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. 
Bear Lake is encircled by a nearly 1-mile trail that visitors enjoy for its ease and beauty, especially during the fall when the aspens turn gold. Spruce, fir and pine trees also surround the lake, as do giant granite boulders. Travelers that hike Bear Lake's entire perimeter will also be rewarded with majestic views of Hallett Peak and Half Mountain. 
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]
Whether you’re looking for an affordable place to stay for the weekend or a luxury mountain getaway, vacation rental cabins make a Colorado trip relaxing and easy. Find a cabin near your favorite ski resort or stay secluded in the Rocky Mountains. Get ready to cuddle up by the fireplace in these 15 magnificent cabin rentals in the great state of Colorado.
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.
Private outdoor hot tubs, riverfront property and no children! Can it get any better? Shelly�s Cottages is an adult only (13 to 113) property so you can leave the kids at home and enjoy a quiet mountain retreat with the one you Love! Reconnect with your better half as you sit next to the river or in your hot tub under a Colorado star filled sky. We are conveniently located between Boulder and Estes on 5 acres of green lawns and 900 ft of riverfront property. Enjoy Estes during the day then escape back to the peaceful sounds of Mother Nature at night. No weddings, groups or crowds to ruin your peace and quiet.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With elevations ranging from 8,000 feet in the wet, grassy valleys to 14,259 feet at the weather-ravaged top of Longs Peak, a visitor to the park has opportunities for countless breathtaking experiences and adventures. For those wishing to experience the tundra without hiking miles above tree line, the Alpine Visitor’s Center atop Trail Ridge Road is the highest visitor’s center in the entire National Park System!
I have to say that Rocky Mountain National Park is probably the most beautiful and scenic place I have ever been. I kept thinking that I had seen the most amazing part, only to take the next turn and be wowed again. If you are in the area and are a hiking/nature fan, this is one place you shouldn't miss. If nothing else, just a drive through the park is well worth the time.
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]
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 >>
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. 

The Ridgeline’s delectable catering options bring the same love and inspired menu ideas you might expect from Latitude 105, and takes it upscale. Our catering menus and service run the gamut from hearty buffets to elegant formal dining, from Filet Mignon, to delicately plated Chicken Piccata, Wild Caught Salmon, and scrumptious desserts. Our award-winning Chef and talented culinary staff customize each event with personalized menu options designed to perfectly match your vision, and your budget.


Below 9,400 feet (2,865 m), temperatures are often moderate, although nighttime temperatures are cool, as is typical of mountain weather.[49] Spring comes to the montane area by early May, when wildflowers begin to bloom. Spring weather is subject to unpredictable changes in temperature and precipitation, with potential for snow along trails through May.[49] In July and August, temperatures are generally in the 70s or 80s °F during the day, and as low as the 40s °F at night.[49] Lower elevations receive rain as most of their summer precipitation.[48]
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]
Below 9,400 feet (2,865 m), temperatures are often moderate, although nighttime temperatures are cool, as is typical of mountain weather.[49] Spring comes to the montane area by early May, when wildflowers begin to bloom. Spring weather is subject to unpredictable changes in temperature and precipitation, with potential for snow along trails through May.[49] In July and August, temperatures are generally in the 70s or 80s °F during the day, and as low as the 40s °F at night.[49] Lower elevations receive rain as most of their summer precipitation.[48]
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.  

A family-owned business started in 2001, Cabins For You boasts beautiful cabin rentals in both Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN, placing you in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains. From private indoor pools, incredible home theaters, and rec rooms loaded with game tables to fully equipped kitchens, spacious decks with hot tubs, and stunning mountain views, our cabins have it all. Our top priority is helping You find the perfect cabin for your honeymoon, vacation, retreat, or reunion in the Smokies. Need help finding the right fit? Check out our Smoky Mountain Memories magazine for advice on choosing the right cabin, tips on planning a vacation in Gatlinburg, and more. Or just give us a call – we’re here 24/7.
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.
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]
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]

The Ridgeline’s delectable catering options bring the same love and inspired menu ideas you might expect from Latitude 105, and takes it upscale. Our catering menus and service run the gamut from hearty buffets to elegant formal dining, from Filet Mignon, to delicately plated Chicken Piccata, Wild Caught Salmon, and scrumptious desserts. Our award-winning Chef and talented culinary staff customize each event with personalized menu options designed to perfectly match your vision, and your budget.

Features: This hike is a good drive away from the resort. You’ll spend about an hour and a half on highway 34 heading towards Grand Lake before you reenter the Park to check out Adams Falls. That said, the drive is gorgeous, and you’ll sweep over the Continental Divide. Once you’re at Adams Falls, you’ll have a short hike to view falls along the East Inlet of Grand Lake. The aptly named Adams Falls Trail features a 55-foot waterfall. You can continue along the East Inlet Trail to view more of the river, as well as Lone Pine Lake, Lake Verna, Spirit Lake, and other gorgeous sites.


From this page you can access the main photos on this website. These are the ones I've selected as making great prints. If you want to see additional photos visit the search page or visit my Facebook artist page where I post new images nearly every day. I also have a large collection of images from other locations such as the Desert Southwest, Pacific Northwest, United Kingdom, Iceland, etc. These others can all be found at my Morning Light website. 
Rocky Mountain National Park really delivers in all seasons! This park is so beautifully diverse: from streams and Bear Lake to impressive peaks and herds of elk...I love coming back here to explore all the beauty of nature. Also, if it's too hot at the lake, drive a few thousand feet above the tree line and you're able to cool down. Nature and altitude are magical!

The park has a total of five visitor centers[9] with park headquarters located at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center—a National Historic Landmark designed by the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture at Taliesin West.[10] National Forest lands surround the park including Roosevelt National Forest to the north and east, Routt National Forest to the north and west, and Arapaho National Forest to the west and south, with the Indian Peaks Wilderness area located directly south of the park.[5]
Dreaming of summer days lounging by the pool, watching the kids splashing around, and dipping your toes in the cool water? In our cabins with pools, you don’t have to wait for that classic summer fun in the pool. They boast private indoor pools for year-round fun, no matter when you’re vacationing in the Smokies. Each pool is unique, with stone details, log bridges, waterfalls and water features, special lighting effects, mountain views, and even big screen TVs! Many of our cabins also offer community pool access, giving you a fun place to take a break from the summer sun.
Enjoy LUXURY mountain cabins at our resort with outstanding VALUE. "A Home Away from Home Getaway." 1, 2, and 3-bdrm condos available with fully applianced kitchens, living room fireplaces & private decks overlooking Fall River. Private hot tubs & spa suites are also available. Located only 1 mi. to RMNP, 3 mi. to Downtown. FREE: Stocked river fishing, Wi-Fi, local calls, movies, games, indoor & outdoor activities.  Estes Park Condos Details
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!!!
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.

Whether you've come to ski, snowboard, enjoy the views, attend a festival, hike, mountain bike, or to enjoy world-class golf-courses, Ski Colorado Vacation Rentals can help you with your Summit County vacation home rental needs. We offer homes, townhomes, cabins, ski-in ski-out luxury condos and other vacation rentals in Breckenridge and nearby Silverthorne.

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]


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.
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