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.
About 300 million years ago, the land was uplifted creating the ancestral Rocky Mountains. Fountain Formation was deposited during the Pennsylvanian period of the Paleozoic era, 290–296 million years ago. Over the next 150 million years, the mountains uplifted, continued to erode, and covered themselves in their own sediment. Wind, gravity, rainwater, snow, and glacial ice eroded the granite mountains over geologic time scales. The Ancestral Rockies were eventually buried under subsequent strata.
Many visitors end up shopping or going to restaurants in Estes Park. Dickey said his sales are higher this week compared to a year ago. On Christmas Eve, he did twice as much business as he did on Christmas Eve 2017. Dickey, president of the Estes Valley Partners for Commerce board, said other store owners told him they had not noticed any downturns.
Jess and I recently visited Colorado, which was my first visit to this wonderfully mountainous part of the US. We were primarily there to attend a travel influencers conference, but we tacked on a few days to do a bit of sight-seeing, starting off in the capital of Denver, where I watched my first ever baseball game, after which we headed out to explore some of those incredible mountains.
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.
Colorado is home to some of the most unique and mesmerizing terrain in the American west. Only in Colorado will you see vast beige plains transition into flowering fields and graceful red rock formations transform into the giant Rocky Mountain peaks. With a culture that combines the ruggedness of the frontier days with a laid-back modern mentality, Coloradans are a charming breed of Americans and their state is one of the most beautiful and diverse in the continental U.S.
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. The park provides dozens of designated backcountry campsites and horseback riding is permitted on most trails. Llamas and other pack animals are also allowed on most of the trails.
Dreaming of summer days lounging by the pool, watching the kids splashing around, and dipping your toes in the cool water? In our cabins with pools, you don’t have to wait for that classic summer fun in the pool. They boast private indoor pools for year-round fun, no matter when you’re vacationing in the Smokies. Each pool is unique, with stone details, log bridges, waterfalls and water features, special lighting effects, mountain views, and even big screen TVs! Many of our cabins also offer community pool access, giving you a fun place to take a break from the summer sun.
Features: This hike is a good drive away from the resort. You’ll spend about an hour and a half on highway 34 heading towards Grand Lake before you reenter the Park to check out Adams Falls. That said, the drive is gorgeous, and you’ll sweep over the Continental Divide. Once you’re at Adams Falls, you’ll have a short hike to view falls along the East Inlet of Grand Lake. The aptly named Adams Falls Trail features a 55-foot waterfall. You can continue along the East Inlet Trail to view more of the river, as well as Lone Pine Lake, Lake Verna, Spirit Lake, and other gorgeous sites.