superb hiking, while activities on the ranch will keep honeymooners busy the entire stay.
Julian’s only Historic Hotel lies in the heart of the turn of the century district just steps away from local dining and shops. The freshly renovated landmark Hotel represents the Gold Rush spirit with historic ambience and modern day amenities. All guest rooms, cottages (w/fireplace) and suites include private baths, free WiFi, A/C, gracious afternoon tea and full two course breakfast. AAA- approved.
Alta Lakes is a pristine and secluded wilderness setting situated 30 minutes outside the charming mountain town of Telluride, Colorado. The Observatory is nestled underneath the 13,000-foot peaks of the San Juan Mountains – it is one of only a few homes in the United States at 11,000+ feet! The backcountry cabin with charming rugged details serves as the perfect romantic mountain getaway for couples.
Estes Park has long billed itself as "The Gateway to the Rockies." This little town has a lot of charm of its own. For the many people who feel that the best part of the Rockies is the view, Estes Park is the best of both worlds. It is the perfect romantic getaway for those who would rather avoid the mountain roads and bone-chilling temperatures of Vail and Aspen during the winter.
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.
Apart from elk, many other ungulates reside in the park, including bighorn sheep, moose, and mule deer. Bison were eliminated from the park in the 1800s, as were pronghorn and moose, the latter of which was restored to the area in 1978. Moose are now frequently seen in the park, especially on the park's west side. The park's bighorn sheep population has recovered and is estimated at 350 animals.
Our lodging is a 300 yd. walk to RMNP. The Big Thompson River flows thru our backyard. Enjoy hiking, wildlife, fishing, birding & photography. Treat yourself to a soak in our riverside hot tub. Some cabins w/ kitchens & fireplaces. Catering to singles, couples & small families. Exceptionally clean & affordable w/ a relaxing atmosphere, personality & charm. Swiftcurrent Lodge on the River Details
This trail was great! In the winter, it’s slow going though after about 4 miles in. Cell service the whole way so you can use this app. Clear path to follow at least for the first 6 miles. If you’re snowshoeing, you can probably carry them for a few miles as the first bit is pretty travelled and packed. Amazing views of Mount Craig and Grand Lake below. Fun meadows full of snow to play in. Get there at sun up if you ant any chance of making it to the lakes and back before dark.
The Lowdown: Just three miles north of downtown Breck, the Silver Pines Cottage has all the essentials you need and then some for a ski vacation without the hassle of resort lodging. With unbeatable mountain views, this cozy cabin retreat is great for families with a children’s playroom but offers a steam shower and whirlpool for the adults. The entire house is yours for unbelievably only $144 a night.
Nature created a perfectly beautiful vacation spot right on Fall River, where you will find our lovely village of 20 cabin suites. They are sprinkled over 17 acres amid the Pine & Aspen with kitchens, fireplaces, decks, grills, Free Wi-Fi, & some private hot tubs overlooking the stocked fishing river. Streamside is perfect for your relaxing river-front getaway. Streamside on Fall River Details
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.
From this page you can access the main photos on this website. These are the ones I've selected as making great prints. If you want to see additional photos visit the search page or visit my Facebook artist page where I post new images nearly every day. I also have a large collection of images from other locations such as the Desert Southwest, Pacific Northwest, United Kingdom, Iceland, etc. These others can all be found at my Morning Light website.
The Wildwood Inn is 4 miles west of Estes Park, for those lovers who want to get a little further away from it all. Situated on seven acres right on Fall River and adjacent to Rocky Mountain National Park, the inn is surrounded with majestic mountain views, river views and abundant wildlife. All the cabins, suites and vacation homes feature fireplaces, fabulous views, luxurious down bedding and high-thread-count linens. This is a great place to get away with that special someone in luxury, surrounded by natural beauty.
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!
Escape to this cozy log cabin that is surrounded by beautiful scenery and is nearby many popular attractions in Southern Colorado. The cabin boasts high-speed wifi, which you may not be using too much with the Mesa Verde cliff dwellings only 25 minutes away. The private property is also only 50 minutes from Durango and 90 from Telluride, making this retreat the perfect home-base for day trips!
The popular Cascade Luxury Suite in the Lodge is NOW OPEN! It is newly improved and upgraded and has even more amenities than before! With a private entrance, King bed, fireplace, dining area, kitchenette area, large HDTV, Cable, private outdoor hot tub, and large bathroom with jetted tub for two with mountain views and oversized shower with double sided body spray shower heads, and more.