Rocky Mountain National Park, established in 1915, is a living showcase of the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains. Located outside Estes Park, Colorado, Rocky Mountain is a great family vacation destination, offering outdoor experiences for all—from easy nature hikes around crystal clear mountain lakes to daring rock scrambles up waterfalls and mountains.
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]
North America's biggest and most popular ski towns, Vail is filled with luxury shops, gourmet restaurants and sophisticated art galleries, as well as a variety of excellent vacation apartments and refined vacation homes. A favorite of serious skiers and jet setting celebrities, Vail now also draws a younger, hipper snowboarding crowd. Skiing may be king in Vail, but the area's vast splendor is perfect for hiking, biking, or scenery-gazing any time of the year.
Trail Ridge Road will not open until at least Memorial Weekend but there are many amazing areas open year round in the park. Heavenly Valley is the one place in the park where sledding is allowed but you must bring your own tube or sled. Cross-country skiing is incredible with so many trails to choose from and snow shoeing is a great way to explore new areas. Stop at one of the visitor centers as you enter the park to find out what areas are open and it is always best to call ahead for weather and road conditions. Check forecasts before you go at weather.gov and insert "Trail Ridge, CO" for the location. For information about Rocky Mountain National Park call 970-586-1206 daily 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Mountain Time).
Ski Colorado Vacation Rentals is a professional property management company based in Breckenridge, Colorado and serving Summit County, Colorado. We offer full-scale vacation home management from renting and marketing your property to cleaning and maintaining it. We understand the importance of keeping your beautiful properties well-kept and consistently rented to maximize your rental income.
I have to say that Rocky Mountain National Park is probably the most beautiful and scenic place I have ever been. I kept thinking that I had seen the most amazing part, only to take the next turn and be wowed again. If you are in the area and are a hiking/nature fan, this is one place you shouldn't miss. If nothing else, just a drive through the park is well worth the time.
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.
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.
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.[54] 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.[55]
River Spruce is a small cabin resort with cabins right alongside the Big Thompson River. You can walk into the National Park meadows in about 15 minutes and the park is literally across the street. We only have 8 cabins on the property so we are able to provide excellent service. We start your day by bringing fresh baked goodies to your door every morning except Sunday and you may end your day in the cool mountain air sitting in your own private hot tub or around your fire pit roasting marshmallows.
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.
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.
We ended up doing Sprague Lake, which is a nice, leisurely walk along a paved path by the lake. It was a beautiful view. I only wish it wasn't so cloudy that day. Next, we drove to the Copeland Falls trail, which is a 0.3 hike from the trailhead of Wild Basin. But to the falls and back is a bit over two miles. Barely anyone was on the trail, which was nice but also creepy at the same time.
Streamside on Fall River is nestled between the cool clear waters of Fall River and the granite peak of Old Man Mountain. As one of Estes Park's most unique resorts, our secluded village of 21 cabin suites and condos feature such amenities as gas fireplaces, private hot tubs, jetted tubs, kitchens, free Wi-Fi, cable TV/DVD, gas grills, and hammocks for relaxing under the sunny blue skies of Colorado. Fish for rainbow trout or enjoy great wildlife watching. Challenge yourself to the summit of Old Man Mountain for breathtaking panoramic views or hike the trails of Rocky Mountain National Park, just three miles away. Guests enjoy having 24 hour access to the Swim Spa with exercise pool, Jacuzzi and two outdoor hot tubs--perfect after a long day of hiking. On-site guest laundry is available as well.
The land at Dao House sits on what was once a gathering place of peace for rival Native American tribes in the region. Over the years, it has operated as a homestead, a ranch and a fox farm before becoming a lodge for the first time in 1948. In 2015, Dao House emerged as a meeting point of western and eastern cultures and today, they offer lodging, equestrian experiences and wellness activities including an oxygen lounge, internal martial arts, personalized retreat programs and shorter wellness getaways.

The land at Dao House sits on what was once a gathering place of peace for rival Native American tribes in the region. Over the years, it has operated as a homestead, a ranch and a fox farm before becoming a lodge for the first time in 1948. In 2015, Dao House emerged as a meeting point of western and eastern cultures and today, they offer lodging, equestrian experiences and wellness activities including an oxygen lounge, internal martial arts, personalized retreat programs and shorter wellness getaways.


When planning your next family vacation, you will not find a more inviting campground than Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort. Besides having the best cabin rentals available, Jellystone Parks are the cleanest, friendliest parks in North America. The campground staff is knowledgeable, and always available to assist you during your stay at our campgrounds.
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.

We got to the trailhead around 8am and barely ran into anyone our whole hike up. We used snowshoes the entire time but the trail is well defined. It wasn’t too windy for us but I have heard it can get really windy on this hike especially up at emerald lake. There are some inclines that will get your heart rate up but overall it isn’t too difficult of a hike. When we started to head back to our car around 9:30 the trail started to get really busy. When we left the parking lot was nearly full. If you want a quiet hike I suggested starting early.
Inside the park, the Rocky Mountain Conservancy offers year-round seminars, guided fly-fishing, naturalist tours, hiking and photography classes. Estes Park and surrounding Rocky Mountain National Park are also superior birding spots, with more than 315 species to be seen. Grab your binoculars for a self-guided exploration of Matthews-Reeser Bird Sanctuary, or opt for a ranger-led bird walk within the national park.
Boasting a rich history, cozy accommodations, delicious cuisine and spectacular mountain views, the Baldpate Inn is a traditional mountain getaway that has been enchanting visitors for nearly 100 years. Built in 1917, the Inn is located seven miles south of Estes Park next to the Rocky Mountain National Park and offers a variety of things to see and do.
Settled at the end of a winding, tree-lined country road, the Inn is located on 26 private and secluded acres in Estes Park, Colorado. Our beautiful property includes hiking trails, private access to the National Forest, hidden patios, riverside meadows, calming ponds, and a quarter mile of private riverbank. Guests often see more wildlife on our property than in the National Park!
Surrounded by over 100,000 acres of the Pike National Forest, the Ranch at Emerald Valley is an unmatched, all-inclusive retreat that combines the rustic charm of a wilderness enclave with The Broadmoor’s incomparable luxury and service. Honeymooners can indulge in one of 10 beautifully appointed cabins, featuring gas fireplaces, rich furnishings, and modern amenities. Couples can spend their days fly fishing in pristine mountain lakes, hiking and biking along scenic trails or exploring the mountains on horseback. Afterward, unwind by soaking in an outdoor hot tub and sipping fine wine on a panoramic terrace while enjoying the beauty of a Rocky Mountain sunset. All meals and ranch activities are included as part of the stay, making it an ideal setting for intimate getaways where every detail is thoughtfully handled.
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.

Region 4 is the heart of the park with easy road and trail access, great views, and lake hikes including the most popular trails.[35] Flattop Mountain is a tundra hike and the easiest hike to the Continental Divide in the park. Crossing over Flattop Mountain, the hike to Hallett Peak passes through three climate zones, traversing the ridge that supports Tyndall Glacier and finally ascending to the summit of Hallett Peak.[44] 

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.
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