Wildflower-lovers are never disappointed in June and July when the meadows and hillsides are splashed with botanical color. Autumn visitors can relax among the golden aspens or enjoy the rowdier antics of the elk rut during mating season. And those brave enough to venture into the cold during the winter are treated to snowscapes unlike any other, as the park is open year-round.
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.  
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
Alta Lakes is a pristine and secluded wilderness setting situated 30 minutes outside the charming mountain town of Telluride, Colorado.  The Observatory is nestled underneath the 13,000-foot peaks of the San Juan Mountains – it is one of only a few homes in the United States at 11,000+ feet! The backcountry cabin with charming rugged details serves as the perfect romantic mountain getaway for couples.
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.
Fall River provides a beautiful backdrop for our lodging resort. After your hiking, snowshoeing or back-country skiing adventure, spend an intimate evening in a luxurious Spa Suite or relax in a spacious 1 Bedroom Suite. Enjoy sounds of the river from your private cabin/condo deck. All the conveniences of home in each suite.  Boulder Brook on Fall River Details
The Fern Lake trail passes Arch Rock formations, The Pool, and the cascading water of Fern Falls. Two backcountry campsites are located near the lake, and two more are closer to the trailhead. Odessa Lake has two approaches: one is along the Flattop trail from Bear Lake while the other is from the Fern Lake trailhead, along which are Fern Creek, The Pool, Fern Falls, and Fern Lake itself. One backcountry campsite is available.[44] Other lakes are Jewel Lake, Mills Lake, Black Lake, Blue Lake, Lake of Glass, and Spruce Lake.[44]
When looking for Lodging in Estes Park then an Estes Park Cabin is the perfect choice! Annie's Mountain Retreat cater's to Couples and each cabin has its own Private Outdoor Hot Tub. Perfect for Honeymoons!  Three of our unique cabins are located along the Big Thompson River, in the Big Thompson Canyon, three miles from Estes Park, Colorado. These three cabins have River Access and lovely views of the Big Thompson Canyon. Our fourth unit borders Rocky Mountain National Park and is close to hiking trails. Our owner operated free standing cabins come complete with Many Special Amenities including Air Conditioning.
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.[79] 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.[80] 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.[81]

Observing wildlife is one of the most popular activities in the Rockies. A drive through the park at dusk during the summer is sure to guarantee viewing of herds of elk and mule deer. And throughout the rest of the year, moose, bighorn sheep, black bears, coyotes, cougars, eagles, hawks and scores of smaller animals like pikas and marmots delight wildlife-watchers of all ages.

Get away and enjoy the surrounding beauty and frequent wildlife visits right from your cabin. Only 3 mi. from Estes Park, our quiet piece of paradise is set on 15 acres of pines & aspen next to RMNP. Full kitchen, living room, and fireplace in all cabins for evening relaxation. Private decks and gas grills.  Some w/private hot tubs.  Valhalla Resort Details

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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
I live in Colorado and visit Rocky Mtn National Park often. I was collecting several good articles for friends who will be visiting so they can preview the area. Why do what others have already done so well? You did an excellent job! I hope you get a chance to come back and see the park from the other entrance. It is somewhat different, also beautiful and not to be missed.
Daily bus service into Rocky Mountain National Park is available weekends beginning in Memorial Weekend and then daily from June 27, 2016 to September 7, 2016 and weekends until the end of September, 2016. There are two more routes to help you once you are in the Park for Moraine Park and Glacier Basin (Bear Lake). Sorry, there are no bus routes for Trail Ridge Road or Horseshoe Park.
The land at Dao House sits on what was once a gathering place of peace for rival Native American tribes in the region. Over the years, it has operated as a homestead, a ranch and a fox farm before becoming a lodge for the first time in 1948. In 2015, Dao House emerged as a meeting point of western and eastern cultures and today, they offer lodging, equestrian experiences and wellness activities including an oxygen lounge, internal martial arts, personalized retreat programs and shorter wellness getaways.
All of our cabins are luxury vacation rentals with something for the whole family. Mom and Dad will enjoy the fireplace, full kitchen, hot tubs and relaxing porches with great views of the Smoky Mountains. Kids will enjoy our cabin’s game rooms, which feature classic games such as pool, air hockey and retro arcade games. Cabins feature wifi Internet access and multiple TVs. Many of our larger cabins have a built-in home theater. That means after a big day of Gatlinburg fun, you can cocoon in your cabin with something for everyone to do.
We offer Denver cabin rentals in beautiful Evergreen Colorado. Colorado Bear Creek Cabins are located just outside Denver CO on a private fly fishing stream. Our Evergreen cabins are more convenient and centrally located than hotels. We provide access to Denver events, Red Rocks concerts and hiking, fishing, biking, Evergreen Lake, restaurants, shopping, music and wildlife viewing. Our Colorado cabins feature full kitchens and other family-friendly amenities. WE ARE PET FRIENDLY 🙂   Find your Colorado vacation cabin today!
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.
Further from Estes Park and nestled directly above Fort Collins, Gaia’s Farm & Gardens is a three-acre, sustainable, permaculture farm that offers a CSA program of organic produce, a cafe-style roadside stand, farm-to-table private tours, animal-assisted therapy, horticultural therapy, a therapeutic petting zoo, and The Shangri-la Inn. Unlike any other inn experience, the Shangri-la allows guests a bohemian and eco-friendly stay in both farm and bed and breakfast style.

Enos Mills, the main figure behind the creation of Rocky Mountain National Park, enjoyed walking to Lily Lake from his nearby cabin. Wildflowers are common in the spring and early summer. In the winter, the trail around the lake is often suitable for walking in boots, or as a short snowshoe or ski. Other lakes in the Wild Basin include Chasm Lake, Snowbank Lake, Lion Lakes 1 and 2, Thunder Lake, Ouzel Lake, Finch Lake, Bluebird Lake, Pear Lake, and Sandbeach Lake. Many of the lakes have backcountry campsites. Waterfalls include Ouzel Falls, Trio Falls, Copeland Falls, and Calypso Cascades.[47] 

Windcliff is a distinctive mountainside view neighborhood featuring fully furnished vacation homes and condominiums. Located on 240 secluded acres on the sunny side of Ram’s Horn Mountain, and just minutes from Estes Park, each home has spectacular views of Rocky Mountain National Park and the Continental Divide. Your home is fully furnished and equipped, including fireplaces, full kitchens, decks, washer and dryer, microwave, cable TV, linens and towels, and of course a breathtaking view! Bordering Rocky Mountain National Park, and Roosevelt National Forest, you can hike right into the National Park from several Windcliff homes!
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]
Did Twin Sisters yesterday. About 1-2” of fresh powder the whole way. Spikes definitely needed for steeper sections. Snowshoes were overkill, people were carrying them on their packs and using spikes. We were the first to trek over to the eastern sister this day, scramble was snowy but doable. Very cold and windy as a front came through. Still a beautiful hike w lots of solitude in the winter.

Boulder Brook on Fall River is an intimate, adult-only riverfront resort. Our Spa Suites are perfect for the romantic getaway, featuring riverfront decks, vaulted ceilings, private two-person jetted tubs and warm fireplaces. One Bedroom Suites become your home away from home, with a cozy living room featuring a private riverfront deck and a separate bedroom. Riverview, Mountain and Country Suites are one-of-a-kind units with full kitchens. The Aspen Suite is our only 2-bedroom suite accommodating up to 6 adults. 

Step back in time to an old family homestead which sits on 55 acres backing onto Volcan Mountain with vineyard, hiking trails, pool table, hot tub, bocce ball and croquet. Just 2 miles from downtown Julian and many other attractions. You can walk to well known Volcan Mountain hiking preserve and 2 wineries that offer music, wine tasting, special events and Julian lifestyle every weekend.

Region 4 is the heart of the park with easy road and trail access, great views, and lake hikes including the most popular trails.[35] Flattop Mountain is a tundra hike and the easiest hike to the Continental Divide in the park. Crossing over Flattop Mountain, the hike to Hallett Peak passes through three climate zones, traversing the ridge that supports Tyndall Glacier and finally ascending to the summit of Hallett Peak.[44]


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.[43] 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.[42]

Nicky's Resort is a premier resort property in beautiful Estes Park, Colorado. Nicky's Resort has been a landmark since 1964. Come visit for the first time or revisit the Nicky's Resort and see all the changes. This pristine property offers lodge rooms, cabins, river units, fireplaces, an outdoor heated pool (in season and is located along a breathtaking stretch of the Fall River. Catch a Rainbow Trout right off the deck of Nicky's Resort lobby. River is always stocked for our guests in the summer. Nicky's Resort is located 1 mile west of Estes Park and 2 miles from the north entrance of the Rocky Mountain National Park. Nicky's Steakhouse, located on site of the property, offers extensive menus for your dining pleasure.


When planning your next family vacation, you will not find a more inviting campground than Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort. Besides having the best cabin rentals available, Jellystone Parks are the cleanest, friendliest parks in North America. The campground staff is knowledgeable, and always available to assist you during your stay at our campgrounds.
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]
We invite you to Wildwood Inn where you can experience the beauty of the majestic surrounding mountains, the abundant wildlife away from the congested areas of Estes Park. Nestled within 7 acres of private land and the National Park, you will enjoy spectacular views, and star studded nights that can let your spirits soar. Indulge yourself in beautifully appointed suites all with luxurious 310 thread count linens and some with Deluxe Temper-Pedic mattresses. Most offer private outdoor hot tubs with spectacular views of the mountain ranges or fireside hot tubs with shimmering candles aglow, and even ones with both.
Housed in a converted log cabin built in the early 1900s, the Moraine Park Museum is filled with exhibits on the natural environment of Rocky Mountain National Park, from its geology to its wildlife. It also features an outdoor amphitheater that hosts various talks and events. The second-floor observation area offers some comfortable rocking chairs and an unbeatable perch from which to take in the surrounding views. 
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.
After a day exploring countless winding trails and finding adventure together, kick back, relax and enjoy each other’s company in your own, comfy cabin. Nothing feels quite as cozy as playing card games and laughing while snuggled up next to a crackling fireplace. Forget the noise of the city and let the sounds of the mountains serenade you in one of these serene abodes.

Horace Albright, director of the National Park Service between 1929 and 1933, once said about Trail Ridge Road, "It's hard to describe what a sensation this new road is going to make. You will have the whole sweep of the Rockies before you in all directions." Trail Ridge Road was a sensation when it debuted back in 1932 and it remains so today for the travelers that make the 48-mile drive from Estes Park to Grand Lake, rising above the tree line for 11 miles at an elevation of nearly 11,500 feet. Visitors should keep that in mind when they're stopping at the lookout points that the road experiences temperatures that are 20 and even 30 degrees lower than both Estes Park and Grand Park. 


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.
 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:

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.
Our warm and inviting Beaver Creek accommodations feature premium amenities that will make guests feel right at home, such as our Hyatt Grand Beds® with crisp linens, large flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and rich alpine views. Indulge in one of our luxury suites and enjoy extra perks, like a 500 sq. ft. terrace overlooking the entire valley, a kitchenette, and cozy fireplace for chilly nights.
Range Property Management is filled with vacation getaways of all sizes, shapes, and descriptions. We have a wonderful variety of cabins, condos, and homes in the Estes Park and surrounding areas. We can find the perfect place for your vacation, weather you prefer to walk to downtown shops or stay in a secluded cabin at the end of a mountain road. Come “Home” after a day in Rocky Mountain National Park and enjoy the beauty of the mountains.   
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