Glacial geology in Rocky Mountain National Park can be seen from the mountain peaks to the valley floors. Ice is a powerful sculptor of this natural environment and large masses of moving ice are the most powerful tools. Telltale marks of giant glaciers can be seen all throughout the park. Streams and glaciations during the Quaternary period cut through the older sediment, creating mesa tops and alluvial plains, and revealing the present Rocky Mountains. The glaciation removed as much as 5,000 feet (1,500 m) of sedimentary rocks from earlier inland sea deposits. This erosion exposed the basement rock of the Ancestral Rockies. Evidence of the uplifting and erosion can be found on the way to Rocky Mountain National Park in the hogbacks of the Front Range foothills. Many sedimentary rocks from the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras exist in the basins surrounding the park.
There are four ecosystems, or zones, in Rocky Mountain National Park: montane, subalpine, alpine tundra, and riparian. The riparian zone occurs throughout all of the three other zones. Each individual ecosystem is composed of organisms interacting with one other and with their surrounding environment. Living organisms (biotic), along with the dead organic matter they produce, and the abiotic (non-living) environment that impacts those living organisms (water, weather, rocks, and landscape) are all members of an ecosystem.
The riparian ecosystem runs through the montane, subalpine, and alpine tundra zones and creates a foundation for life, especially for species that thrive next to streams, rivers, and lakes. The headwaters of the Colorado River, which provides water to many of the southwestern states, are located on the west side of the park. The Fall River, Cache la Poudre River and Big Thompson Rivers are located on the east side of the park. Just like the other ecosystems in the park, the riparian zone is affected by the climatic variables of temperature, precipitation, and elevation. Generally, riparian zones in valleys will have cooler temperatures than communities located on slopes and ridge tops. Depending on elevation, a riparian zone may have more or less precipitation than other riparian zones in the park, with the difference creating a shift in the types of plants and animals found in a specific zone.
Below 9,400 feet (2,865 m), temperatures are often moderate, although nighttime temperatures are cool, as is typical of mountain weather. Spring comes to the montane area by early May, when wildflowers begin to bloom. Spring weather is subject to unpredictable changes in temperature and precipitation, with potential for snow along trails through May. In July and August, temperatures are generally in the 70s or 80s °F during the day, and as low as the 40s °F at night. Lower elevations receive rain as most of their summer precipitation.
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
A cozy Hansel and Gretel style cabin with a separate bunkhouse. A dream come true for those who discover its peaceful and healing quality year round. Central to boundless amenities. Roomy 1,000 square foot cabin, with stone fireplace and a woodburning stove in the master bedroom with private half bath. The second bedroom adjoins a full bath. 1-10 people. Third virtual bedroom plus bunkhouse. Free Wireless WiFi.
If you love the great outdoors but also want luxurious comfort on your vacation, let the Cabins at Rams Horn Village Resort be basecamp for your Rocky Mountain Getaway. Our western-styled Cabins are the definition of Rocky Mountain comfort w/ all the modern conveniences. Each cabin is its own private retreat from everyday cares, allowing families & friends to come & play together, & build lifelong memories. Rams Horn Village Resort Details
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.
The Ridgeline’s delectable catering options bring the same love and inspired menu ideas you might expect from Latitude 105, and takes it upscale. Our catering menus and service run the gamut from hearty buffets to elegant formal dining, from Filet Mignon, to delicately plated Chicken Piccata, Wild Caught Salmon, and scrumptious desserts. Our award-winning Chef and talented culinary staff customize each event with personalized menu options designed to perfectly match your vision, and your budget.
The Rocky Mountain National Park Act was signed by President Woodrow Wilson on January 26, 1915, establishing the park boundaries and protecting the area for future generations. The Civilian Conservation Corps built the main automobile route, Trail Ridge Road, in the 1930s. In 1976, UNESCO designated the park as one of the first World Biosphere Reserves. In 2017, more than 4.4 million recreational visitors entered the park. The park is one of the most visited in the National Park System, ranking as the third most visited national park in 2015.
The Wildwood Inn is 4 miles west of Estes Park, for those lovers who want to get a little further away from it all. Situated on seven acres right on Fall River and adjacent to Rocky Mountain National Park, the inn is surrounded with majestic mountain views, river views and abundant wildlife. All the cabins, suites and vacation homes feature fireplaces, fabulous views, luxurious down bedding and high-thread-count linens. This is a great place to get away with that special someone in luxury, surrounded by natural beauty.
If you and your partner are looking to get off the grid after months of wedding planning, then head to these cabins located on the banks of Bear Creek. Walk or relax near the creek and share the view with wildlife who live on the land. Have complimentary breakfast brought to you as you lounge in a comfy chair along the water, or spend some time in the hot tub right on the creek to unwind. For dinner, enjoy pizza from the brick oven on the patio and socialize with other couples.
Did some snowshoeing today(2/17/19), great conditions for it! We got to the trail and started about 8:45 am, snow was still fresh. Parking lot wasn’t too crowded and didn’t really see too many others until we were heading back. Only a few spots uphill, relatively even terrain with nice views. Did Copeland Falls and Calypso Cascades, a short part of Ouzel falls to the overlook, which was a good point to turn around.
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.
Private outdoor hot tubs, riverfront property and no children! Can it get any better? Shelly�s Cottages is an adult only (13 to 113) property so you can leave the kids at home and enjoy a quiet mountain retreat with the one you Love! Reconnect with your better half as you sit next to the river or in your hot tub under a Colorado star filled sky. We are conveniently located between Boulder and Estes on 5 acres of green lawns and 900 ft of riverfront property. Enjoy Estes during the day then escape back to the peaceful sounds of Mother Nature at night. No weddings, groups or crowds to ruin your peace and quiet.
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 9,000 ft (2,700 m) to 11,000 ft (3,400 m), the montane forests give way to subalpine forests. 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. 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.
Aspen Winds on Fall River: Looking for Rocky Mountain National Park lodging? A stay at Aspen Winds provides the opportunity to experience the Rockies' splendor as you have only imagined possible. Aspen Winds provides you with the luxury of relaxing in your private suite along Fall River. We offer one and two bedroom suites and spa suites centrally located 3 miles from the center of Estes Park and 1.5 miles from Rocky Mountain National Park. Our Suites are updated each year to provide you with an upscale experience. Enjoy a private deck, gas fire place, Flat Screen TV's with Netflix, DVD & Blue ray. Free Wi-Fi available. No Pets.
Estes Park has long billed itself as "The Gateway to the Rockies." This little town has a lot of charm of its own. For the many people who feel that the best part of the Rockies is the view, Estes Park is the best of both worlds. It is the perfect romantic getaway for those who would rather avoid the mountain roads and bone-chilling temperatures of Vail and Aspen during the winter.
The outdoor adventurer remains busy throughout the year in Rocky Mountain National Park. Open 365 days a year, there are activities and sports throughout the summer/fall and winter/spring seasons. Whether looking for a new route to an adrenaline rush, or simply enjoying a favorite pastime, Rocky Mountain National Park's unique and varied landscapes offer something fun.
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. The park's bighorn sheep population has recovered and is estimated at 350 animals.
I actually planned on hiking to Mills lake but went straight on the snow packed trail rather than turning left at the snow covered bridge:). What a happy surprise! I'm guessing the route I was following is the river in the summer. Such a beautiful day and hike! It started out really windy but it died down until I got to the lake. I hiked most of the way in just my hiking boots before I needed to put on my crampons. I did not need snowshoes though, as the trail was pretty packed down. Recommend this one!
It’s open between May and October, although conditions can cause it to be closed temporarily even in those times. We recommend doing the first 18 miles or so of the road at least, from where it starts just inside the park up to just beyond the Alpine Visitor Centre. You’ll find incredible views along this stretch, and you’ll be stopping more than you might think!
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.