During the winter most of Trail Ridge Road is closed due to heavy snow, limiting motorized access to the edges of the park. 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. 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, and technical climbing remains also a possibility, although typically differing in style from the summer months.
Features: If you’re looking for beautiful falls and a relatively easy hike, you’ve got to trek to Copeland Falls. Copeland Falls is about a 30 minute drive South from our resort. The trail is well shaded by pine trees, and it brings you to several cascading waterfalls, all along the North St. Vrain Creek. You can see both Upper Copeland Falls and Lower Copeland Falls on sections of this trail.
^ This article incorporates public domain material from the Library of Congress document: "Majestic view from the old, one-way, dirt Fall River Road in Rocky Mountain National Park in the Front Range of the spectacular and high Rockies in north-central Colorado". Library of Congress - Prints & Photographs Online Catalog. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
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!
We ended up doing Sprague Lake, which is a nice, leisurely walk along a paved path by the lake. It was a beautiful view. I only wish it wasn't so cloudy that day. Next, we drove to the Copeland Falls trail, which is a 0.3 hike from the trailhead of Wild Basin. But to the falls and back is a bit over two miles. Barely anyone was on the trail, which was nice but also creepy at the same time.
A complimentary European-style buffet breakfast is served each morning and includes freshly brewed coffee and tea, fruit juices, fresh seasonal fruit, egg dishes, and Italian meats and cheeses. Other delectable daily selections include newly baked sweet treats such as homemade quiche, croissants, or blueberry muffins, hot home-baked cinnamon rolls, homemade granola and Greek yogurt, and an assortment of fresh bread, jams, and preserves.
At about 68 million years ago, the Front Range began to rise again due to the Laramide orogeny in the west. 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.
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, including montane forests, grasslands, and shrublands. The area has meandering rivers 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. The following areas are part of the montane ecosystem: Moraine Park, Horseshoe Park, Kawuneeche Valley, and Upper Beaver Meadows.
The spacious Grand Ballroom – attached directly to the hotel – can accommodate as many as 400 guests, or, reserve just enough space to party in the Latitude 105 Restaurant for a more intimate gathering with your closest friends and family. The Aspen Courtyard makes an open and inviting venue with a fire pit circled by Adirondack chairs and covered dining for up to 250 guests where everyone can enjoy Colorado’s fresh mountain air, with dinner and dancing under the stars.
Hypothermia, or loss of body heat through exposure, is a danger that can be encountered any time of the year. If anyone exhibits shivering, slurred speech, incoherence, stumbling, or drowsiness, get the person out of the wet, cold. and wind, and into shelter and dry, woolen clothing. The quickest way to warm the victim is to place the person in a dry sleeping bag with another person.
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.
The Fawn Valley Inn is right on the Fall River, just 5 minutes from Estes Park. You can go trout fishing right on the property. You are only a short drive away from horseback riding, white-water rafting, chuck-wagon dinners and Rocky Mountain National Park. It is not unusual to see deer, elk, fox or bighorn sheep from your window. There are a variety of accommodations, from riverside condos to romantic cabins for two, and it is only a short drive into town to visit the quaint shops and pick up that memento that you will treasure forever.
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.