We got to the trailhead around 8am and barely ran into anyone our whole hike up. We used snowshoes the entire time but the trail is well defined. It wasn’t too windy for us but I have heard it can get really windy on this hike especially up at emerald lake. There are some inclines that will get your heart rate up but overall it isn’t too difficult of a hike. When we started to head back to our car around 9:30 the trail started to get really busy. When we left the parking lot was nearly full. If you want a quiet hike I suggested starting early.
From 9,000 ft (2,700 m) to 11,000 ft (3,400 m),[72] the montane forests give way to subalpine forests.[69] Forests of fir and Engelmann spruce cover the mountainsides in subalpine areas. Trees grow straight and tall in the lower subalpine forests, but become shorter and more deformed the nearer they are to the tree line.[72] At the tree line, seedlings may germinate on the lee side of rocks and grow only as high as the rock provides wind protection, with any further growth being more horizontal than vertical. The low growth of dense trees is called krummholz, which may become well-established and live for several hundred to a thousand years old.[72]

The Rocky Mountain National Park Act was signed by President Woodrow Wilson on January 26, 1915, establishing the park boundaries and protecting the area for future generations.[2] The Civilian Conservation Corps built the main automobile route, Trail Ridge Road, in the 1930s.[2] In 1976, UNESCO designated the park as one of the first World Biosphere Reserves.[6] In 2017, more than 4.4 million recreational visitors entered the park.[7] The park is one of the most visited in the National Park System, ranking as the third most visited national park in 2015.[8]


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. 

Colorado has one of the most diverse plant and animal environments of the United States, partially due to the dramatic temperature differences arising from varying elevation levels and topography. In dry climates, the average temperature drops 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit with every 1,000 foot increase in elevation (9.8 degrees Celsius per 1,000 meters). Most of Colorado is semi-arid with the mountains receiving the greatest amount of precipitation in the state.[64]
Estes Park has long billed itself as "The Gateway to the Rockies." This little town has a lot of charm of its own. For the many people who feel that the best part of the Rockies is the view, Estes Park is the best of both worlds. It is the perfect romantic getaway for those who would rather avoid the mountain roads and bone-chilling temperatures of Vail and Aspen during the winter.
We got to the trailhead around 8am and barely ran into anyone our whole hike up. We used snowshoes the entire time but the trail is well defined. It wasn’t too windy for us but I have heard it can get really windy on this hike especially up at emerald lake. There are some inclines that will get your heart rate up but overall it isn’t too difficult of a hike. When we started to head back to our car around 9:30 the trail started to get really busy. When we left the parking lot was nearly full. If you want a quiet hike I suggested starting early.
With 60+ spruce trees in the yard, water features, decks, hot tubs, gas grills, picnic tables, swings, and Adirondack chairs, its just a lovely place to hang out! We have wireless internet available, plus an internet station in the office for your use. Each unit has cable TV with HBO and direct-dial phones. Most have full kitchens, many come with fireplaces. Groups welcome.

Hiked the trail with my wife (both in our early 50's) on Sunday, Feb 10 between 8:30a and 1:30p. Amazing day to spend in the mountains. We went clockwise from the Cub Lake TH. A variety of trail conditions on the way to the lake but nothing that needed traction devices. We used hiking poles the entire time and saw many people without too. Up to the lake we encountered hard pack, snow, a little ice but all manageable. Cub lake is frozen solid and the area around is snow covered so at that point we decided to put on our micro-spikes, great decision. We left our spikes on from that point and were glad we did. Solid snow from the lake to The Pool with drifts up to 2 feet just off the trail. The Pool was 90% frozen and matched the hanging frozen waterfall just east of the pool on the cliffs above. The remainder of the hike was on solid snow, with about 150ft of solid ice to traverse in two different patches. Our spikes made it effortless compared to those doing without, yikes! Nice walk to the Fern Lake TH and back to our car. Weather was cold but clear. Winds were steady in the mid teens with gusts in the mid 30's. See you on the Trails!
Categories: IUCN Category IIRocky Mountain National ParkRocky MountainsHistory of the Rocky MountainsArchaeological sites in ColoradoBiosphere reserves of the United StatesCivilian Conservation Corps in ColoradoNational parks in ColoradoNational parks of the Rocky MountainsProtected areas established in 1915Protected areas of Boulder County, ColoradoProtected areas of Grand County, ColoradoProtected areas of Larimer County, ColoradoProtected areas on the Colorado River1915 establishments in Colorado
Bear Lake is a high-elevation lake in a spruce and fir forest at the base of Hallett Peak and Flattop Mountain.[44] Bierstadt Lake sits atop a lateral moraine named Bierstadt Moraine, and drains into Mill Creek. There are several trails that lead to Bierstadt Lake through groves of aspens and lodgepole pines.[45] North of Bierstadt Moraine is Hollowell Park, a large and marshy meadow along Mill Creek. The Hollowell Park trail runs along Steep Mountain's south side. Ranches, lumber and sawmill enterprises operated in Hollowell Park into the early 1900s.[45]
Relaxing vacations at Boulder Brook’s adult-only romantic cabin resort includes soaks in the hot tub, enjoying the local wildlife, fishing in the river and sitting on your private deck. Choose between oversized studio Spa Suites, or our comfortable one and two bedroom suites. Downtown Estes Park is only 2 miles away with its charming shopping, beautiful river walk and tasty restaurants.
Tucked in the folds of the Rocky Mountains and anchored by the stunning Grand Lake, this town is lined with locally owned shops, restaurants, bed and breakfasts and hotels. You won’t find major grocery stores here, although you can drive 25 minutes to Granby and shop at the enormous City Market. What you will find is an old-fashioned charm combined with recreational opportunities like relaxing at the beach, paddle boarding, paddle boating and kayaking on Grand Lake and visiting the park.
The park's climate is also affected by the Continental Divide, which runs northwest to southeast through the center of the park atop the high peaks. The Continental Divide creates two distinct climate patterns - one typical of the east side near Estes Park and the other associated with the Grand Lake area on the park's west side.[49] The west side of the park experiences more snow, less wind, and clear cold days during the winter months.[49]

Trail easy to follow, mostly a trench with packed down snow. I tacked this onto Cub Lake Trail and made a loop. Fern TH to the pool is super easy (1.7 miles), no need for traction. Elevation starts after the bridge and doesn’t quit until Fern Lake. Last half mile of the trail has deep snow and it’s easy to post hole. Started this today (1/10) at 8AM, only person parked at TH (cub lake), did not see a single person until hiking back down from Fern.


NEW CABIN ON PROGRAM!!! DISCOUNTED INTRODUCTORY RATES FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY. BOOK NOW! Welcome to American Honey, a beautiful, semi-secluded log cabin featuring Top Amenities throughout, parking for at least 3 vehicles and easy access into the cabin. This well-appointed, 3 story cabin provides accommodations for up to 8 guests and is perfectly located within the Arts and Crafts…
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. 
YMCA of the Rockies offers an experience every family should enjoy at least once. On the grounds of the Estes Park Center, there are hotel-style lodge rooms, cabins and vacation homes. And, when you’re looking for activities, the challenge will be choosing from the long list of options. The lineup includes archery, disc golf, challenge courses, horseback riding, mini golf, roller skating and ice skating, zip lining, yoga, outdoor arts programs and more. For a complete list of activities, click here.
Rustic River Cabins are tucked away in the Big Thompson Canyon, just four miles from the center of Estes Park. We offer seven all-seasons, pet-friendly cabins on 16 acres that sleep between 2 and 8 people. Built in the mid-1940s, our cabins have a rustic feel that makes you feel part of the Rockies. We wow you with charming decor, sparkling clean showers and bathrooms, and well-stocked kitchens. You'll love how our cabins bring the outside in while still maintaining a modern feel, including 26” flat screen TVs with satellite, free Wi-Fi, and microwave ovens. From your cabin, head down the trail to the Big Thompson River to spot brown and speckled trout. Grab your fishing poles for some fly fishing - we have one of the greatest spots for fishing!
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.
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.
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.
In our Pigeon Forge, TN, cabins, you’ll find relaxing hot tubs, fantastic mountain views, game tables, lots of conveniences, and comfortable spaces that will make you feel right at home. Many are located just minutes from the downtown Parkway, keeping you close to all the restaurants, attractions, and shops the area is known for. After a day playing at Dollywood, shopping at the outlets, or taking in local shows, you’ll have an inviting place to relax and unwind. Whether you’re planning your honeymoon, a fun family vacation, or a big group getaway, our Pigeon Forge cabins will place you just where you want to be and offer you a huge range of amenities.
Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) in north-central Colorado contains some of the most popular hiking trails in North America. Situated between the towns of Estes Park and Grand Lake, the park hosts 76 mountains over 10 thousand feet high within its 412 square miles. The national park service runs five visitor centers with the headquarters at Beaver Meadows Visitor Center— just off highway 36 in Estes Park. In addition to amazing hikes, the park has some great scenic drives, including Trail Ridge Road, which takes visitors along the continental divide on the highest paved road in the country, and Old Fall River Road, a challenging dirt road that takes you to the Alpine Visitor Center at Fall River Pass - the highest national park visitor center in the United States at almost 11,800 ft. The park has four distinct ecosystems: montane, subalpine, alpine tundra, and riparian where lucky visitors can see wildlife such as mule deer, bighorn sheep and cougars. The high country of the park features many crystal clear alpine lakes, fantastic summits, and stunning views. The Estes Park Shuttle provides service from Denver International Airport to downtown Estes Park, and many shuttles run between the various trailheads, the Moraine Park Visitor Center and even the Glacier Basin Campgrounds. Many visitors use Bear Lake or Glacier Gorge as their starting point into the park.
River Spruce is a small cabin resort with cabins right alongside the Big Thompson River. You can walk into the National Park meadows in about 15 minutes and the park is literally across the street. We only have 8 cabins on the property so we are able to provide excellent service. We start your day by bringing fresh baked goodies to your door every morning except Sunday and you may end your day in the cool mountain air sitting in your own private hot tub or around your fire pit roasting marshmallows.
Rocky Mountain National Park, established in 1915, is a living showcase of the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains. Located outside Estes Park, Colorado, Rocky Mountain is a great family vacation destination, offering outdoor experiences for all—from easy nature hikes around crystal clear mountain lakes to daring rock scrambles up waterfalls and mountains. 

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.
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Blackhawk Lodges: Everyone who stays here has their own delightful cabin. Each is a little bit different from the others. Some have sleeping lofts while others are all on one floor. All have charming knotty pine interiors, wood burning fireplaces, full kitchens, color cable TV’s, DVD players and free WIFI. For your further enjoyment, there are picnic tables, and charcoal grills right outside each cabin. There is fishing on the property and an open area down by the river with chairs for all. Also, there is a hot tub right down by the river. We are centrally located two miles outside of downtown Estes Park and two miles from the entrance to RMNP. Open year round, come and enjoy the sights and check out the various wildlife that may be strolling by your cabin at any time.
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.
Hiking – Trek up in the mountains for some peace and serenity with your spouse. Take a look at our favorite easy hikes that won’t stress your body out but still include stunning panoramas of the Rockies around you. The cooler temperatures are an even better reason to snuggle up next to your sweetie as you look out over the gorgeous Colorado landscape.
The Wildwood Inn is 4 miles west of Estes Park, for those lovers who want to get a little further away from it all. Situated on seven acres right on Fall River and adjacent to Rocky Mountain National Park, the inn is surrounded with majestic mountain views, river views and abundant wildlife. All the cabins, suites and vacation homes feature fireplaces, fabulous views, luxurious down bedding and high-thread-count linens. This is a great place to get away with that special someone in luxury, surrounded by natural beauty.
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.
Boasting a rich history, cozy accommodations, delicious cuisine and spectacular mountain views, the Baldpate Inn is a traditional mountain getaway that has been enchanting visitors for nearly 100 years. Built in 1917, the Inn is located seven miles south of Estes Park next to the Rocky Mountain National Park and offers a variety of things to see and do.
My greatest passion in life is spending time in the Great Outdoors. I am passionate to the point that I chose the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area (Mount Charleston) as my Landmark Review #1,000. My passion for the Great Outdoors created the "Vegas is Sun City Hiking List" that shares over 100 hiking spots close to Las Vegas. Several of these hiking spots are hundreds of miles downriver from the Colorado River that very river that originates in the Rocky Mountain National Park.
As much fun as the wedding will be, there are numerous recreational opportunities available in and around the hotel to entertain your friends and family. Your guests will enjoy the short walk along the rushing Big Thompson River to the charming shops in downtown Estes Park, or a relaxing stroll along the shore of nearby Lake Estes. You will also find a wide variety of amenities right at the hotel to entertain young and old alike, including our heated indoor swimming pool and hot tub, complimentary game room featuring pool table, air hockey, foosball and more, our outdoor fire pits where you can roast S’mores, and complimentary bike rentals. Tours of Rocky Mountain National Park also leave right from the hotel in our 15-passenger convertible bus (yes, you read that correctly!) designed to give you the ultimate panoramic mountain viewing experience. Private tours are accepted if you would like to reserve the bus for your wedding party.
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