From 9,000 ft (2,700 m) to 11,000 ft (3,400 m),[72] the montane forests give way to subalpine forests.[69] Forests of fir and Engelmann spruce cover the mountainsides in subalpine areas. Trees grow straight and tall in the lower subalpine forests, but become shorter and more deformed the nearer they are to the tree line.[72] At the tree line, seedlings may germinate on the lee side of rocks and grow only as high as the rock provides wind protection, with any further growth being more horizontal than vertical. The low growth of dense trees is called krummholz, which may become well-established and live for several hundred to a thousand years old.[72]
Where your Rocky Mountain Adventure begins! Our conveniently located, 1910 rambling mountain inn is snuggled in amidst towering pine and aspen with an expansive view of the Estes Valley. The inn consists of four luxury suite, all with private baths with fireplaces and whirlpool tubs for two. Two luxury cabins sleep up to six and have a full kitchen.
Features: The Tundra Communities Trail, AKA the Toll Memorial Trail, sits on top of the world. From this above-treeline vantage point, you’ll get a closeup look at high-country tundra, the flowers and plants it supports, and the animals that clamber across this the terrain. While the round trip hike for this path is just over a mile, it’s a bit demanding due to the elevation gain and the extreme altitude. It’s a hike that’s well worth it, though, as you’ll see unique mushroom-like rock formations just minutes from the parking pull-off. It’s a 40 minute car ride from our resort to the Tundra Communities parking area.
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.
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.
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.
Features: The Tundra Communities Trail, AKA the Toll Memorial Trail, sits on top of the world. From this above-treeline vantage point, you’ll get a closeup look at high-country tundra, the flowers and plants it supports, and the animals that clamber across this the terrain. While the round trip hike for this path is just over a mile, it’s a bit demanding due to the elevation gain and the extreme altitude. It’s a hike that’s well worth it, though, as you’ll see unique mushroom-like rock formations just minutes from the parking pull-off. It’s a 40 minute car ride from our resort to the Tundra Communities parking area.

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. 
Features: If you’re on the lookout for wildlife, then the Coyote Valley Trail is one of your best bets. This fairly flat trail takes visitors through the Kawuneeche Valley, which features a sprawl of grassland in the midst of the booming mountains that line the Never Summer range. Along this hike, you may see deer, moose, elk, coyotes, beaver, and plenty of species of birds, including eagles and kingfishers. Coyote Valley Trail is about an hour and 15 minutes from the resort, and the you’ll take Trail Ridge Road over Trail Ridge Pass. Trail Ridge Road is famous, since it’s the highest continuous paved road in the nation! Coyote Valley Trail is wheelchair accessible.

Tucked in the folds of the Rocky Mountains and anchored by the stunning Grand Lake, this town is lined with locally owned shops, restaurants, bed and breakfasts and hotels. You won’t find major grocery stores here, although you can drive 25 minutes to Granby and shop at the enormous City Market. What you will find is an old-fashioned charm combined with recreational opportunities like relaxing at the beach, paddle boarding, paddle boating and kayaking on Grand Lake and visiting the park.
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]

With majestic mountains, tundra wildflowers, abundant wildlife, Trail Ridge Road (the highest paved road in the US), and over 350 miles of trails, Rocky Mountain National Park is spectacular!  From flat easy hikes around a mountain lake to challenging multiday backpack trips and climbs, Rocky Mountain National Park offers trails for hikers of every level - let us help you plan your adventure!  Find the best ways to take in the majesty and serenity of the park.  It's YOUR Rocky - explore it!
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]
Rocky Mountain National Park is open to visitors 365 days a year, 24-hours a day. Whether you’re a quiet observer or a full-on expeditionist, there’s something for everyone, all year long. In the winter and spring months, sled, ski, ice climb, hike, or just play in the snow. In the summer and fall months, fish, rock climb, bike, run, or go horseback riding. It’s year-round adventure at the place where adventure is always waiting.
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