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.[74] 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.[75]
Strawberry Creek Cabin is a beautiful log retreat located in Beaver Creek’s most exclusive neighborhood. Take in the dramatic views of Beaver Creek as you cozy up in front of the fireplace in the living room or cook in the gourmet kitchen. The interior features designer decor, comfortable layout, and an amazing art collection. Enjoy the outdoor fire pit and hot tub on the private back patio overlooking the ski runs. Ski-in/ski-out access via the Settler’s Way run is just steps away.
We started at Beaver Meadows Visitor Center and scored some hats at a great price. The park rangers were really nice and provided maps and advice on where to hike. Then it was off to Sheep Lakes. Not much to see here unless you get to see some of the big horn sheep that live in the area. No such luck for us this time around, but it was fun to see photos and read about those who had made an appearance in the days prior to our arrival.

Not only is the grand Stanley Hotel a member of the Historic Hotels of America, it's also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Aside from its historic accolades, the property boasts another claim to fame. Fans of "The Shining" will recognize the hotel as the setting for the creepy Stephen King novel, but the hotel also touts a history of paranormal activity. To learn more, visitors can take one of two tours – a daytime tour that focuses more on pop culture and a night tour that concentrates on the property's ghost lore.


Trail Ridge Road is 48 miles (77 km) long and connects the entrances in Grand Lake and Estes Park.[92][93] Running generally east–west through many hairpin turns,[5] the road crosses Milner Pass through the Continental Divide[93] at an elevation of 10,758 ft (3,279 m).[92][94] The highest point of the road is 12,183 feet (3,713 m),[93] with eleven miles of the road being above tree line which is approximately 11,500 feet (3,505 m).[92] The road is the highest continuously paved highway in the country,[93] and includes many large turnouts at key points to stop and observe the scenery.[92]
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. 
A number of Wedding Packages are available, which include table and chair setup, bartender, cake cutting, dance floor, ivory or black linens, champagne/cider toast, complimentary use of centerpieces, and a pre-wedding tasting for two. Additional accessories are also available. Other wedding services like florists, musicians, DJs, photographers and more can be found locally right here in Estes Park, making coordination and set-up a breeze. If you need assistance finding a florist, baker, photographer, etc, we would be more than happy to introduce you to some of the excellent wedding vendors here in town.
Lulu City, Dutchtown, and Gaskill in the Never Summer Mountains were established in the 1870s when prospectors came in search of gold and silver.[19] The boom ended by 1883 with miners deserting their claims.[20] The railroad reached Lyons, Colorado in 1881 and the Big Thompson Canyon Road—a section of U.S. Route 34 from Loveland to Estes Park—was completed in 1904.[21] The 1920s saw a boom in building lodges and roads in the park, culminating with the construction of Trail Ridge Road to Fall River Pass between 1929 and 1932, then to Grand Lake by 1938.[22]
The Baldpate Inn features 12 well-appointed guest rooms in the main lodge, four secluded cabins, and a historic homestead, all of which are decorated with distinct country mountain flair and have spectacular panoramic views. All guest rooms have king or queen-size pillow-top beds dressed in high-quality linens, down or hypoallergenic comforters, and pillows. Some rooms have sinks, and some have private bathrooms with shower/bath combinations, separate showers, and soaking tubs, single or double vanities, lighted make-up mirrors, plush towels and bathrobes, and organic bath products. Sitting areas have plush sofas and overstuffed armchairs, writing desks and chairs, and large windows with stunning mountain views. Modern amenities in all suites include individual climate control with heating and cooling functions, mini-fridges, flat-screen televisions with cable channels, clock radios, irons and ironing boards, and complimentary high-speed wireless Internet.
The Romantic Cottage is located 3 miles from Estes Park along the River in the Big Thompson Canyon. This unit was remodeled and a 14x16 foot bedroom added and completed in Jan 2012 with vaulted ceiling and log walls. . New gas fireplace, deck over looking the River, Living room area with love seat and now has a full kitchen with a gas range and kitchen table and chairs. Private Outdoor Hot Tub. Sleeps 2.
Trail easy to follow, mostly a trench with packed down snow. I tacked this onto Cub Lake Trail and made a loop. Fern TH to the pool is super easy (1.7 miles), no need for traction. Elevation starts after the bridge and doesn’t quit until Fern Lake. Last half mile of the trail has deep snow and it’s easy to post hole. Started this today (1/10) at 8AM, only person parked at TH (cub lake), did not see a single person until hiking back down from Fern.
Marissa is a writer for 303 Magazine’s Travel, Lifestyle + Culture Desk. She grew up in Canada, but spent her adult life navigating South Carolina as a Canadian transplant. She secretly enjoys the cold weather in Colorado, but complains about it anyway. In her free time, you can find her bothering her friends to go out, watching comedy shows or driving long distances to see something cool she read about online. All wit and charm is 85% her parents and 15% something she learned in middle school from the 8th graders on her bus. Follow her on Twitter @marissajkozma

At Brynwood on the River we are notorious for our cozy and relaxing cabins nestled on the charming Big Thompson River.  But did you know we also offer delightful motel rooms and spacious vacation homes?  Whether you are enjoying a weekend getaway or a family vacation, Brynwood on the River will make it special.  Book online today!  Brynwood on the River Details
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.
Rocky Mountain National Park is an American national park located approximately 76 mi (122 km) northwest of Denver International Airport[4] in north-central Colorado, within the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. The park is situated between the towns of Estes Park to the east and Grand Lake to the west. The eastern and westerns slopes of the Continental Divide run directly through the center of the park with the headwaters of the Colorado River located in the park's northwestern region.[5] The main features of the park include mountains, alpine lakes and a wide variety of wildlife within various climates and environments, from wooded forests to mountain tundra.
Rooms, suites and cabins--Misty Mountain Lodge has accommodations to fit every budget and every family size. Included are old stone fireplaces and outdoor hot tubs with a mountain view. The lodge is full of rustic elegance, where deer and elk are often seen, and yet it is only a short walk to downtown Estes Park. In the winters you can go for horse-drawn sleigh rides, and in the summer you can go for quiet walks in the beautiful woods. The Misty Mountain Lodge is the perfect romantic getaway.
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
The Lowdown: Sure, log cabins are cozy, but this spectacularly swanky retreat has all the modern amenities you need with a more refined design aesthetic. Stargaze from the hot tub on the upper deck, play pool with friends or curl up next to the fireplace. It’s hard to complain about anything here. Granite countertops, neatly upholstered furniture and stainless steel appliances scream sophistication. You’ll be itching to come back.
Julian’s only Historic Hotel lies in the heart of the turn of the century district just steps away from local dining and shops. The freshly renovated landmark Hotel represents the Gold Rush spirit with historic ambience and modern day amenities. All guest rooms, cottages (w/fireplace) and suites include private baths, free WiFi, A/C, gracious afternoon tea and full two course breakfast. AAA- approved.
Leave the fast lane, cross our covered bridge to simple serenity in a cozy cottage, suite or vacation home in towering pines along Fall River. Bask in hot tub bubbles. Warm to the scent and sizzle of a wood-burning fireplace. Fall asleep to the river's lullaby. Roam 30 acres adjoining RMNP. Enjoy the serendipity of wandering wildlife and friendly gatherings in our library.  Castle Mountain Lodge on Fall River Details

Colorado brims with historic monuments and nature trails that families with kids will love. Visit Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site to learn about the old traders, trappers, and Native Americans who once traded at this post. For pristine wilderness and solitude, the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail is a good choice. There's also San Isabel National Forest, which is home to Mount Elbert, Colorado's highest peak.
Of course, being close to the Rocky Mountains and stunning views are perks of this private cabin. However, what seals the deal for many is its proximity to Zone 62, which attracts visitors from around the country for hunting, mountain biking trails and much more. Be sure to visit Ouray during your stay for hot springs and hiking trails in what’s known as the “Switzerland of Colorado.”

A number of Wedding Packages are available, which include table and chair setup, bartender, cake cutting, dance floor, ivory or black linens, champagne/cider toast, complimentary use of centerpieces, and a pre-wedding tasting for two. Additional accessories are also available. Other wedding services like florists, musicians, DJs, photographers and more can be found locally right here in Estes Park, making coordination and set-up a breeze. If you need assistance finding a florist, baker, photographer, etc, we would be more than happy to introduce you to some of the excellent wedding vendors here in town.


The Lowdown: Whoa. We can’t promise you the quintessential rustic cabin vibe, but it’s better. The decor in this spectacular log home near Rocky Mountain National Park is a whopping 2,500 square feet and has a hot tub with 33 massage jets, three TVs, a massage chair, covered patio and so, so much more. Our favorite part is the bright sunny yellow bedroom on the second floor. Well done, Airbnb.
We believe our cabins in Gatlinburg are the best in the Smoky Mountains. When you experience what our cabins have to offer, we think you’ll agree. We set ourselves apart with a huge variety of cabin amenities, sizes, and locations. At our Gatlinburg cabin rentals, you’ll find secluded outdoor hot tubs, Blu-ray players, Wi-Fi, private pools and home theaters, full kitchens, and so much more. Some cabins are conveniently located within walking distance of downtown, while others are secluded in the trees or peacefully set high atop the mountains. We have cozy 1 and 2-bedroom cabins perfect for honeymoons and spacious large group lodges perfect for church retreats and family reunions, each with its own unique experience for you.

From this page you can access the main photos on this website. These are the ones I've selected as making great prints. If you want to see additional photos visit the search page or visit my Facebook artist page where I post new images nearly every day. I also have a large collection of images from other locations such as the Desert Southwest, Pacific Northwest, United Kingdom, Iceland, etc. These others can all be found at my Morning Light website. 
The farm-to-table movement isn't just about food anymore. Colorado is home to many microbreweries and small wineries. Known as the Napa Valley of beer, northern Colorado has an abundance of craft beer manufacturers. Just like the region’s fine dining establishments, these small operations use the freshest locally sourced ingredients to provide one-of-a-kind results. Best of all, most offer tours and tastings daily.
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.
Hypothermia, or loss of body heat through exposure, is a danger that can be encountered any time of the year. If anyone exhibits shivering, slurred speech, incoherence, stumbling, or drowsiness, get the person out of the wet, cold. and wind, and into shelter and dry, woolen clothing. The quickest way to warm the victim is to place the person in a dry sleeping bag with another person.
Attractions and activities in and around the Baldpate Inn include hiking in the Rocky Mountain National Park, custom tours of Estes Park, cultural arts and events at Estes Park, horseback riding and rodeo watching at Estes Park’s Stanley Fairgrounds, and fly-fishing in one of the area’s many lakes and streams. Other activities include boating on Lake Estes, summer music festivals in Bond Park and at Performance Park, golf at Estes Golf Course, shopping in the antique stores, boutiques, art galleries, and shops of downtown Estes Park, and recreational pursuits like whitewater rafting, putt-putt, go-karting, and bumper boats.
Trail easy to follow, mostly a trench with packed down snow. I tacked this onto Cub Lake Trail and made a loop. Fern TH to the pool is super easy (1.7 miles), no need for traction. Elevation starts after the bridge and doesn’t quit until Fern Lake. Last half mile of the trail has deep snow and it’s easy to post hole. Started this today (1/10) at 8AM, only person parked at TH (cub lake), did not see a single person until hiking back down from Fern.
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.[66]
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.
Rocky Mountain National Park is home to many species of animals, including nearly 70 mammals and almost 300 species of birds. This diversity is due to the park's varying topography, which creates a variety of habitats. However, some species have been extirpated from the park, including the gray wolf, the wolverine, the grizzly bear, and the American bison.
Each night’s stay in a chateau suite includes breakfast for two. Breakfast is prepared fresh for each guest by our chef, and includes a hot entree, fresh parfait, fresh-baked pastry, orange juice and hot coffee. Enjoy breakfast in our main level breakfast area, seasonal outdoor patio, or choose to have breakfast delivered to your suite at no additional charge.
Streamside is one of the Rocky Mountains most unique resorts. Secluded and private luxury cabin-suites on 17 acres along the Fall River. Relax in you own private hot tub on your deck nestled in the trees overlooking the river or cozy up inside by the custom gas log fireplace and enjoy the peaceful tranquility of our quiet mountain resort. Our property also features an indoor Swim Spa for your pleasure. One-third is a hot tub and the remaining two-thirds measures 20 x 8 and has three swim-against jets for treadmill swimming or water aerobics. All cabin-suites have TV/HBO, VCR’s and we offer a video library complimentary for our guests. Special packages are available for that unforgettable romantic honeymoon in the Rocky Mountains.
Features: The Lily Lake Loop is one of the easiest hikes in the park, and the trailhead is only about 6 miles from our resort. On the Lily Lake Loop, you’ll enjoy vistas of Lily Lake, as it reflects the surrounding mountain range. Take a moment to soak in Longs Peak, Meeker, and Estes Cone. Hike, picnic, fish, and relax. At only 10 feet of elevation change across the entire trail, the Lily Lake Loop is more of a walk in The Park than a hike, and it offers breathtaking beauty that can only be found in RMNP. Lily Lake Loop is handicap accessible.
Cow Creek Trail follows Cow Creek, with its many beaver ponds, extending past the Bridal Falls turnoff as the Dark Mountain trail, then joining the Black Canyon trail to intersect the Lawn Lake trail shortly below the lake.[42] North Boundary Trail connects to the Lost Lake trail system. North Fork Trail begins outside of the park in the Comanche Peak Wilderness before reaching the park boundary and ending at Lost Lake. Stormy Peaks Trail connects Colorado State University's Pingree Park campus in the Comanche Peak Wilderness and the North Fork Trail inside the park.[42]
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