Located near Estes Park Colorado and only a few hours from Denver, the park is open 24 hours a day 365 days a year! Boasting over 300 miles of trails and encompassing 415 square miles this truly is a Rocky Mountain High! With such an amazing variety of wild creatures and unbelievable scenery, RMNP, attracts visitors from all over the world. Enjoy the magnificent sites as you drive, hike, bike or take the public transportation. As spring begins to arrive in the recreational opportunities in the park will get better and better.
Estes Park is the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, and it is home base for many visitors. It contains a host of accommodations, ranging from inns and motels to hotels like the Stanley, which range in price. And the town is also filled with restaurants, bars and shops that line the main street, Elkhorn Avenue. Try Brownfield's for affordable souvenirs, such as T-shirts, blankets, key chains, and koozies. For bars, head to the traveler-approved Rock Cut Brewing Company or The Barrel beer garden. What's more, the town contains 75 restaurants that span cuisines, from the diner The Egg & I to the pizza place Antonio's Real New York Pizza & Deli, so visitors are sure to find some food to suit their fancy.
Features: The Holzwarth Historic Site, or Never Summer Ranch as it’s sometimes called, has a variety of cabins built in the early 1900s. This dude ranch has been preserved by the Nature Conservancy ever since the 1970s, and it retains much of its same rustic look. You can read more about the Holzwarth Historic Site at Rocky Mountain Hiking Trails’ Holzwarth Historic Site Trail page. It’s just over an hour drive to get from Rams Horn Village to the Holzwarth Historic Site.
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. 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.
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.
Photography – We know you’ve probably had enough photos taken to last a lifetime but why not get a once in a lifetime shot by taking an old fashioned portrait? Step into the saloon and strike a pose with your spouse for a Wild West style photo you’ll treasure for years to come. Right on Elkhorn Avenue, there are two old time portrait studios, Real West Old Time Portraits and Memories Old Time Portraits.
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.