The riparian ecosystem runs through the montane, subalpine, and alpine tundra zones and creates a foundation for life, especially for species that thrive next to streams, rivers, and lakes.[74] The headwaters of the Colorado River, which provides water to many of the southwestern states, are located on the west side of the park. The Fall River, Cache la Poudre River and Big Thompson Rivers are located on the east side of the park. Just like the other ecosystems in the park, the riparian zone is affected by the climatic variables of temperature, precipitation, and elevation. Generally, riparian zones in valleys will have cooler temperatures than communities located on slopes and ridge tops. Depending on elevation, a riparian zone may have more or less precipitation than other riparian zones in the park, with the difference creating a shift in the types of plants and animals found in a specific zone.[75]

Rocky Mountain National Park encompasses 265,461 acres (414.78 sq mi; 1,074.28 km2) of federal land,[1] with an additional 253,059 acres (395.40 sq mi; 1,024.09 km2) of U.S. Forest Service wilderness adjoining the park boundaries.[24] The Continental Divide runs generally north–south through the center of the park,[25] with rivers and streams on the western side of the divide flowing toward the Pacific Ocean while those on the eastern side flow toward the Atlantic.[26]
Region 4 is the heart of the park with easy road and trail access, great views, and lake hikes including the most popular trails.[35] Flattop Mountain is a tundra hike and the easiest hike to the Continental Divide in the park. Crossing over Flattop Mountain, the hike to Hallett Peak passes through three climate zones, traversing the ridge that supports Tyndall Glacier and finally ascending to the summit of Hallett Peak.[44]
Rock climbing and mountaineering opportunities include Lumpy Ridge,[85] Hallett Peak, and Longs Peak, the highest peak in the park, with the easiest route being the Keyhole Route. This 8 mi (13 km) one-way climb has an elevation gain of 4,850 ft (1,480 m). The vast east face, including the area known as The Diamond, is home to many classic big wall rock climbing routes. Many of the highest peaks have technical ice and rock routes on them, ranging from short scrambles to long multi-pitch climbs.[86]

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]


Where your Rocky Mountain Adventure begins! Our conveniently located, 1910 rambling mountain inn is snuggled in amidst towering pine and aspen with an expansive view of the Estes Valley. The inn consists of four luxury suite, all with private baths with fireplaces and whirlpool tubs for two. Two luxury cabins sleep up to six and have a full kitchen. 

If you are going into the Park backcountry overnight, you will need a backcountry permit, available free at park headquarters, or the Kawuneeche Visitor Center. Some areas are closed to overnight camping, and the danger of avalanches frequently exists, so plan your trip carefully, checking with park rangers for the latest Information on the areas In which you plan to travel.
The Ridgeline Hotel and Conference Center in Estes Park is a beautiful, convenient, and affordable marriage venue near Rocky Mountain National Park. Our staff will assist you every step of the way from planning through the rehearsal dinner, ceremony, reception, post wedding brunch, and overnight accommodations. We offer outdoor and indoor spaces, perfect for large or small gatherings.

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.
Located in a quiet, residential alpine setting, guests can spread out and explore the surroundings. Numerous balconies and decks have unobstructed views of the Gore Mountain Range, and the large private back yard with charming stone patio and massive outdoor gas fire pit is perfect for Après-ski gatherings. During warmer months, revel in the beauty and tranquility of the fanciful waterfall feature and perennial gardens, and walk up the mountainside on the fantastic stone switchback trail leading to several stone belvederes, each with increasingly magnificent and unobstructed views of the Vail Valley.
Relax to the sounds & beauty of Fall River.  Our resort is perfectly located halfway between the Village of Estes Park & Rocky Mtn National Park (2.5 mi each way).  Enjoy a furnished 1,2, or 3 bedroom mountain cabin/condo with a full kitchen, jacuzzi spa tub or hot tub, fireplace, & gas grill.  Each bedroom has it's own bath!  Save $'s - cook breakfast in, then grill dinner.  Winter deals & packages available.  River Stone Resorts & Bear Paw Suites Details
When looking for Lodging in Estes Park then an Estes Park Cabin is the perfect choice! Annie's Mountain Retreat cater's to Couples and each cabin has its own Private Outdoor Hot Tub.	Perfect for Honeymoons!  Three of our unique cabins are located along the Big Thompson River, in the Big Thompson Canyon, three miles from Estes Park, Colorado. These three cabins have River Access and lovely views of the Big Thompson Canyon. Our fourth unit borders Rocky Mountain National Park and is close to hiking trails. Our owner operated free standing cabins come complete with	Many Special Amenities including Air Conditioning. 

Most visitors to the park drive over the famous Trail Ridge Road, but other roads include Fall River Road and Bear Lake Road.[95] The park is open every day of the year, weather permitting.[96] Due to the extended winter season in higher elevations, Trail Ridge Road between Many Parks Curve and the Colorado River Trailhead is closed much of the year. The road is usually open again by Memorial Day and closes in mid-October, generally after Columbus Day.[93] Fall River Road does not open until about July 4 and closes by, or in, October for vehicular traffic.[97] Snow may also fall in sufficient quantities in higher elevations to require temporary closure of the roads into July,[49][93] which is reported on the road status site.[95]
If driving Trail Ridge Road or Old Fall River Road is on the top of your list and you have limited time, you may want to enter the park via the Fall River Entrance on the park’s east side. It also is just a few minutes from Estes Park’s downtown. You’ll reach Trail Ridge Road a lot faster than those waiting in line at the Beaver Meadows Entrance during the summer and fall seasons.
All ATV/Fourwheeling Beach Beach Volleyball Court(s) Biking/Bicycling Bird Watching Boating & Watercraft Canoeing Cross Country Skiing Downhill Skiing/Snowboarding Fire Pit(s) Fishing Pier(s) Fly Fishing Freshwater Fishing Golf Course Outdoor Grill(s) Hiking Ice Fishing Ice Skating Kayaking Marina Wildlife & Nature Picnic Table(s) Play Ground Whitewater Rafting Sailing Snowmobiling

Find your inner peace in this spacious cabin near the town of Pueblo, Colorado. Not only is this expansive cabin on its own 42-acre property, but it also has stunning views of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range with decks surrounding the building. Grill out with the family before exploring the nearby towns,  including Westcliffe and Silver Cliff, or spend the day playing pool and enjoying the many amenities this mountain home has to offer.
Bear Paw Suites & River Stone Resorts offer a beautiful setting for your riverfront mountain experience! All one, two and three bedroom units are fully equipped and tastefully decorated to include everything you need! These selected properties offer king beds in the master suites with a 2-person Jacuzzi tub (3 bedrooms have a private outdoor hot tub), a full kitchen, fireplaces, and private patios/decks to relax. For more information, please visit our website at www.riverstoneresorts.com or call us at 888-234-4747.
^ Montana State University states in their profile of Rocky Mountain National Park that there has been an increase of 2.5 °F (1.4 °C) in the average park temperature over "the past century" (charts show the period from about 1895-2010).[48] The National Park Service site states that the increase has been 3.4 °F (1.9 °C) over "the last century" (chart shows the period from about 1905-2010).[52]
Staying or coming to Estes Park for your honeymoon? You will find a wide variety of romantic experiences to make your extended stay full of intimate moments and memorable highlights. Many properties off special honeymoon packages that include indulgences like couples massages, chocolates, champagne and more. Whether or not you ever leave your room, Estes Park honeymoons will create memories to last a lifetime. 
The Landing at Estes Park opened very recently in 2015, but before it was a lodge, it was the home of 83-year-old Joyce and her husband for 45 years. Many of the existing structures were built by hand by the couple when they were young. Today, owners Jay and Jen pay homage to the history and the love built into The Landing and renovated it to be one of the town’s best mountain retreats. Offering suites, villas, cabins and the River Ranch Vacation Home, there is something for everyone at this old-world inn.
Planning a large group getaway can be enough of a challenge. Let us make it easier for you with area expertise (check out our Smoky Mountain Memories magazine for tips) and large group lodges loaded with amenities and offering plenty of space. Ranging from 5 all the way up to an impressive 12 bedrooms, our group cabins can sleep anywhere from 16 to 50+ guests! Amenities like double appliances, huge dining spaces, multiple living rooms, private indoor pools, and large game rooms make group stays comfortable, memorable – and simpler! From retreat to reunion and beyond, we have the large group cabin rental for you.
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
Inside the park, the Rocky Mountain Conservancy offers year-round seminars, guided fly-fishing, naturalist tours, hiking and photography classes. Estes Park and surrounding Rocky Mountain National Park are also superior birding spots, with more than 315 species to be seen. Grab your binoculars for a self-guided exploration of Matthews-Reeser Bird Sanctuary, or opt for a ranger-led bird walk within the national park.

The weather in RMNP is extreme—and unpredictable. Ranging from snowstorms in the winter to hot, clear days in the summer, Rocky Mountain’s got it all. Summer is quick—just July and August—but beautiful, as temperature ranges from 40s at night and up to the 80s during the day. The rest of the year, expect snow at most elevations, and definitely up on Trail Ridge Road.
Our friendly and knowledgeable event staff is ready to help you set up and organize the wedding reception of your dreams in Estes Park. Feel free to reach out with any questions, no matter where you are in your wedding planning. Give us a call at 970-480-4012 or send us your contact info in our Request For Information form, and our professional event staff will get right back to you.
The Lowdown: Sure, log cabins are cozy, but this spectacularly swanky retreat has all the modern amenities you need with a more refined design aesthetic. Stargaze from the hot tub on the upper deck, play pool with friends or curl up next to the fireplace. It’s hard to complain about anything here. Granite countertops, neatly upholstered furniture and stainless steel appliances scream sophistication. You’ll be itching to come back.

Colorado is a leader in the American foodie revolution and continues to set the bar nationwide. Seasonal and perfectly fresh foods are the focus, and health-conscious vacationers will find that the cuisine options are limitless. Many restaurants will let diners know which small farms and local producers were used in sourcing their meal. Colorado’s cities are consistently voted among America's best for foodies, particularly for their attention to quality.
The land at Dao House sits on what was once a gathering place of peace for rival Native American tribes in the region. Over the years, it has operated as a homestead, a ranch and a fox farm before becoming a lodge for the first time in 1948. In 2015, Dao House emerged as a meeting point of western and eastern cultures and today, they offer lodging, equestrian experiences and wellness activities including an oxygen lounge, internal martial arts, personalized retreat programs and shorter wellness getaways.
Skiiers: Have everything taken care of for you so that all you have to worry about is the snow. This cabin is just outside of Crested Butte, which was named Best Ski Town in North America by Powder Magazine. A free shuttle can get you to the base and you can store all of your skiing and outdoor equipment at the cabin. Check out that front porch swing with an amazing view of the mountains!

Inside the park, the Rocky Mountain Conservancy offers year-round seminars, guided fly-fishing, naturalist tours, hiking and photography classes. Estes Park and surrounding Rocky Mountain National Park are also superior birding spots, with more than 315 species to be seen. Grab your binoculars for a self-guided exploration of Matthews-Reeser Bird Sanctuary, or opt for a ranger-led bird walk within the national park.
The Stanley Hotel is much more than just a luxury hotel. In addition to its historic rooms, legendary grounds overlooking Rocky Mountain National Park and destination dining services, its storied and haunted past which reaches back more than 100 years has made it one of the most famous hotels in the country. Activities inside include a spooky Night Spirit Tour which explores the phenomena and folklore surrounding the hotel.
The Lowdown: Steamboat Springs is a lot more laid back than other ski towns in Colorado, but they still have the same luxury accommodations at more affordable prices. Nine beds and 4.5 baths make this ski chalet worth every penny especially if you have a large group. Heated floors, a private hot tub, a pool table, lavish hotel-style linens and a full bar are just some of the many amenities at this massive home with mountain views. It even has a heated driveway?
Among the agencies left unfunded by the budget impasse between Congress and President Donald Trump is the Interior Department, which includes the National Park Service. The partial shutdown started Dec. 22 when Congress rejected Trump’s demand that $5.7 billion for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border be included in a bill funding nine departments and several agencies. Hundreds of thousands of workers have been furloughed or are working with no pay because they’re considered essential.
Believing all lives are sacred and everyone has the God-given inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, his actions are deplorable and a violation of human rights.All lives are sacred Rev. Wayne A. Laws? It is more than obvious, by your use of the term deplorable and the terse comments about The President that you are a Democrat. That's fine, but how do you sleep at night knowing you support the most aggregious from of human rights violation on this planet? Namely abortion. I have no idea to which God you are referring, but it can't be the same God as most Christians. Either you believe all lives are sacred or they're not...Rev Laws. Which is it???
Looking for a great trail in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado? AllTrails has 191 great hiking trails, trail running trails, views trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 101 moderate trails in Rocky Mountain National Park ranging from 0.6 to 39 miles and from 7,795 to 13,047 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
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]
With two bedrooms, a fully-equipped kitchen (complete with a coffee bean grinder, toaster, and crockpot) and one and a half updated bathrooms, the remote cabin provide luxury accommodations within walking distance of three picturesque mountain lakes. Guests enjoy a range of activities, including hiking, mountain biking, paddle boarding, fly fishing, or exploring the Alta Lakes Ghost Town, or sledding, tubing, ice skating, and more in the winter months.
Originally built in 1936 (and with various renovations over the years), the Alpine Visitor Centre (open seasonably) is well worth a visit as part of your Rocky Mountain National Park experience. There’s an informative museum, large gift shop, café, and wonderfully panoramic views. There are also restrooms and staff on hand to answer any questions you might have.
This mansion-cabin is the highest priced on our list, but with the view of the lake and five-minute walk to downtown Frisco, we had to show it off! Bring grandma, grandpa, aunts, and uncles and make it a family getaway worth remembering. The three-level getaway has private garages, floor-to-ceiling windows, and four bathrooms. Find your own piece of paradise and escape to Frisco this winter!
Features: This hike is a good drive away from the resort. You’ll spend about an hour and a half on highway 34 heading towards Grand Lake before you reenter the Park to check out Adams Falls. That said, the drive is gorgeous, and you’ll sweep over the Continental Divide. Once you’re at Adams Falls, you’ll have a short hike to view falls along the East Inlet of Grand Lake. The aptly named Adams Falls Trail features a 55-foot waterfall. You can continue along the East Inlet Trail to view more of the river, as well as Lone Pine Lake, Lake Verna, Spirit Lake, and other gorgeous sites.
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