The park is home to some 2,000 to 3,000 elk in summer, and between 800 and 1,000 elk spend the winter within its boundaries. Because of lack of predation, the National Park Service culls around 50 elk each winter. Overgrazing by elk has become a major problem in the park's riparian areas, so much so that the NPS fences them out of many critical wetland habitats to let willows and aspens grow. The program seems to be working, as the deciduous wetland plants thrive within the fencing. Many people think the elk herd is too large, but are reluctant to reintroduce predators because of its proximity to large human populations and ranches.
The Lowdown: This rental in Breck is probably the crème-de-la-cabins for your buck. With all the extravagance of a ski resort’s luxury hotel lobby, this log cabin rental starts at $109 per night and comfortably fits up to 16 guests, so you can all indulge in the private hot tub, wrap-around deck with a barbecue pit, shuffleboard table and fireplace. Invite all your friends and then some. You will have to fight them though for the master suite that comes with a generous king bed, balcony access and soaking tub.
Mountain Charm is a lovely log cabin, located only minutes (approx. 5 miles) from downtown Pigeon Forge and Dollywood. The cabin overlooks a spectacular mountain view and features a beautiful glass and beam wall that showcases the amazing view. Also included in the cabin are a fully equipped kitchen, dining area, living area, and a bedroom. A washer/dryer is provided…
Inside the park, the Rocky Mountain Conservancy offers year-round seminars, guided fly-fishing, naturalist tours, hiking and photography classes. Estes Park and surrounding Rocky Mountain National Park are also superior birding spots, with more than 315 species to be seen. Grab your binoculars for a self-guided exploration of Matthews-Reeser Bird Sanctuary, or opt for a ranger-led bird walk within the national park.
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.
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.
Nestled in Mountain Awe, is our rustic, 1900 historic cozy cabin in the middle of Pine Grove (population is like 150!). We boast as much authentic character as we can. So much recreation!: such as World Class mountain biking/fishing the Gold Metal Platte Rvr/Buffalo Creek/Elk Creek-tubing anyone? hiking/biking, climbing, exploring, even taking a dip in the nearby amazing "natural mountain jacuzzi" (cold!). Go back in time passing many historic mountain cabins. DOGS ALLOWED with fee. see rules
All ATV/Fourwheeling Beach Beach Volleyball Court(s) Biking/Bicycling Bird Watching Boating & Watercraft Canoeing Cross Country Skiing Downhill Skiing/Snowboarding Fire Pit(s) Fishing Pier(s) Fly Fishing Freshwater Fishing Golf Course Outdoor Grill(s) Hiking Ice Fishing Ice Skating Kayaking Marina Wildlife & Nature Picnic Table(s) Play Ground Whitewater Rafting Sailing Snowmobiling
Riverwood on Fall River: Nestled among 300 year old pines along the scenic Fall River, Riverwood provides the perfect setting for your vacation or getaway to Estes Park. Our contemporary floor plans are among the largest in Estes Park with 1,2 & 3 bedroom condos that range in size from 1,100 to 1,400 square feet. Decorated in contemporary, tasteful decors, each condominium features high vaulted ceilings, full kitchens, washer & dryer, king beds, private 2 person Jacuzzi tubs and dramatic panoramic windows with views of Castle Mountain and Old Man Mountain. From your deck you can enjoy the sights and sounds of Fall River while watching a variety of wildlife including elk, deer and big horn sheep! You can also fish for trout from our 600 feet of private river frontage. Riverwood is located just minutes from Rocky Mountain National Park…yet also convenient to Estes Park shopping, dining and its variety of year-round activities, festivals and cultural events. You can take the Fall River hike/bike trail and walk to all downtown attractions. Come and enjoy a wonderful stay at Riverwood on Fall River.
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:
It’s open between May and October, although conditions can cause it to be closed temporarily even in those times. We recommend doing the first 18 miles or so of the road at least, from where it starts just inside the park up to just beyond the Alpine Visitor Centre. You’ll find incredible views along this stretch, and you’ll be stopping more than you might think!
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
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. The park's bighorn sheep population has recovered and is estimated at 350 animals.
The park is home to many predatory animals, including Canadian lynx, foxes, bobcat, cougar, black bear, and coyotes. Wolves and grizzly bears were extirpated in the early 1900s. Most of these predators kill smaller animals, but mountain lions and coyotes kill deer and occasionally elk. Bears also eat larger prey. Moose have no predators in the park. Black bears are relatively uncommon in the park, numbering only 24-35 animals. They also have fewer cubs and the bears seem skinnier than they do in most areas. Canadian lynx are quite rare within the park, and they have probably spread north from the San Juan Mountains, where they were reintroduced in 1999. Cougars feed mainly on mule deer in the park, and live 10–13 years. Cougar territories can be as large as 500 square miles. Coyotes hunt both alone and in pairs, but occasionally hunt in packs. They mainly feed on rodents but occasionally bring down larger animals, including deer, and especially fawns and elk calves. Scat studies in Moraine Park showed that their primary foods were deer and rodents. They form strong family bonds and are very vocal.
Smith Fork Ranch is a traditional homestead within the Rocky Mountains and rolling meadows of Colorado featuring old-fashioned Western hospitality and sophisticated wine and cuisine. The cozy mountain lodges envelop guests in homely comfort with plush furnishings, wood burning fireplaces, original artwork, slate tiled bathrooms, handmade soaps and organic lotions, feather beds with fine linens, and hot tubs. The undulating landscape is teeming with wildlife and offers superb hiking, while activities on the ranch will keep honeymooners busy the entire stay.
Great winter hike! We brought snow shoes and used them because we had them, but would have been fine with just microspikes and poles. Summit was beautiful, but with wind gusts up to 40 or 50 mph that made it extremely cold and a bit difficult to stand up. Elevation gain is slow and steady, making it a pretty easy 2500ft climb. Would love to do this hike again!
Lumpy Ridge Trail leads to Paul Bunyan's Boot at about 1.5 mi (2.4 km) from the trailhead, then Gem Lake, and a further 2.2 mi (3.5 km) to Balanced Rock. Black Canyon Trail intersects Cow Creek Trail, forming part of the Gem Lake loop which goes through the old McGregor Ranch valley, passing Lumpy Ridge rock formations, with a loop hike that goes into the McGraw Ranch valley.