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.  

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]
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.[76]
Overlooking the scenic Beaver Creek Mountain, Park Hyatt Beaver Creek is a luxury Colorado resort and spa where guests can experience the vacation of their dreams. From breathtaking mountain views to championship golf courses to exquisite cuisine, Hyatt’s Beaver Creek ski resort offers the perfect year-round Vail Valley mountain escape with premium amenities, such as ski in and ski out access, a year-round heated outdoor pool, and an outdoor fire pit for roasting s’mores. 

One of the most popular amenities at our Jellystone Park™ Camp-Resorts are undoubtedly the rental cabins. Our parks offer a variety of cabins with numerous amenities, meant to fit your family’s camping needs as well as your budget. Our cabins for rent have it all! Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts have luxury cabins, complete with a kitchenette, 1-2 bedrooms, dining areas and more. Jellystone Park’s luxury units are often fully equipped with linens, towels, kitchen utensils and all the amenities you’d expect to find when renting a cabin with Yogi Bear™. (Varies by location)
If you’re coming in from Estes Park, as we were, a great place to start is the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center, which is just outside the park.  Here the friendly and knowledgeable park rangers can give you plenty of advice on weather conditions, hiking trails – and even the best spots to photograph sunrise and sunset! From here, it’s a short drive to the park entrance where you’ll pay your visitor fee.
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 park contains a network of trails that range from easy, paved paths suitable for all visitors including those with disabilities, to strenuous mountain trails for experienced, conditioned hikers as well as off-trail routes for backcountry hikes. Most trails are for summer use only, since at other times of the year many trails are not safe due to weather conditions.[82] The park provides dozens of designated backcountry campsites and horseback riding is permitted on most trails.[83] Llamas and other pack animals are also allowed on most of the trails.[84]
Located in the moose capital of Colorado — Colorado State Forest State Park — Never Summer Nordic has built and operates seven yurts and two huts inside the state land. Their headquarters is located in Walden on the outskirts of the park, but their backcountry yurts can be found in jaw-dropping, secluded locations throughout all 70,838 acres. Whether you’re looking for a weeklong backcountry ski trip or a romantic weekend getaway, Never Summer Nordic has the yurt for you. See them all here.

Look no further than the ‘Moose Den,’ a rustic vacation rental studio cabin, for your family’s next trip to Pigeon Forge! With 1.5 baths, a spacious loft and living space, private hot tub and viewing deck, this log cabin accommodates 4 for a memorable time in the mountains. All of your favorite area attractions, like Dollywood and WonderWorks, are only…

All Arts and Crafts Basketball Batting Cage Bocce Ball Bumper Boats and Cars Rock Climbing Gambling Go Carts Hayride Horseback Riding Horseshoes Hunting and Shooting Karaoke Kid's Activities Kiddie Cars Live Entertainment Miniature Golf Motor sports Photography Scavenger Hunts Shopping Shuffle Board Sightseeing Swimming Tennis Volleyball Wineries
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]

Beaver Mountain Loop, also used by horseback riders, passes through forests and meadows, crosses Beaver Brook and several aspen-filled drainages, and has a great view of Longs Peak.[42] Deer Mountain Trail gives a 360 degree view of eastern part of the park. The summit plateau of Deer Mountain offers expansive views of the Continental Divide. During the winter, the lower trail generally has little snow, though packed and drifted snow are to be expected on the switchbacks. Snow cover on the summit may be three to five feet deep, requiring the use of snowshoes or skis.[42]

Take your love to new heights by ringing in your celebration at a unique tree house cabin rental near Pagosa Springs. From the private hot tub to feeling like you are above the trees with epic views of Pagosa Springs, this rental cannot be beaten. Guests would be right to take a vacation to this site in the winter so they can take advantage of skiing Wolf Creek Pass. Snuggle up with your partner from the comfort of a luxurious accommodation for your honeymoon.

The outdoor adventurer remains busy throughout the year in Rocky Mountain National Park. Open 365 days a year, there are activities and sports throughout the summer/fall and winter/spring seasons. Whether looking for a new route to an adrenaline rush, or simply enjoying a favorite pastime, Rocky Mountain National Park's unique and varied landscapes offer something fun. 


The Romantic Cottage is located 3 miles from Estes Park along the River in the Big Thompson Canyon. This unit was remodeled and a 14x16 foot bedroom added and completed in Jan 2012 with vaulted ceiling and log walls. . New gas fireplace, deck over looking the River, Living room area with love seat and now has a full kitchen with a gas range and kitchen table and chairs. Private Outdoor Hot Tub. Sleeps 2.

Dream Lake is one of the most-photographed lakes and is also noted for its winter snowshoeing. Emerald Lake is located directly below the saddle between Hallett Peak and Flattop Mountain, only a short hike beyond Dream Lake.[44] The shore of Lake Haiyaha (a Native American word for "big rocks") is surrounded by boulders along with ancient, twisted and picturesque pine trees growing out of rock crevices. Nymph Lake is named for the yellow lily, Nymphaea polysepala, on its surface. Lake Helene is at the head of Odessa Gorge, east of Notchtop Mountain. Two Rivers Lake is found along the hike to Odessa Lake from Bear Lake, and has one backcountry campsite. The Cub Lake trail passes Big Thompson River, flowery meadows, and stands of pine and aspen trees. Ice and deep snow are present during the winter, requiring the use of skis or snowshoes.[44]
Streamside on Fall River is nestled between the cool clear waters of Fall River and the granite peak of Old Man Mountain. As one of Estes Park's most unique resorts, our secluded village of 21 cabin suites and condos feature such amenities as gas fireplaces, private hot tubs, jetted tubs, kitchens, free Wi-Fi, cable TV/DVD, gas grills, and hammocks for relaxing under the sunny blue skies of Colorado. Fish for rainbow trout or enjoy great wildlife watching. Challenge yourself to the summit of Old Man Mountain for breathtaking panoramic views or hike the trails of Rocky Mountain National Park, just three miles away. Guests enjoy having 24 hour access to the Swim Spa with exercise pool, Jacuzzi and two outdoor hot tubs--perfect after a long day of hiking. On-site guest laundry is available as well.
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]

Glacial geology in Rocky Mountain National Park can be seen from the mountain peaks to the valley floors. Ice is a powerful sculptor of this natural environment and large masses of moving ice are the most powerful tools. Telltale marks of giant glaciers can be seen all throughout the park. Streams and glaciations during the Quaternary period cut through the older sediment, creating mesa tops and alluvial plains, and revealing the present Rocky Mountains.[61] The glaciation removed as much as 5,000 feet (1,500 m) of sedimentary rocks from earlier inland sea deposits. This erosion exposed the basement rock of the Ancestral Rockies. Evidence of the uplifting and erosion can be found on the way to Rocky Mountain National Park in the hogbacks of the Front Range foothills.[60] Many sedimentary rocks from the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras exist in the basins surrounding the park.[62]
If you love the great outdoors but also want luxurious comfort on your vacation, let the Cabins at Rams Horn Village Resort be basecamp for your Rocky Mountain Getaway. Our western-styled Cabins are the definition of Rocky Mountain comfort w/ all the modern conveniences.  Each cabin is its own private retreat from everyday cares, allowing families & friends to come & play together, & build lifelong memories.  Rams Horn Village Resort Details
There is also plenty for you to explore in the surrounding areas. If you head south, you’ll reach Red Rocks Park, which is known for its red rock formations. Head east, and you’ll find yourself in Denver, where you can experience a taste of the city, complete with shopping and dining options. Head west, and you’ll be in the Rocky Mountains, with options to ski.
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
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.
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] 

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. 
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
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.[42] 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.[42]
The spacious, luxurious spa suite is perfect for the romantic get away. This suite includes a pillow top king bed which faces the gas fireplace, TV, VCR/DVD, spa Jacuzzi for two, leather love seat, private deck 25 ft from Fall River and a breakfast bar with microwave, coffee maker, toaster, and a small frig. Add a special occasion package to enhance your stay.
Streamside is one of the Rocky Mountains most unique resorts. Secluded and private luxury cabin-suites on 17 acres along the Fall River. Relax in you own private hot tub on your deck nestled in the trees overlooking the river or cozy up inside by the custom gas log fireplace and enjoy the peaceful tranquility of our quiet mountain resort. Our property also features an indoor Swim Spa for your pleasure. One-third is a hot tub and the remaining two-thirds measures 20 x 8 and has three swim-against jets for treadmill swimming or water aerobics. All cabin-suites have TV/HBO, VCR’s and we offer a video library complimentary for our guests. Special packages are available for that unforgettable romantic honeymoon in the Rocky Mountains.
While it is possible to travel through Rocky Mountain National Park and not catch sight of any wildlife, we venture to say that is an unlikely experience. From everyday sightings of chipmunks and mule deer to the moving experience of viewing elk in rut (the mating season), the animals in the park let you know that you are part of something truly wild. Some of these critters are harder to spot than others - they might camouflage themselves in the trees or hide in the underbrush - but look closely and you may have an encounter unlike any other. 
North America's biggest and most popular ski towns, Vail is filled with luxury shops, gourmet restaurants and sophisticated art galleries, as well as a variety of excellent vacation apartments and refined vacation homes. A favorite of serious skiers and jet setting celebrities, Vail now also draws a younger, hipper snowboarding crowd. Skiing may be king in Vail, but the area's vast splendor is perfect for hiking, biking, or scenery-gazing any time of the year.
Hiked the trail with my wife (both in our early 50's) on Sunday, Feb 10 between 8:30a and 1:30p. Amazing day to spend in the mountains. We went clockwise from the Cub Lake TH. A variety of trail conditions on the way to the lake but nothing that needed traction devices. We used hiking poles the entire time and saw many people without too. Up to the lake we encountered hard pack, snow, a little ice but all manageable. Cub lake is frozen solid and the area around is snow covered so at that point we decided to put on our micro-spikes, great decision. We left our spikes on from that point and were glad we did. Solid snow from the lake to The Pool with drifts up to 2 feet just off the trail. The Pool was 90% frozen and matched the hanging frozen waterfall just east of the pool on the cliffs above. The remainder of the hike was on solid snow, with about 150ft of solid ice to traverse in two different patches. Our spikes made it effortless compared to those doing without, yikes! Nice walk to the Fern Lake TH and back to our car. Weather was cold but clear. Winds were steady in the mid teens with gusts in the mid 30's. See you on the Trails!

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.

The Lowdown: Just three miles north of downtown Breck, the Silver Pines Cottage has all the essentials you need and then some for a ski vacation without the hassle of resort lodging. With unbeatable mountain views, this cozy cabin retreat is great for families with a children’s playroom but offers a steam shower and whirlpool for the adults. The entire house is yours for unbelievably only $144 a night.
According to my GPS app the winter track up the hillside from Dream Lake is slightly off from the actual trail, but connects up with the trail within 1/4 mile. Also, about 1/4 mile from Haiyaha the trail peters out and the established track goes straight downhill to the lake. We couldn't figure out where the actual trail was supposed to go so we followed the tracks; it's very steep but will get you to the lake. 
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