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. 

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.

Anything is better than having multiple stop lights at a single intersection. Kudows for CDOT for thinking outside the box to find a solution that can accommodate more traffic. Sadly since we have built a city entirely dependent on single occupancy vehicles to get around it will just push the bottle neck to a different part of the traffic grid. But every little bit of efficiency helps.


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.
Experience the beauty of Rocky Mountain National Park from your front porch or hot tub! Timber Creek Chalets provides the perfect setting for comfort and relaxation. Following a day of shopping or hiking in the park, refresh yourself in our outdoor heated pool (seasonal), or perhaps just soak in our year-round hot tub. Our chalets sleep from two to ten people � some with personal hot tubs � and are ideal for romantic getaways or family reunions.
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.
This charming cabin is found in Nederland, Colorado, right in the thick of the wilderness. This spacious cabin will give newlyweds the perfect setting to begin the start of married life with the comfort of high-end amenities and gorgeous views of the great outdoors from the comfort of an incredible accommodation. With all the amenities and facilities you would need for a home, a full kitchen, queen sized bed, full entertainment system, and a BBQ, couples will love their escape to this rental. This cabin is nestled into the Rocky Mountains, providing couples with a lot of new adventures to embark on.
One look at this little mountain treasure will bring out the naughty in you! Do you relish the devilish delight of leaving everything and everybody behind to indulge in some much needed “me time?” Or do you prefer to sneak in a mischievous getaway with that “special someone?” Whatever your guilty pleasure, this cozy Pigeon Forge cabin will provide the…
The park's climate is also affected by the Continental Divide, which runs northwest to southeast through the center of the park atop the high peaks. The Continental Divide creates two distinct climate patterns - one typical of the east side near Estes Park and the other associated with the Grand Lake area on the park's west side.[49] The west side of the park experiences more snow, less wind, and clear cold days during the winter months.[49]

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]

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.
Gorgeous views of the Rocky Mountains thanks to its close proximity to Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park offers a beautiful romantic retreat for the couple that wants to escape and bask in the alpine air. With Amberwood, you can stay in a beautiful, natural resort surrounded by the mountains and Estes Park, staying in comfortable country style cottages for that old fashioned charm, curling up by a wood burning fireplace during those mountain nights. At Aspen Winds, be between both the comforts of downtown for a fine meal and a mile away from Rocky Mountain National Park, for those romantic horse rides through the woods of the Rockies. Their spa suites include a private deck, where the Fall River can be enjoyed in your own comfort with someone you love. If it’s romance you’re looking for, Estes Park provides the greatest romantic escape of the mountains!
Features: If you’re looking for beautiful falls and a relatively easy hike, you’ve got to trek to Copeland Falls. Copeland Falls is about a 30 minute drive South from our resort. The trail is well shaded by pine trees, and it brings you to several cascading waterfalls, all along the North St. Vrain Creek. You can see both Upper Copeland Falls and Lower Copeland Falls on sections of this trail.
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
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.
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. 
The park's climate is also affected by the Continental Divide, which runs northwest to southeast through the center of the park atop the high peaks. The Continental Divide creates two distinct climate patterns - one typical of the east side near Estes Park and the other associated with the Grand Lake area on the park's west side.[49] The west side of the park experiences more snow, less wind, and clear cold days during the winter months.[49]

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.

Located just 30 feet away from the babbling of clear cold mountain waters of Fall River. Yes, fishing is allowed. River Stone has 16 units (1 or 2 bedroom) across the street from the granite and Pine Mountains of Rocky Mountain National Park. You will enjoy beautiful views from inside or outside your unit. All of the units have the same features ... king-size beds, gas fireplaces, two-person spa Jacuzzis, decks with gas grilles, fully equipped kitchens, wireless internet and so much more.


Among the agencies left unfunded by the budget impasse between Congress and President Donald Trump is the Interior Department, which includes the National Park Service. The partial shutdown started Dec. 22 when Congress rejected Trump’s demand that $5.7 billion for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border be included in a bill funding nine departments and several agencies. Hundreds of thousands of workers have been furloughed or are working with no pay because they’re considered essential.

Colorado brims with historic monuments and nature trails that families with kids will love. Visit Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site to learn about the old traders, trappers, and Native Americans who once traded at this post. For pristine wilderness and solitude, the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail is a good choice. There's also San Isabel National Forest, which is home to Mount Elbert, Colorado's highest peak.

Glacier Basin: Located on Bear Lake Road, approximately six miles south of the Beaver Meadows Entrance Satation, this 150 site campground provide easy access to many areas of the East side of the park. Reservations are available for this popular summer-only campground which offers a shuttle stop, tent & RV (35 feet) spots and on-site Ranger-led evening programs. 
My boyfriend and I completed this hike on Sat Feb 9. We wore snowshoes the whole way, though they weren't necessary up to Dream Lake. Beyond Dream, however, they're absolutely necessary. We passed a couple people who didn't have them and they were postholing all over the place and making a mess of the trail. Beware that the sign marking the Dream-Haiyaha trail split is almost completely buried and we didn't see any other trail signs so they must be buried too. The trail is very soft and fluffy, with narrow sections cutting across steep drop offs. Even with snowshoes we were sinking in and sliding in a few places.

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)


Cabins are standalone autonomous accommodation options that offer a stay in nature. You'll find cabins in all sorts of wild places, from lakesides to beaches to mountain ranges. Most are small and cozy, and traditional, letting you channel your inner explorer as you gaze out across babbling riverways or pine-studded valleys. Romantic cabins are wonderful for couples as they come with warm beds and sharing space with cracking fires and maybe even a hot tub.
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]
Stay in 1 of our 5 renovated riverfront cabins for a romantic atmosphere away from daily routine.  With a private hot tub overlooking Fall River & a jetted spa tub for 2 in the living area, fireplace, full kitchen & gas grill on the deck, you can rest & reconnect.  Nestled among tall Ponderosa pines just 1 mi. west of downtown, with easy access to RMNP.  Fall River Cabins Details
Every corner of Colorado is covered here. Make sure to use filters when searching so you can choose what type of home, what city, pets, and other item that might be of interest to you. Our site also gives you some great resources for protecting yourself like travel insurance and how to pay for you Breckenridge cabin rental for example. Make certain you also use the Facebook groups found on our City Guide Pages, they will help you to talk to other guests and owners and ask questions about the city you are planning to visit!
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. 
Planning a large group getaway can be enough of a challenge. Let us make it easier for you with area expertise (check out our Smoky Mountain Memories magazine for tips) and large group lodges loaded with amenities and offering plenty of space. Ranging from 5 all the way up to an impressive 12 bedrooms, our group cabins can sleep anywhere from 16 to 50+ guests! Amenities like double appliances, huge dining spaces, multiple living rooms, private indoor pools, and large game rooms make group stays comfortable, memorable – and simpler! From retreat to reunion and beyond, we have the large group cabin rental for you.
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.
The Mile High City is not just a service stop for those seeking world-class skiing. Denver offers major-city sophistication. Rent a vacation apartment and experience the celebrity chefs, local artists, major museums, fabulous microbreweries, four major sports teams, and wide variety of neighborhoods that make the city a destination in its own right.
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 

At Brynwood on the River we are notorious for our cozy and relaxing cabins nestled on the charming Big Thompson River.  But did you know we also offer delightful motel rooms and spacious vacation homes?  Whether you are enjoying a weekend getaway or a family vacation, Brynwood on the River will make it special.  Book online today!  Brynwood on the River 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.[77] The park's bighorn sheep population has recovered and is estimated at 350 animals.[78]


The climate change study projects further temperature increases, with greater warming in the summer and higher extreme temperatures by 2050. Due to the increased temperature, there is a projected moderate increase in the rate of water evaporation. Reduced snowfall—perhaps 15% to 30% less than current amounts—and the elimination of surface hail, along with the higher likelihood of intense precipitation events are predicted by 2050. Droughts may be more likely due to increased temperatures, increased evaporation rates, and potential changes in precipitation.[53]
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.
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.
The Ridgeline Hotel and Conference Center in Estes Park is a beautiful, convenient, and affordable marriage venue near Rocky Mountain National Park. Our staff will assist you every step of the way from planning through the rehearsal dinner, ceremony, reception, post wedding brunch, and overnight accommodations. We offer outdoor and indoor spaces, perfect for large or small gatherings.
Rocky Mountain National Park’s 415 square miles encompass and protect spectacular mountain environments. Enjoy Trail Ridge Road – which crests at over 12,000 feet including many overlooks to experience the subalpine and alpine worlds – along with over 300 miles of hiking trails, wildflowers, wildlife, starry nights, and fun times. In a world of superlatives, Rocky is on top!
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.
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. 
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.
Hypothermia, or loss of body heat through exposure, is a danger that can be encountered any time of the year. If anyone exhibits shivering, slurred speech, incoherence, stumbling, or drowsiness, get the person out of the wet, cold. and wind, and into shelter and dry, woolen clothing. The quickest way to warm the victim is to place the person in a dry sleeping bag with another person.
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.

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]
Most visitors enter the park through the eastern entrances near Estes Park, which is about 71 miles (114 km) northwest of Denver.[91] The most direct route to Trail Ridge Road is the Beaver Meadows entrance, located just west of Estes Park on U.S. Route 36, which leads to the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center and the park's headquarters. North of the Beaver Meadows entrance station is the Fall River entrance, which also leads to Trail Ridge Road and Old Fall River Road.[91] There are three routes into Estes Park: I-25 to U.S. 34 west which runs alongside the Big Thompson River; U.S. 36 west (northwest) from Boulder connecting to U.S. 34 west; and the Peak to Peak Highway, also known as State Highway 7, from points south.[91]

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. 

The Pierre Shale formation was deposited during the Paleogene and Cretaceous periods about 70 million years ago. The region was covered by a deep sea—the Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway—which deposited massive amounts of shale on the seabed. Both the thick stratum of shale and embedded marine life fossils—including ammonites and skeletons of fish and such marine reptiles as mosasaurs, plesiosaurs, and extinct species of sea turtles, along with rare dinosaur and bird remains—were created during this time period. The area now known as Colorado was eventually transformed from being at the bottom of an ocean to dry land again, giving yield to another fossiliferous rock layer known as the Denver Formation.[58]

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 >>


Baker Pass crosses the Continental Divide through the Never Summer Mountains and into the Michigan River drainage to the west of Mount Nimbus[36]—a drainage that feeds streams and rivers that drain into the Gulf of Mexico.[28] Other mountain passes are La Poudre Pass and Thunder Pass, which was once used by stage coaches and is a route to Michigan Lakes. Little Yellowstone has geological features similar to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. The Green Mountain trail once was a wagon road used to haul hay from Big Meadows. Flattop Mountain, which can be accessed from the eastern and western sides of the park, is near Green Mountain. Shadow Mountain Lookout—a wildfire observation tower—is on the National Register of Historic Places.[36] Paradise Park Natural Area is an essentially hidden and protected wild area with no maintained trails penetrating it.[39]
One block off Elkhorn, the beautifully landscaped path follows the Big Thompson River as it flows through town and hosts street performers in the summer. Take the path east for a tranquil walk around Lake Estes, or stop at the marina to rent bikes, pontoon boats or kayaks. Then, enjoy a glass of wine inside Snowy Peak Winery’s newly expanded tasting room, the new Elkins Distilling Company, Rock Cut Brewing or Lumpy Ridge Brewing Co., a former gas station with a scenic beer garden and new brews on tap regularly. Or stop into Via Bicycle Cafe, part cycling shop and hangout, part coffee-nerd hot spot.
Reserved through Airbnb, Little Red Treehouse is exactly what it sounds like. Custom-built by owner and founder Leam Blackwood and sitting amongst the trees in Lyons, Colorado, this charming home offers huge views, a deck-top private shower, a balcony breakfast nook, an efficiency kitchen with both heat and electricity, stunning lodge design, and a unique treehouse experience you’ll never forget.
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