Trail Ridge Road will not open until at least Memorial Weekend but there are many amazing areas open year round in the park. Heavenly Valley is the one place in the park where sledding is allowed but you must bring your own tube or sled. Cross-country skiing is incredible with so many trails to choose from and snow shoeing is a great way to explore new areas. Stop at one of the visitor centers as you enter the park to find out what areas are open and it is always best to call ahead for weather and road conditions. Check forecasts before you go at weather.gov and insert "Trail Ridge, CO" for the location. For information about Rocky Mountain National Park call 970-586-1206 daily 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Mountain 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.
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.
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.
Lulu City, Dutchtown, and Gaskill in the Never Summer Mountains were established in the 1870s when prospectors came in search of gold and silver. The boom ended by 1883 with miners deserting their claims. The railroad reached Lyons, Colorado in 1881 and the Big Thompson Canyon Road—a section of U.S. Route 34 from Loveland to Estes Park—was completed in 1904. The 1920s saw a boom in building lodges and roads in the park, culminating with the construction of Trail Ridge Road to Fall River Pass between 1929 and 1932, then to Grand Lake by 1938.
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.
Whether you've come to ski, snowboard, hike, mountain bike, or to enjoy world-class golf courses, Ski Colorado Vacation Rentals can help you with your Breckenridge vacation home rental needs. We offer homes as well as ski-in/ski-out luxury condos and studios on Peak 9. Our Silverthorne lodging includes beautiful new townhomes with FREE Summit Stage bus service to Keystone, Copper Mountain, and Breckenridge Ski Resorts.
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.
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.
Your wedding night should be as special as the ceremony. Ensure yours is perfect by choosing the right place to stay. Whether you want to retire to a hotel room next to family and friends or escape to a secluded, private cabin, Estes Park lodging properties fulfill your needs. Sink into suites outfitted with personal hot tubs. Lay before a roaring fire, just you and the love of your life. Walk hand-in-hand along wooded paths beside a gurgling river. Estes Park accommodations make it possible to enjoy these experiences and more. Plus, they extend the same hospitality to your wedding guests, turning your ceremony into a true destination wedding. Book suites, hotel rooms, cabins—even private vacation homes for your wedding. From rustic to historic, Estes Park offers a range of accommodations.
If you were any closer to the national park, you'd be in it! No street lights, power lines or major roads. Just peace, wilderness & wildlife, and sounds of the river! Each of our 12 cabins is unique & comfy. Walk to Park trails, or fish the Big Thompson River. Just 2.5 miles west of downtown Estes Park, dining & shopping options are never far away. Aspen Brook Details.
Rocky Mountain National Park encompasses 265,461 acres (414.78 sq mi; 1,074.28 km2) of federal land, with an additional 253,059 acres (395.40 sq mi; 1,024.09 km2) of U.S. Forest Service wilderness adjoining the park boundaries. The Continental Divide runs generally north–south through the center of the park, with rivers and streams on the western side of the divide flowing toward the Pacific Ocean while those on the eastern side flow toward the Atlantic.
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.
Surrounded by over 100,000 acres of the Pike National Forest, the Ranch at Emerald Valley is an unmatched, all-inclusive retreat that combines the rustic charm of a wilderness enclave with The Broadmoor’s incomparable luxury and service. Honeymooners can indulge in one of 10 beautifully appointed cabins, featuring gas fireplaces, rich furnishings, and modern amenities. Couples can spend their days fly fishing in pristine mountain lakes, hiking and biking along scenic trails or exploring the mountains on horseback. Afterward, unwind by soaking in an outdoor hot tub and sipping fine wine on a panoramic terrace while enjoying the beauty of a Rocky Mountain sunset. All meals and ranch activities are included as part of the stay, making it an ideal setting for intimate getaways where every detail is thoughtfully handled.
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.
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.
The Lowdown: Whoa. We can’t promise you the quintessential rustic cabin vibe, but it’s better. The decor in this spectacular log home near Rocky Mountain National Park is a whopping 2,500 square feet and has a hot tub with 33 massage jets, three TVs, a massage chair, covered patio and so, so much more. Our favorite part is the bright sunny yellow bedroom on the second floor. Well done, Airbnb.
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. Other lakes are Jewel Lake, Mills Lake, Black Lake, Blue Lake, Lake of Glass, and Spruce Lake.
Features: Alpine Ridge Trail is one of the highest hikes in The Park, yet it’s still relatively easy (aside from the thin air due to the altitude). From the Alpine Visitor Center Parking Lot, the Alpine Ridge Trail brings hikers a short hike to a completely open view of the Rockies. Since you’ll be above treeline (trees don’t grow above about 11,500 feet in Colorado), you’ll be able to see many of the highest peaks and ranges throughout the Rocky Mountains. The hike actually covers 225 manmade stairs that lead to the peak of the trail. While this hike is short (.6 mile roundtrip), it is a climb—there’s a reason the trail has been dubbed “Huffer’s Hill.” Take note, since the hike tops off at over 12,000 feet, weather can be cold and erratic, even in summer. It’s about a 50 minute drive from Rams Horn Village to the Alpine Visitor Center. Take note, parking may be limited in summer months.
We started at Beaver Meadows Visitor Center and scored some hats at a great price. The park rangers were really nice and provided maps and advice on where to hike. Then it was off to Sheep Lakes. Not much to see here unless you get to see some of the big horn sheep that live in the area. No such luck for us this time around, but it was fun to see photos and read about those who had made an appearance in the days prior to our arrival.
Cedar Creek Falls Retreat sits under majestic oaks which gives the impression that you’re in a tree house when you’re on second floor. It’s a spacious 2 story house perfect for 2 families or large groups. Located around the corner from the Pine Hills Lodge, this cabin is the perfectly stocked cabin for wedding overflow. We also feature a self-guided wine tour with discounts to some of our many wineries. Visit our Facebook Page or Airbnb Listing for more info or call or text
Nature created a perfectly beautiful vacation spot right on Fall River, where you will find our lovely village of 20 cabin suites. They are sprinkled over 17 acres amid the Pine & Aspen with kitchens, fireplaces, decks, grills, Free Wi-Fi, & some private hot tubs overlooking the stocked fishing river. Streamside is perfect for your relaxing river-front getaway. Streamside on Fall River Details
The Pool is a large turbulent water pocket formed below where Spruce and Fern Creeks join the Big Thompson River. The winter route is along a gravel road, which leads to a trail at the Fern Lake trailhead. Along the route are beaver-cut aspen, frozen waterfalls on the cliffs, and the Arch Rocks. The trail to Alberta Falls runs by Glacier Creek and Glacier Gorge.
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.
^ Montana State University states in their profile of Rocky Mountain National Park that there has been an increase of 2.5 °F (1.4 °C) in the average park temperature over "the past century" (charts show the period from about 1895-2010). The National Park Service site states that the increase has been 3.4 °F (1.9 °C) over "the last century" (chart shows the period from about 1905-2010).
Rocky Mountain National Park is home to many species of animals, including nearly 70 mammals and almost 300 species of birds. This diversity is due to the park's varying topography, which creates a variety of habitats. However, some species have been extirpated from the park, including the gray wolf, the wolverine, the grizzly bear, and the American bison.
Mountain Shadows Resort features couples cabins with private hot tubs, king beds with luxury bedding, kitchenettes, sitting area with fireplace, double showers, small private decks (the better to enjoy our spectacular scenery) and much more. Superb wildlife viewing! Located just minutes from the main entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park and close to downtown Estes Park. Comfy, cozy and oh so Romantic!
Rodeos are great entertainment for the entire family, but also serve a greater purpose: the livestock auction raises money for aspiring farmers and ranch hands to attend college. There are also plenty of non-sporting events, such as bake-offs, country music and dance demonstrations and lessons, rides, petting zoos, and barbecues. The stock show is an outstanding shopping venue. Handmade cowboy hats, tooled leather, cowboy boots, and more can be purchased at fair prices.
Hiking here is pure enjoyment and easy for all levels. First timers take it easy and tackle Alluvial Fan. There are two trailheads (because of the river diversion). If you want a little extra joint park on the east side. West side is closer if you prefer to tackle the trail straight up. This is kid friendly trail but always wise to be accompanied closely by an adult. The bridge is still out so tread carefully when crossing the river.. ..It's a bit slippery (yes, yours truly took a bit of a tumble).
Trail Ridge Road is 48 miles (77 km) long and connects the entrances in Grand Lake and Estes Park. Running generally east–west through many hairpin turns, the road crosses Milner Pass through the Continental Divide at an elevation of 10,758 ft (3,279 m). The highest point of the road is 12,183 feet (3,713 m), with eleven miles of the road being above tree line which is approximately 11,500 feet (3,505 m). The road is the highest continuously paved highway in the country, and includes many large turnouts at key points to stop and observe the scenery.
Lawn Lake Trail climbs to Lawn Lake and Crystal Lake, one of the parks deepest lakes, in the alpine ecosystem and along the course of the Roaring River. The river shows the massive damage caused by a dam failure in 1982 that claimed the lives of three campers. The trail is a strenuous snowshoe hike in the winter. Ypsilon Lake Trail leads to its namesake as well as Chipmunk Lake, with views of Longs Peak, while traversing pine forests with grouseberry and bearberry bushes. The trail also offers views of the canyon gouged out by rampaging water that broke loose from Lawn Lake Dam in 1982. Visible is the south face of Ypsilon Mountain, with its Y shaped gash rising sharply from the shoreline.