There is also plenty for you to explore in the surrounding areas. If you head south, you’ll reach Red Rocks Park, which is known for its red rock formations. Head east, and you’ll find yourself in Denver, where you can experience a taste of the city, complete with shopping and dining options. Head west, and you’ll be in the Rocky Mountains, with options to ski.
 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.
Within the boundaries of Rocky Mountain National Park, more than 100 peaks rise above 11,000 feet in altitude, including Longs Peak at 14,259 feet. These amazing mountains cradle the Estes Valley, providing residents and guests with incredible beauty and inspiration. Many of the taller peaks make up the Continental Divide, where snowmelt runs either west to the Pacific Ocean or east to the Atlantic. The park's vistas are accessible by horseback, on foot, or by car - the most notable vehicle route being Trail Ridge Road, the highest continuously paved highway in North America. No matter your level of interest, adventure awaits you while viewing, exploring and appreciating this breathtaking collection of mountains. 
With majestic mountains, tundra wildflowers, abundant wildlife, Trail Ridge Road (the highest paved road in the US), and over 350 miles of trails, Rocky Mountain National Park is spectacular!  From flat easy hikes around a mountain lake to challenging multiday backpack trips and climbs, Rocky Mountain National Park offers trails for hikers of every level - let us help you plan your adventure!  Find the best ways to take in the majesty and serenity of the park.  It's YOUR Rocky - explore it! 

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.

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.


Precambrian metamorphic rock formed the core of the North American continent during the Precambrian eon 4.5–1 billion years ago. During the Paleozoic era, western North America was submerged beneath a shallow sea, with a seabed composed of limestone and dolomite deposits many kilometers thick.[54] Pikes Peak granite formed during the late Precambrian eon, continuing well into the Paleozoic era, when mass quantities of molten rock flowed, amalgamated, and formed the continents about 1 billion–300 million years ago. Concurrently, in the period from 500–300 million years ago, the region began to sink while lime and mud sediments were deposited in the vacated space. Eroded granite produced sand particles that formed strata—layers of sediment—in the sinking basin.[55]
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.
Take your love to new heights by ringing in your celebration at a unique tree house cabin rental near Pagosa Springs. From the private hot tub to feeling like you are above the trees with epic views of Pagosa Springs, this rental cannot be beaten. Guests would be right to take a vacation to this site in the winter so they can take advantage of skiing Wolf Creek Pass. Snuggle up with your partner from the comfort of a luxurious accommodation for your honeymoon.
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.

Jess and I recently visited Colorado, which was my first visit to this wonderfully mountainous part of the US. We were primarily there to attend a travel influencers conference, but we tacked on a few days to do a bit of sight-seeing, starting off in the capital of Denver, where I watched my first ever baseball game, after which we headed out to explore some of those incredible mountains.


Vacation in the Valley of the Sun in the winter of summer and find out why Fairplay is the activity hub of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. There is so much to do in the area including hiking, fishing, horseback riding and even canoeing and kayaking. Staying in the heart of the Rockies means you’re minutes from the action but nearby larger cities like Denver for a day trip. The owner of the property suggests having 4-wheel drive on your vehicle if you will be visiting in the winter.
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.
Within the boundaries of Rocky Mountain National Park, more than 100 peaks rise above 11,000 feet in altitude, including Longs Peak at 14,259 feet. These amazing mountains cradle the Estes Valley, providing residents and guests with incredible beauty and inspiration. Many of the taller peaks make up the Continental Divide, where snowmelt runs either west to the Pacific Ocean or east to the Atlantic. The park's vistas are accessible by horseback, on foot, or by car - the most notable vehicle route being Trail Ridge Road, the highest continuously paved highway in North America. No matter your level of interest, adventure awaits you while viewing, exploring and appreciating this breathtaking collection of mountains. 
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 Big Meadows area with its grasses and wildflowers can be reached via the Onahu, Tonahutu, or Green Mountain trail. Other scenic areas include Long Meadows and the Kawuneeche Valley (Coyote Valley) of the upper Colorado River which is a good place for birdwatching, as well as snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in winter. The valley trail loops through Kawuneeche Valley[36] which contained as many as 39 mines, though less than 20 of those have archived records and archeological remains.[37] LuLu City is the site of an abandoned silver mining town of the early 1880s located along the Colorado River Trail.[5] According to a 1985 report prepared for the NRHP, there were only three cabin ruins remaining along with remnants of six other buildings.[38]
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
Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the highest national parks in the nation, with elevations from 7,860 to 14,259 feet (2,396 to 4,346 m),[30] the highest point of which is Longs Peak.[31] Trail Ridge Road is the highest paved through-road in the country, with a peak elevation of 12,183 feet (3,713 m).[32] Sixty mountain peaks over 12,000 feet (3,658 m) high provide scenic vistas.[30] On the north side of the park, the Mummy Range contains a number of thirteener peaks, including Hagues Peak, Mummy Mountain, Fairchild Mountain, Ypsilon Mountain, and Mount Chiquita.[33] Several small glaciers and permanent snowfields are found in the high mountain cirques.[34]
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
Well-appointed guest rooms are decorated with country mountain flair including handmade quilts and calico dust ruffles and feature en-suite bathrooms and spectacular views. Guests are treated to a delicious gourmet three-course breakfast every morning and complimentary bedtime snacks. An intimate library and comfortable lobby offer the perfect place to curl up with a book in front of a crackling fireplace. The nearby Rocky Mountain National Park provides a variety of activities from hiking and mountain biking to mountain climbing, fishing and wildlife watching.
Located 75 minutes west of the Resort along with a five-mile stretch of Colorado’s famed Tarryall River, The Broadmoor Fly Fishing Camp is a private escape that pairs world-class fishing with exceptional accommodations and dining. This outstanding retreat borders 120,000 acres of the Lost Creek Wilderness, offering honeymooners who love to fish together the opportunity to experience more than five miles of private waters under the guidance of professional Broadmoor guides. The picturesque camp features a beautifully restored Main Lodge with a wraparound deck and seven rustic yet well-appointed guest cabins dating back to the 1920s. During the evenings, guests gather in the Main Lodge for artfully prepared meals and relaxation. In addition to the exceptional fly fishing, camp guests can enjoy a variety of fun activities such as horseback riding, hiking, and the opportunity to see some of Colorado’s most spectacular wildlife.

Hot Tubs, Woodstoves, Secluded, Outdoor Fireplace for campfire, WiFi.  Charming, pet friendly, private vacation cabins off Hwy 7 in Allenspark and Raymond, conveniently located between Lyons and Estes Park.  Choose directly on the Middle St Vrain River OR on spacious, wooded acreage bordered by the famous crystal clear Willow Creek.  Year round-Great Value!  Hideout Cabins Details

Now, folks are often overwhelmed when they make their first visit to The Park. After all, there are hundreds of miles of trails (in fact there are over 350 miles of trails within RMNP), and dozens of trailheads to explore. So where do you begin? Well, we’re here to help you find the right trail to fit your fitness level, as well as your aptitude at altitude—after all, Longs Peak (the tallest peak in The Park) tops out at a whopping 14,255 feet! Today, we’re going to point out 10 of the easiest hikes you can find in the park. Here’s our list of casual Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes:
The Historic Dripping Springs Resort sits along the riverbanks under ponderosa pines and quaking aspens, conveniently located just minutes from Estes Park. Whimsical rooms and cabins with country gourmet breakfasts are our signature. Couples enjoy romantic nights and walks along the river walk. Seek the bubbling hot waters and have champagne toasts in your private outdoor hot tub and have a soothing massage or steam sauna by the river. Natural setting with Rocky Mountain hospitality. Elopements, romance packages, weddings, and any special occasion, our hideaway in the forest is the perfect spot for you.

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!
Region 5, known for waterfalls and backcountry, is south of Estes Park and contains Longs Peak—the park's iconic fourteener—and the Wild Basin area.[35] Other peaks and passes include Lily Mountain, Estes Cone, Twin Sisters, Boulder-Grand Pass, and Granite Pass.[47] Eugenia Mine operated about the late-19th to early-20th century, with some old equipment and a log cabin remaining.[47] Sites and trails include Boulder Field, Wild Basin Trail, and Homer Rouse Memorial Trail.[47]
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.
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.
With the beauty of Rocky Mountain National Park literally on his doorstep, Erik rises frequently long before dawn to hike back to remote lakes or up high peaks to capture the unparalleled beauty of the Park in warm morning light. Erik has his own gallery in Estes Park, Colorado as well as mini-galleries in Grand Lake, Colorado and outside of Abiquiu, New Mexico where he shows his Desert Southwest work. Read more >>

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
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.[72] Sprague Lake and Odessa Lake are two of the park's subalpine lakes.[72]

What's not to love?  This is one of my favorite places ever.  If you go when there's no crowds (stay away from the weekends)... you find beauty, quiet, wildlife, relaxation.....I am relaxing just thinking about it!  If you have the time I recommend driving up Trail Ridge and stopping to enjoy the view.  There are hikes on both sides of the park for all levels of hikers.  Nature at its best!!!

The Historic Dripping Springs Resort sits along the riverbanks under ponderosa pines and quaking aspens, conveniently located just minutes from Estes Park. Whimsical rooms and cabins with country gourmet breakfasts are our signature. Couples enjoy romantic nights and walks along the river walk. Seek the bubbling hot waters and have champagne toasts in your private outdoor hot tub and have a soothing massage or steam sauna by the river. Natural setting with Rocky Mountain hospitality. Elopements, romance packages, weddings, and any special occasion, our hideaway in the forest is the perfect spot for you.
Many of our units are newly-remodeled with luxurious appointments. Choose from our one- and two-bedroom condos, Jacuzzi and hot tub suites, or a cozy cabin for two on the river. All units have a full kitchen (or kitchenette), fireplace, cable TV and DVD player (with free movie library), and, best of all, decks and patios overlooking Fall River and Deer Mountain. Enjoy our outdoor heated pool and hot tub. We welcome family reunions and large wedding parties. Be sure to ask about our winter specials!
Streamside on Fall River is nestled between the cool clear waters of Fall River and the granite peak of Old Man Mountain. As one of Estes Park's most unique resorts, our secluded village of 21 cabin suites and condos feature such amenities as gas fireplaces, private hot tubs, jetted tubs, kitchens, free Wi-Fi, cable TV/DVD, gas grills, and hammocks for relaxing under the sunny blue skies of Colorado. Fish for rainbow trout or enjoy great wildlife watching. Challenge yourself to the summit of Old Man Mountain for breathtaking panoramic views or hike the trails of Rocky Mountain National Park, just three miles away. Guests enjoy having 24 hour access to the Swim Spa with exercise pool, Jacuzzi and two outdoor hot tubs--perfect after a long day of hiking. On-site guest laundry is available as well.
The Lowdown: If you want a little peace and quiet outside of town, this one-bedroom and one-bathroom cabin hideaway is your best bet. This rustic log cabin is nestled in the San Juan Mountains and features a wood-beamed ceiling, bay windows with views of the treetops, wood-burning stove, deck with patio furniture, an old record player, southwestern decor and even a yoga studio for some morning meditation and vinyasa time. Starting at $64 a night, you better start packing your bags.
There is nothing like camping in Rocky Mountain National Park to experience true wilderness. Luckily, there are many ways to overnight in its pristine lands, from backcountry campsites to tent villages to a few RV sites - ensuring you feel one with nature no matter how you prefer to camp. For complete details and information visit the official Rocky Mountain National Park Camping Webpage. 
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.
Welcome to the 4 Seasons Inn on the Fall River in Estes Park. Nestled in the towering trees, the 4 Seasons Inn provides some of the most relaxing and romantic Estes Park lodging available to couples.  We have a spacious deck with hot tub and seating that looks over the river as it passes through our property.  There are also picnic and grilling areas for guest use.

The Historic Dripping Springs Resort sits along the riverbanks under ponderosa pines and quaking aspens, conveniently located just minutes from Estes Park. Whimsical rooms and cabins with country gourmet breakfasts are our signature. Couples enjoy romantic nights and walks along the river walk. Seek the bubbling hot waters and have champagne toasts in your private outdoor hot tub and have a soothing massage or steam sauna by the river. Natural setting with Rocky Mountain hospitality. Elopements, romance packages, weddings, and any special occasion, our hideaway in the forest is the perfect spot for you.


Fall River Cabins features five luxurious Cabins located on the banks of Fall River. We are also excited to announce the brand new Stream Suites building which will be located across the river from the 5 Cabins. Book with us and have access to over 4000ft of fall river, private hiking trails, wonderful service and much much more. Come ready to relax, indulge, & explore.

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]
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.
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.
Timber Creek: The only campground on the park's west side, Timber Creek is often the best bet for those seeking an open spot on a first-come basis. This campground offers 98 sites, accommodations for RVs up to 30 feet, a dump station and water hook-ups. Timber Creek is summer only and access from Estes Park is available only when Trail Ridge Road is open (usually Memorial Day through mid-October, depending on weather) approximate drive time from Estes Park is an hour and a half. 
More laid-back outdoor pursuits include photography, star gazing, and nature watching, as well as yoga and meditation. Horseback riding is also extremely popular and is a great way to take in the vivid landscapes of the American West. Within its cities, Colorado is very green. All major metropolitan areas have well-kept public parks and outdoor spaces.
Baker Pass crosses the Continental Divide through the Never Summer Mountains and into the Michigan River drainage to the west of Mount Nimbus[36]—a drainage that feeds streams and rivers that drain into the Gulf of Mexico.[28] Other mountain passes are La Poudre Pass and Thunder Pass, which was once used by stage coaches and is a route to Michigan Lakes. Little Yellowstone has geological features similar to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. The Green Mountain trail once was a wagon road used to haul hay from Big Meadows. Flattop Mountain, which can be accessed from the eastern and western sides of the park, is near Green Mountain. Shadow Mountain Lookout—a wildfire observation tower—is on the National Register of Historic Places.[36] Paradise Park Natural Area is an essentially hidden and protected wild area with no maintained trails penetrating it.[39]
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. 
Hiking is the main attraction at Rocky Mountain National Park, so make sure to come prepared with sturdy and comfortable shoes or boots to make the most of popular trails, such as Bear Lake and Emerald Lake Trail. To experience the park from the comfort and safety of your car, take the hour-long drive on Trail Ridge Road. But before you do anything, you should stop at one of the park's visitor centers, such as Beaver Meadows, to stock up on maps and information. For a refreshing beer or ice cream at the end of a day in the wilderness, head to Estes Park and be sure to check out the establishments along the main drag, Elkhorn Avenue. 
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.[77] The park's bighorn sheep population has recovered and is estimated at 350 animals.[78]
Strawberry Creek Cabin is a beautiful log retreat located in Beaver Creek’s most exclusive neighborhood. Take in the dramatic views of Beaver Creek as you cozy up in front of the fireplace in the living room or cook in the gourmet kitchen. The interior features designer decor, comfortable layout, and an amazing art collection. Enjoy the outdoor fire pit and hot tub on the private back patio overlooking the ski runs. Ski-in/ski-out access via the Settler’s Way run is just steps away.
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