Chapin Pass trail traverses a dense forest to beautiful views of the Chapin Creek valley, proceeding onward above timberline to the western flank of Mount Chapin. Tundra Communities Trail, accessible from Trail Ridge Road, is a hike offering tundra views and alpine wildflowers. Other trails are Tombstone Ridge and Ute Trail, which starts at the tundra and is mostly downhill from Ute Crossing to Upper Beaver Meadows, with one backcountry camping site. Cache La Poudre River trail begins north of Poudre Lake on the west side of the valley near Milner Pass and heads downward toward the Mummy Pass trail junction. Lake Irene is a recreation and picnic area.[40]
Wildflower-lovers are never disappointed in June and July when the meadows and hillsides are splashed with botanical color. Autumn visitors can relax among the golden aspens or enjoy the rowdier antics of the elk rut during mating season. And those brave enough to venture into the cold during the winter are treated to snowscapes unlike any other, as the park is open year-round.

 We saw the park on a tour that traveled the totality of the park along Trail Ridge Road from Grand Lake entrance at the west to Estes Park at the east. It was 40 miles of nature at its best. We entered and exited in the Montane zone where ponderosa pine dominate below 9,000 feet. We reached the alpine zone above 11,400 where it is too extreme for trees to grow. Here are my favorite first-hand experiences:
The Lowdown: Steamboat Springs is a lot more laid back than other ski towns in Colorado, but they still have the same luxury accommodations at more affordable prices. Nine beds and 4.5 baths make this ski chalet worth every penny especially if you have a large group. Heated floors, a private hot tub, a pool table, lavish hotel-style linens and a full bar are just some of the many amenities at this massive home with mountain views. It even has a heated driveway?
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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