The first stopping point as you come up Trail Ridge Road, you’ll find the main parking point for Many Parks Curve Overlook a little way past the curve itself (it’s well marked). Then you leave your car and walk a couple of minutes to the viewpoint. From here you get sweeping panoramic views across much of the south and eastern parts park, all the way back to Estes Park town and up to the mountains, including a view of Longs Peak.
While it is possible to travel through Rocky Mountain National Park and not catch sight of any wildlife, we venture to say that is an unlikely experience. From everyday sightings of chipmunks and mule deer to the moving experience of viewing elk in rut (the mating season), the animals in the park let you know that you are part of something truly wild. Some of these critters are harder to spot than others - they might camouflage themselves in the trees or hide in the underbrush - but look closely and you may have an encounter unlike any other.
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.
Cabins, luxury suites, 2 bedroom suites, mini suites, and rooms, nestled in the pines of Pikes Peak. Outdoor area with fire pit, hot tub, tables, chairs, and charcoal grills. We specialize in large groups, family reunions, corporate travelers, and visitors wanting the best accommodations central to the Pike National Forest and Woodland Park. Convenient to all area attractions and activities.
Features: Alpine Ridge Trail is one of the highest hikes in The Park, yet it’s still relatively easy (aside from the thin air due to the altitude). From the Alpine Visitor Center Parking Lot, the Alpine Ridge Trail brings hikers a short hike to a completely open view of the Rockies. Since you’ll be above treeline (trees don’t grow above about 11,500 feet in Colorado), you’ll be able to see many of the highest peaks and ranges throughout the Rocky Mountains. The hike actually covers 225 manmade stairs that lead to the peak of the trail. While this hike is short (.6 mile roundtrip), it is a climb—there’s a reason the trail has been dubbed “Huffer’s Hill.” Take note, since the hike tops off at over 12,000 feet, weather can be cold and erratic, even in summer. It’s about a 50 minute drive from Rams Horn Village to the Alpine Visitor Center. Take note, parking may be limited in summer months.
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.
Marissa is a writer for 303 Magazine’s Travel, Lifestyle + Culture Desk. She grew up in Canada, but spent her adult life navigating South Carolina as a Canadian transplant. She secretly enjoys the cold weather in Colorado, but complains about it anyway. In her free time, you can find her bothering her friends to go out, watching comedy shows or driving long distances to see something cool she read about online. All wit and charm is 85% her parents and 15% something she learned in middle school from the 8th graders on her bus. Follow her on Twitter @marissajkozma
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.
Step back in time to an old family homestead which sits on 55 acres backing onto Volcan Mountain with vineyard, hiking trails, pool table, hot tub, bocce ball and croquet. Just 2 miles from downtown Julian and many other attractions. You can walk to well known Volcan Mountain hiking preserve and 2 wineries that offer music, wine tasting, special events and Julian lifestyle every weekend.
Many visitors end up shopping or going to restaurants in Estes Park. Dickey said his sales are higher this week compared to a year ago. On Christmas Eve, he did twice as much business as he did on Christmas Eve 2017. Dickey, president of the Estes Valley Partners for Commerce board, said other store owners told him they had not noticed any downturns.
According to my GPS app the winter track up the hillside from Dream Lake is slightly off from the actual trail, but connects up with the trail within 1/4 mile. Also, about 1/4 mile from Haiyaha the trail peters out and the established track goes straight downhill to the lake. We couldn't figure out where the actual trail was supposed to go so we followed the tracks; it's very steep but will get you to the lake.
On the east side of the park lies the Beaver Meadows Entrance, the most direct entrance from Estes Park, which lies right outside Rocky Mountain National Park. An hour’s drive from Boulder and two hours from Denver, the lively Estes Park is the closest town to the park on the east side of the park. Because the entrance is so accessible from Estes Park and open year round, it is the most popular.
Out in the high desert of Colorado’s southwest corner, you’ll find hot springs, snowy peaks, forests, and so much more. Stay in a Pagosa Springs or Steamboat Springs vacation rental and experience the soul-reviving relaxation of a natural hot spring. Skiing isn’t just for Summit County: you’ll find satisfying slopes and a great ski culture at Crested Butte, too. Durango, situated in the San Juan National Forest, offers historic railways, white water rafting, and more.
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.
The Romantic Cottage is located 3 miles from Estes Park along the River in the Big Thompson Canyon. This unit was remodeled and a 14x16 foot bedroom added and completed in Jan 2012 with vaulted ceiling and log walls. . New gas fireplace, deck over looking the River, Living room area with love seat and now has a full kitchen with a gas range and kitchen table and chairs. Private Outdoor Hot Tub. Sleeps 2.
Windcliff is a distinctive mountainside view neighborhood featuring fully furnished vacation homes and condominiums. Located on 240 secluded acres on the sunny side of Ram’s Horn Mountain, and just minutes from Estes Park, each home has spectacular views of Rocky Mountain National Park and the Continental Divide. Your home is fully furnished and equipped, including fireplaces, full kitchens, decks, washer and dryer, microwave, cable TV, linens and towels, and of course a breathtaking view! Bordering Rocky Mountain National Park, and Roosevelt National Forest, you can hike right into the National Park from several Windcliff homes!
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
Estes Park cabins, homes, rooms, and suites bordering Rocky Mountain National Park! Enjoy wood-burning fireplaces and fully-equipped kitchens with a hot tub on-site. Free Wi-Fi, dog friendly lodging (w/ conditions). Spectacular views and great wildlife watching! Easy access to hiking, snowshoeing, back-country skiing! The perfect place for your mountain getaway! McGregor Mountain Lodge Details
Gem Lake is high among the rounded granite domes of Lumpy Ridge. Untouched by glaciation, this outcrop of 1.8 billion-year-old granite has been sculpted by wind and chemical erosion into a backbone-like ridge. Pillars, potholes, and balanced rocks are found around the midpoint of the trail, along with views of the Estes Valley and Continental Divide. Potts Puddle trail is accessible from the Black Canyon trail.
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.
"Rustic Elegance" describes our 23 privately owned cabins/vacation homes. At the doorstep of Rocky Mountain National Park displaying some of the most awesome beauty that Colorado has to offer, we accommodate all tastes and budgets from cozy rustic cabins to luxurious mountain homes. All of our properties are secluded, peaceful mountain getaways with easy access to the park and its hundreds of miles of trails and close to the very popular Estes Park with its many attractions.
The park has a total of five visitor centers with park headquarters located at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center—a National Historic Landmark designed by the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture at Taliesin West. National Forest lands surround the park including Roosevelt National Forest to the north and east, Routt National Forest to the north and west, and Arapaho National Forest to the west and south, with the Indian Peaks Wilderness area located directly south of the park.
Enos Mills, the main figure behind the creation of Rocky Mountain National Park, enjoyed walking to Lily Lake from his nearby cabin. Wildflowers are common in the spring and early summer. In the winter, the trail around the lake is often suitable for walking in boots, or as a short snowshoe or ski. Other lakes in the Wild Basin include Chasm Lake, Snowbank Lake, Lion Lakes 1 and 2, Thunder Lake, Ouzel Lake, Finch Lake, Bluebird Lake, Pear Lake, and Sandbeach Lake. Many of the lakes have backcountry campsites. Waterfalls include Ouzel Falls, Trio Falls, Copeland Falls, and Calypso Cascades.
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.
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
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!