Rocky Mountain National Park was selected to participate in a climate change study, along with two other National Park Service areas in the Rocky Mountain region and three in the Appalachian Mountain region.[50] The study began in 2011, orchestrated by members of the academic scientific community in cooperation with the National Park Service and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).[50] The stated objective: "develop and apply decision support tools that use NASA and other data and models to assess vulnerability of ecosystems and species to climate and land use change and evaluate management options."[51]
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]
Basking in your newlywed glow, discover a luxurious ski in/ski out mountain retreat with resort amenities, tucked away on a quiet mountainside in exclusive Bachelor Gulch. Beautiful woodwork gives this residence an elegant alpine lodge ambiance. Design features include stately vaulted ceilings, natural log walls, hardwood floors, and a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace. Relax on the leather sofas around the fireplace, and even cook an intimate meal in the impressive chef’s kitchen, which features granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and a spacious island. Enjoy the rustic charm of the Colorado mountains in every hand-selected detail from the light fixtures to its eight cowhide chairs. Located between Beaver Creek and Arrowhead, honeymooners can take advantage of Bachelor Gulch’s natural beauty, fine dining, arts, and culture. And while you’re here, enjoy complimentary access to the coveted Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch guest amenities. These include a 21,000-square-foot spa, hot and cold plunge pools, and co-ed grottos with steam rooms and saunas, perfect for unwinding after your once-in-a-lifetime wedding celebration.
There's nothing better than experiencing a new destination with your sweetheart, so consider taking time to discover all there is to see and do in Estes Park. If you and your love want to take in the area's natural beauty, you'll enjoy Estes Park for its mountain views, parks, and wildlife. A visit to Horseshoe Park, Upper Beaver Meadows Trailhead, or Fall River Entrance Station might be just the ticket when you're checking out the sights.

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
The park was designated a World Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations in 1976 to protect its natural resources.[67][68] The park's biodiversity includes afforestation and reforestation, ecology, inland bodies of water, and mammals, while its ecosystems are managed for nature conservation, environmental education and public recreation purposes.[67] The areas of research and monitoring include ungulate ecology and management, high-altitude revegetation, global change, acid precipitation effects, and aquatic ecology and management.[67]
Cow Creek Trail follows Cow Creek, with its many beaver ponds, extending past the Bridal Falls turnoff as the Dark Mountain trail, then joining the Black Canyon trail to intersect the Lawn Lake trail shortly below the lake.[42] North Boundary Trail connects to the Lost Lake trail system. North Fork Trail begins outside of the park in the Comanche Peak Wilderness before reaching the park boundary and ending at Lost Lake. Stormy Peaks Trail connects Colorado State University's Pingree Park campus in the Comanche Peak Wilderness and the North Fork Trail inside the park.[42]
Mountain sports enthusiasts can’t deny the draw of Summit County’s ski towns. Breckenridge and Copper Mountain are popular places to hit the slopes, complete with family-friendly activities for any season. Dillon, within easy driving distance of plenty of ski runs, offers world-class sailing and other activities on Dillon Lake. We also offer vacation rentals in the lovely towns of Frisco, Silverthorne, Keystone, and Blue River. You can’t go wrong in Summit County!
Look no further than the ‘Moose Den,’ a rustic vacation rental studio cabin, for your family’s next trip to Pigeon Forge! With 1.5 baths, a spacious loft and living space, private hot tub and viewing deck, this log cabin accommodates 4 for a memorable time in the mountains. All of your favorite area attractions, like Dollywood and WonderWorks, are only…
^ Jump up to: a b "Landscape Climate Change Vulnerability Project; Using NASA Resources to Inform Climate and Land Use Adaptation; Ecological Forecasting, Vulnerability Assessment, and Evaluation of Management Options Across Two US DOI Landscape Conservation Cooperatives" (PDF). montana.edu. Montana State University. August 2011. pp. 2, 5. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
In Estes Park, your dream to escape to a cabin in the woods or a cottage by the river can come true. With offerings that spin from rustic and primitive to luxurious and well-appointed, there's a cozy house for every taste, style and budget. Cabins and cottages become homes away from home, promising couples privacy, friends opportunities to dine-in and families the occasional washer and dryer. Some provide hot tubs; others come with fireplaces. Scattered throughout the valley, the options lie within walking distance of the village, near trailheads or close to Rocky Mountain National Park. Yes, for a night, a week or even longer, you can have your own cabin in the mountains.
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]
"The Wood Shed" is an inviting newly remodeled 2-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom log cabin located just 1 mile from the Pigeon Forge Parkway. With all new furniture, flooring and upgrades this cabin is loaded with amenities and sleeps up to 10 comfortably. Enjoy all of the comforts of home including three flat screen TVs and complimentary wireless Internet. Bring your favorite movies…
AARP/Senior Discount ADA Compliant Air Conditioning Airport Shuttle American Express Bus/RV Parking Business Check Cash Corporate Rates Diners Club Discover Family/Kid Friendly Fireplace Flat-Screen TV Full Kitchen Golf Nearby Group Discount Group Friendly Group Meeting Space Hair Dryer Hot Tub Iron & Ironing Board Kids Stay FreeKids Stay Free (some restrictions) Kitchenette MasterCard Microwave OvenMilitary Discount Personal Check Pet Deposit Required Pet Weight LimitPets Must Be On Leash Pets Not Allowed Pool - Heated Pool - OutdoorRefrigerator Restaurant(s) On Site Restaurant(s) Walking Distance Service Animals Only Service Animals Welcome Some Pet Restrictions Spa FacilityTennis Court(s) Travelers Check TV - Satellite VISA WIFI WIFI - Free Throughout
Non-flowering lichens cling to rocks and soil. Their enclosed algal cells can photosynthesize at any temperature above 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 °C), and the outer fungal layers can absorb more than their own weight in water. Adaptations for survival amidst drying winds and cold temperatures may make tundra vegetation seem very hardy, but in some respects it remains very fragile. Footsteps can destroy tundra plants and it may take hundreds of years to recover.[73] Mammals that live on the alpine tundra, or visit during the summer season, include bighorn sheep, elk, badgers, pikas, yellow-bellied marmots, and snowshoe hares. Birds include prairie falcons, white-tailed ptarmigans, and common ravens. Flowering plants include mertensia, sky pilot, alpine sunflowers, alpine dwarf columbine, and alpine forget-me-not. Grasses include kobresia, spike trisetum, spreading wheatgrass, and tufted hairgrass.[73]
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.

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.
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
Above tree line, at approximately 11,000 ft (3,400 m), trees disappear and the vast alpine tundra takes over.[69] Over one third of the park resides above the tree line, an area which limits plant growth due to the cold climate and strong winds. The few plants that can survive under such extreme conditions are mostly perennials. Many alpine plants are dwarfed at high elevations, though their occasional blossoms may be full-sized.[73]
Features: The Holzwarth Historic Site, or Never Summer Ranch as it’s sometimes called, has a variety of cabins built in the early 1900s. This dude ranch has been preserved by the Nature Conservancy ever since the 1970s, and it retains much of its same rustic look.  You can read more about the Holzwarth Historic Site at Rocky Mountain Hiking Trails’ Holzwarth Historic Site Trail page. It’s just over an hour drive to get from Rams Horn Village to the Holzwarth Historic Site.
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 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.
Each night’s stay in a chateau suite includes breakfast for two. Breakfast is prepared fresh for each guest by our chef, and includes a hot entree, fresh parfait, fresh-baked pastry, orange juice and hot coffee. Enjoy breakfast in our main level breakfast area, seasonal outdoor patio, or choose to have breakfast delivered to your suite at no additional charge.

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.[47]


Gorgeous views of the Rocky Mountains thanks to its close proximity to Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park offers a beautiful romantic retreat for the couple that wants to escape and bask in the alpine air. With Amberwood, you can stay in a beautiful, natural resort surrounded by the mountains and Estes Park, staying in comfortable country style cottages for that old fashioned charm, curling up by a wood burning fireplace during those mountain nights. At Aspen Winds, be between both the comforts of downtown for a fine meal and a mile away from Rocky Mountain National Park, for those romantic horse rides through the woods of the Rockies. Their spa suites include a private deck, where the Fall River can be enjoyed in your own comfort with someone you love. If it’s romance you’re looking for, Estes Park provides the greatest romantic escape of the mountains!
Basking in your newlywed glow, discover a luxurious ski in/ski out mountain retreat with resort amenities, tucked away on a quiet mountainside in exclusive Bachelor Gulch. Beautiful woodwork gives this residence an elegant alpine lodge ambiance. Design features include stately vaulted ceilings, natural log walls, hardwood floors, and a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace. Relax on the leather sofas around the fireplace, and even cook an intimate meal in the impressive chef’s kitchen, which features granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and a spacious island. Enjoy the rustic charm of the Colorado mountains in every hand-selected detail from the light fixtures to its eight cowhide chairs. Located between Beaver Creek and Arrowhead, honeymooners can take advantage of Bachelor Gulch’s natural beauty, fine dining, arts, and culture. And while you’re here, enjoy complimentary access to the coveted Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch guest amenities. These include a 21,000-square-foot spa, hot and cold plunge pools, and co-ed grottos with steam rooms and saunas, perfect for unwinding after your once-in-a-lifetime wedding celebration.

Our warm and inviting Beaver Creek accommodations feature premium amenities that will make guests feel right at home, such as our Hyatt Grand Beds® with crisp linens, large flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and rich alpine views. Indulge in one of our luxury suites and enjoy extra perks, like a 500 sq. ft. terrace overlooking the entire valley, a kitchenette, and cozy fireplace for chilly nights.
Mountain sports enthusiasts can’t deny the draw of Summit County’s ski towns. Breckenridge and Copper Mountain are popular places to hit the slopes, complete with family-friendly activities for any season. Dillon, within easy driving distance of plenty of ski runs, offers world-class sailing and other activities on Dillon Lake. We also offer vacation rentals in the lovely towns of Frisco, Silverthorne, Keystone, and Blue River. You can’t go wrong in Summit County!
A gourmet breakfast is included in the price of suites and cabins. A great room and sunny family room offer games, piano, movie library, trail guides and maps. The warmth of knotty pine walls, wood floors, a big sandstone fireplace and family heirlooms transport you back to a simpler era. Let us pamper you for your romantic getaway, elopement or any occasion when you chose Estes Park. 

Features: Take a quick hike around Lake Irene. Lake Irene is one of the highest lakes in the park; it’s just below the continental divide. This secluded little lake is surrounded by pine trees, and the trail is fairly flat along its entire length. However, once again, since this lake is at elevation, it can be a bit winding—you’ll notice that the trees don’t grow quite so high around the lake since you’ll be near tree line. Take note, the parking lot is the highest point on this hike, so be prepared for the uphill jaunt back to your car! Halfway through the trail, you can also visit an overlook on the trail that displays a vista of Lake Irene and a nearby meadow (this portion of the trail is not part of the length calculation above). It’s about an hour drive from the resort to the Lake Irene Picnic Area.
 We saw the park on a tour that traveled the totality of the park along Trail Ridge Road from Grand Lake entrance at the west to Estes Park at the east. It was 40 miles of nature at its best. We entered and exited in the Montane zone where ponderosa pine dominate below 9,000 feet. We reached the alpine zone above 11,400 where it is too extreme for trees to grow. Here are my favorite first-hand experiences:
Dial (970) 586-1222 for a recorded message on the status of Trail Ridge Road. You may not know that our mountain makes its own weather, so it is not uncommon to have snow in July or August at the top of Trail Ridge Road. Such weather will only last for a few hours to a day, but if you are planning to cross over Trail Ridge Road, weather may hamper your travel. You also may find the road closed due to weather in early June and September/October.

Not only is the grand Stanley Hotel a member of the Historic Hotels of America, it's also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Aside from its historic accolades, the property boasts another claim to fame. Fans of "The Shining" will recognize the hotel as the setting for the creepy Stephen King novel, but the hotel also touts a history of paranormal activity. To learn more, visitors can take one of two tours – a daytime tour that focuses more on pop culture and a night tour that concentrates on the property's ghost lore.
Features: If you’re on the lookout for wildlife, then the Coyote Valley Trail is one of your best bets. This fairly flat trail takes visitors through the Kawuneeche Valley, which features a sprawl of grassland in the midst of the booming mountains that line the Never Summer range. Along this hike, you may see deer, moose, elk, coyotes, beaver, and plenty of species of birds, including eagles and kingfishers. Coyote Valley Trail is about an hour and 15 minutes from the resort, and the you’ll take Trail Ridge Road over Trail Ridge Pass. Trail Ridge Road is famous, since it’s the highest continuous paved road in the nation! Coyote Valley Trail is wheelchair accessible.
With elevations ranging from 8,000 feet in the wet, grassy valleys to 14,259 feet at the weather-ravaged top of Longs Peak, a visitor to the park has opportunities for countless breathtaking experiences and adventures. For those wishing to experience the tundra without hiking miles above tree line, the Alpine Visitor’s Center atop Trail Ridge Road is the highest visitor’s center in the entire National Park System!
Glacial geology in Rocky Mountain National Park can be seen from the mountain peaks to the valley floors. Ice is a powerful sculptor of this natural environment and large masses of moving ice are the most powerful tools. Telltale marks of giant glaciers can be seen all throughout the park. Streams and glaciations during the Quaternary period cut through the older sediment, creating mesa tops and alluvial plains, and revealing the present Rocky Mountains.[61] The glaciation removed as much as 5,000 feet (1,500 m) of sedimentary rocks from earlier inland sea deposits. This erosion exposed the basement rock of the Ancestral Rockies. Evidence of the uplifting and erosion can be found on the way to Rocky Mountain National Park in the hogbacks of the Front Range foothills.[60] Many sedimentary rocks from the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras exist in the basins surrounding the park.[62]
Mountain sports enthusiasts can’t deny the draw of Summit County’s ski towns. Breckenridge and Copper Mountain are popular places to hit the slopes, complete with family-friendly activities for any season. Dillon, within easy driving distance of plenty of ski runs, offers world-class sailing and other activities on Dillon Lake. We also offer vacation rentals in the lovely towns of Frisco, Silverthorne, Keystone, and Blue River. You can’t go wrong in Summit County!
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. 

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.
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