So you know: we worked in partnership with Visit Estes Park on our trip to the Rocky Mountain National Park, and they covered our park entry fees. The Stanley Hotel also covered our two nights of accommodation in the hotel, plus breakfast and dinner. All other expenses, including car hire, additional meals etc, we covered ourselves. If you’re interested in learning how we choose companies to work with, check out our code of ethics.

Love to save money on your next getaway or vacation to the Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg area of the Smoky Mountains? Are you looking for an affordable Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg cabin to rent for under $100? We offer several cabins under $100. Below, you will find many cabins under $100 to choose from. Some cabins may say over $100 per night, but when you combine our specials and promotions, the average nightly rate is below $100 per night. Browse the list of cabins under $100 in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg below. If you have any questions or you’re looking for the best deal, call us today and speak with one of our vacation rental experts.
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]
Wind down with dinner at the storied Stanley Hotel. The elegant 109-year-old, white-pillared landmark sits on a hill overlooking downtown Estes Park. Guided tours take you through an underground tunnel and reveal how Stephen King was inspired to write The Shining while staying in room 217. Stop by the beautifully crafted antique Cascades Whiskey Bar to choose from 250 different wine labels and the largest whiskey collection in the state.
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

Many hikers want to experience the thrill of camping in the wild, which is what backcountry camping in Rocky Mountain National Park is like. Backcountry permits are necessary and may be obtained at the Backcountry Offices. Near Estes Park, the Backcountry Office is located at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center. Many backcountry campsites dot the park, including special sites for groups of more than seven people. Campers are asked to take responsibility for their sites, such as practicing proper Leave No Trace techniques and taking appropriate wildlife protection measures. More information on these tips plus suggestions for how to plan a backcountry camping trip may be found at the official Rocky Mountain National Park Backcountry Webpage. 


Estes Park is the gateway into the national park, but it’s also a destination unto itself. Stop by The Barrel, a seasonal alfresco beer garden, and window-shop along Elkhorn Ave., Estes' bustling main thoroughfare. Filled with one-of-a-kind stores, several fine restaurants and plenty of places for an afternoon snack, the area is just steps from the park’s eastern entrance. Stop for coffee and sit outside on the Riverwalk. 
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!
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.

The Lowdown: The words “private” and “hot tub” are enough to click on the reservation link for this snuggly cabin in Silverthorne. Large enough to accommodate six, this modern rental features a master bedroom, two flat screen TVs, a patio, walk-in shower, electric fireplace and of course — your very own hidden jacuzzi. Sure, nature is nice too, but this winter stay-cation might leave you lounging indoors.


Rocky Mountain National Park is an American national park located approximately 76 mi (122 km) northwest of Denver International Airport[4] in north-central Colorado, within the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. The park is situated between the towns of Estes Park to the east and Grand Lake to the west. The eastern and westerns slopes of the Continental Divide run directly through the center of the park with the headwaters of the Colorado River located in the park's northwestern region.[5] The main features of the park include mountains, alpine lakes and a wide variety of wildlife within various climates and environments, from wooded forests to mountain tundra.
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]
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]
Attractions and activities in and around the Baldpate Inn include hiking in the Rocky Mountain National Park, custom tours of Estes Park, cultural arts and events at Estes Park, horseback riding and rodeo watching at Estes Park’s Stanley Fairgrounds, and fly-fishing in one of the area’s many lakes and streams. Other activities include boating on Lake Estes, summer music festivals in Bond Park and at Performance Park, golf at Estes Golf Course, shopping in the antique stores, boutiques, art galleries, and shops of downtown Estes Park, and recreational pursuits like whitewater rafting, putt-putt, go-karting, and bumper boats.

First – Rocky Mountain National Park is open year round, 24 hours a day. So no worries there. However, if you want to drive Trail Ridge Road, you need to visit from around the end of May to early October. July through September are the busiest time of year, so my recommendation to avoid the crowds and still get good weather, plus plenty of light for activities, would be June.
Highlights of our trip were stopping and eating lunch at Hidden Valley, where we saw a bull Elk up close grazing.  Hiking the beautiful Bear Lake, Nymph Lake and then on to the breathtaking Dream Lake.  Fly fishing in Moraine Park on the Big Thompson River, with Elk surrounding us.  Seeing a Moose for the first time at Forest Canyon.  Seeing two Big Horn sheep at Sheeps Lake.  
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]
Highlights of our trip were stopping and eating lunch at Hidden Valley, where we saw a bull Elk up close grazing.  Hiking the beautiful Bear Lake, Nymph Lake and then on to the breathtaking Dream Lake.  Fly fishing in Moraine Park on the Big Thompson River, with Elk surrounding us.  Seeing a Moose for the first time at Forest Canyon.  Seeing two Big Horn sheep at Sheeps Lake.  
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.
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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