A geographical anomaly is found along the slopes of the Never Summer Mountains where the Continental Divide forms a horseshoe–shaped bend for about 6 miles (9.7 km), heading from south–to–north but then curving sharply southward and westward out of the park.[5][27] The sharp bend results in streams on the eastern slopes of the range joining the headwaters of the Colorado River that flow south and west, eventually reaching the Pacific.[5][28] Meanwhile, streams on the western slopes join rivers that flow north and then east and south, eventually reaching the Atlantic.[5][28]
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.[77] The park's bighorn sheep population has recovered and is estimated at 350 animals.[78]
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.
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!

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.[2] The Civilian Conservation Corps built the main automobile route, Trail Ridge Road, in the 1930s.[2] In 1976, UNESCO designated the park as one of the first World Biosphere Reserves.[6] In 2017, more than 4.4 million recreational visitors entered the park.[7] The park is one of the most visited in the National Park System, ranking as the third most visited national park in 2015.[8]

The park is home to some 2,000 to 3,000 elk in summer, and between 800 and 1,000 elk spend the winter within its boundaries. Because of lack of predation, the National Park Service culls around 50 elk each winter. Overgrazing by elk has become a major problem in the park's riparian areas, so much so that the NPS fences them out of many critical wetland habitats to let willows and aspens grow. The program seems to be working, as the deciduous wetland plants thrive within the fencing. Many people think the elk herd is too large, but are reluctant to reintroduce predators because of its proximity to large human populations and ranches.[76]


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.
With the beauty of Rocky Mountain National Park literally on his doorstep, Erik rises frequently long before dawn to hike back to remote lakes or up high peaks to capture the unparalleled beauty of the Park in warm morning light. Erik has his own gallery in Estes Park, Colorado as well as mini-galleries in Grand Lake, Colorado and outside of Abiquiu, New Mexico where he shows his Desert Southwest work. Read more >>
Planning a large group getaway can be enough of a challenge. Let us make it easier for you with area expertise (check out our Smoky Mountain Memories magazine for tips) and large group lodges loaded with amenities and offering plenty of space. Ranging from 5 all the way up to an impressive 12 bedrooms, our group cabins can sleep anywhere from 16 to 50+ guests! Amenities like double appliances, huge dining spaces, multiple living rooms, private indoor pools, and large game rooms make group stays comfortable, memorable – and simpler! From retreat to reunion and beyond, we have the large group cabin rental for you.
Unique for its extravagant luxury, Della Terra Mountain Chateau is located right at the Fall River entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. Perched atop fourteen secluded acres and nestled in untouched nature, the hotel’s fourteen, adult-only luxury suites feature walk-thru jetted showers, private balconies and hot tubs, sitting nooks with arched windows, see-thru fireplaces, and soaking tubs. The family-owned property also offers private amenities like chef-catered breakfasts, a private movie theater, the Essence spa treatment room and more.
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
Tucked in the folds of the Rocky Mountains and anchored by the stunning Grand Lake, this town is lined with locally owned shops, restaurants, bed and breakfasts and hotels. You won’t find major grocery stores here, although you can drive 25 minutes to Granby and shop at the enormous City Market. What you will find is an old-fashioned charm combined with recreational opportunities like relaxing at the beach, paddle boarding, paddle boating and kayaking on Grand Lake and visiting the park.

One look at this little mountain treasure will bring out the naughty in you! Do you relish the devilish delight of leaving everything and everybody behind to indulge in some much needed “me time?” Or do you prefer to sneak in a mischievous getaway with that “special someone?” Whatever your guilty pleasure, this cozy Pigeon Forge cabin will provide the…
Whether you've come to ski, snowboard, enjoy the views, attend a festival, hike, mountain bike, or to enjoy world-class golf-courses, Ski Colorado Vacation Rentals can help you with your Summit County vacation home rental needs. We offer homes, townhomes, cabins, ski-in ski-out luxury condos and other vacation rentals in Breckenridge and nearby Silverthorne.
Colorado is overflowing with things to do: world-class skiing, mountain biking, paddling, hiking, ATVing, hot-air ballooning and rock climbing… and that’s just the start of it. If you visit Colorado wanting an adventure, you won’t be disappointed. Of course, Colorado also offers great mountain music, sensational local breweries, gourmet cuisine, and outstanding art and culture. Be sure to book a Colorado vacation rental or Colorado cabin rental, for much-needed relaxation after your jam-packed itinerary.
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. 

If you were any closer to the national park, you'd be in it! No street lights, power lines or major roads. Just peace, wilderness & wildlife, and sounds of the river! Each of our 12 cabins is unique & comfy. Walk to Park trails, or fish the Big Thompson River.  Just 2.5 miles west of downtown Estes Park, dining & shopping options are never far away.  Aspen Brook Details.

Hot Tubs, Woodstoves, Secluded, Outdoor Fireplace for campfire, WiFi.  Charming, pet friendly, private vacation cabins off Hwy 7 in Allenspark and Raymond, conveniently located between Lyons and Estes Park.  Choose directly on the Middle St Vrain River OR on spacious, wooded acreage bordered by the famous crystal clear Willow Creek.  Year round-Great Value!  Hideout Cabins Details


The park is home to many predatory animals, including Canadian lynx, foxes, bobcat, cougar, black bear, and coyotes. Wolves and grizzly bears were extirpated in the early 1900s. Most of these predators kill smaller animals, but mountain lions and coyotes kill deer and occasionally elk. Bears also eat larger prey. Moose have no predators in the park. Black bears are relatively uncommon in the park, numbering only 24-35 animals. They also have fewer cubs and the bears seem skinnier than they do in most areas.[79] Canadian lynx are quite rare within the park, and they have probably spread north from the San Juan Mountains, where they were reintroduced in 1999. Cougars feed mainly on mule deer in the park, and live 10–13 years. Cougar territories can be as large as 500 square miles.[80] Coyotes hunt both alone and in pairs, but occasionally hunt in packs. They mainly feed on rodents but occasionally bring down larger animals, including deer, and especially fawns and elk calves. Scat studies in Moraine Park showed that their primary foods were deer and rodents. They form strong family bonds and are very vocal.[81]
Many hikers want to experience the thrill of camping in the wild, which is what backcountry camping in Rocky Mountain National Park is like. Backcountry permits are necessary and may be obtained at the Backcountry Offices. Near Estes Park, the Backcountry Office is located at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center. Many backcountry campsites dot the park, including special sites for groups of more than seven people. Campers are asked to take responsibility for their sites, such as practicing proper Leave No Trace techniques and taking appropriate wildlife protection measures. More information on these tips plus suggestions for how to plan a backcountry camping trip may be found at the official Rocky Mountain National Park Backcountry Webpage. 
Estes Park cabins, homes, rooms, and suites bordering Rocky Mountain National Park! Enjoy wood-burning fireplaces and fully-equipped kitchens with a hot tub on-site. Free Wi-Fi, dog friendly lodging (w/ conditions). Spectacular views and great wildlife watching! Easy access to hiking, snowshoeing, back-country skiing! The perfect place for your mountain getaway!  McGregor Mountain Lodge Details
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After a day exploring countless winding trails and finding adventure together, kick back, relax and enjoy each other’s company in your own, comfy cabin. Nothing feels quite as cozy as playing card games and laughing while snuggled up next to a crackling fireplace. Forget the noise of the city and let the sounds of the mountains serenade you in one of these serene abodes.
This 5-bedroom residence features a stunning family room with a massive gas fireplace and a professional chef’s kitchen with dining area and breakfast nook. No expense was spared on the multi-zone sound system and other electronics throughout the home. Guests can settle into the cozy library/TV room or be blown away by the mineshaft themed cinema with a state-of-the-art digital projector and 11.1-point channel sound and hundreds of first-run movies and TV – all complimentary!
Tucked in the folds of the Rocky Mountains and anchored by the stunning Grand Lake, this town is lined with locally owned shops, restaurants, bed and breakfasts and hotels. You won’t find major grocery stores here, although you can drive 25 minutes to Granby and shop at the enormous City Market. What you will find is an old-fashioned charm combined with recreational opportunities like relaxing at the beach, paddle boarding, paddle boating and kayaking on Grand Lake and visiting the park.
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.
Features: Take a quick hike around Lake Irene. Lake Irene is one of the highest lakes in the park; it’s just below the continental divide. This secluded little lake is surrounded by pine trees, and the trail is fairly flat along its entire length. However, once again, since this lake is at elevation, it can be a bit winding—you’ll notice that the trees don’t grow quite so high around the lake since you’ll be near tree line. Take note, the parking lot is the highest point on this hike, so be prepared for the uphill jaunt back to your car! Halfway through the trail, you can also visit an overlook on the trail that displays a vista of Lake Irene and a nearby meadow (this portion of the trail is not part of the length calculation above). It’s about an hour drive from the resort to the Lake Irene Picnic Area.
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.
Enos Mills, the main figure behind the creation of Rocky Mountain National Park, enjoyed walking to Lily Lake from his nearby cabin. Wildflowers are common in the spring and early summer. In the winter, the trail around the lake is often suitable for walking in boots, or as a short snowshoe or ski. Other lakes in the Wild Basin include Chasm Lake, Snowbank Lake, Lion Lakes 1 and 2, Thunder Lake, Ouzel Lake, Finch Lake, Bluebird Lake, Pear Lake, and Sandbeach Lake. Many of the lakes have backcountry campsites. Waterfalls include Ouzel Falls, Trio Falls, Copeland Falls, and Calypso Cascades.[47]
Estes Park cabins, homes, rooms, and suites bordering Rocky Mountain National Park! Enjoy wood-burning fireplaces and fully-equipped kitchens with a hot tub on-site. Free Wi-Fi, dog friendly lodging (w/ conditions). Spectacular views and great wildlife watching! Easy access to hiking, snowshoeing, back-country skiing! The perfect place for your mountain getaway!  McGregor Mountain Lodge Details

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. 

Rustic elegance is how we describe our cabins and cottages, which range from 290 to 1100 square feet, and accommodate from two to twelve people. We also offer cabins with personal hot tubs ... perfect for relaxing after a day enjoying Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. Families will enjoy our picnic tables and playground, with scenic hiking trails and endless fishing waters just minutes away. Pets are welcome with approval. We are open all year. Be sure to ask about our winter specials!
Experience the beauty of Rocky Mountain National Park from your front porch or hot tub! Timber Creek Chalets provides the perfect setting for comfort and relaxation. Following a day of shopping or hiking in the park, refresh yourself in our outdoor heated pool (seasonal), or perhaps just soak in our year-round hot tub. Our chalets sleep from two to ten people � some with personal hot tubs � and are ideal for romantic getaways or family reunions.

Hiking – Trek up in the mountains for some peace and serenity with your spouse. Take a look at our favorite easy hikes that won’t stress your body out but still include stunning panoramas of the Rockies around you. The cooler temperatures are an even better reason to snuggle up next to your sweetie as you look out over the gorgeous Colorado landscape.


The Stanley Hotel is much more than just a luxury hotel. In addition to its historic rooms, legendary grounds overlooking Rocky Mountain National Park and destination dining services, its storied and haunted past which reaches back more than 100 years has made it one of the most famous hotels in the country. Activities inside include a spooky Night Spirit Tour which explores the phenomena and folklore surrounding the hotel.

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Wildflower-lovers are never disappointed in June and July when the meadows and hillsides are splashed with botanical color. Autumn visitors can relax among the golden aspens or enjoy the rowdier antics of the elk rut during mating season. And those brave enough to venture into the cold during the winter are treated to snowscapes unlike any other, as the park is open year-round.
Visiting a city can be an even better adventure when visiting one of these unique cabins for rent near Chicago, Illinois. Experiencing city life definitely has its perks, but being even closer to so much lakeside fun and excitement in one of these unique glamping accommodations is the cherry on top. After a day of exploring Chicago treasures, stargazing at the foot the lake with nothing but peace and bliss, is exactly what glampers will never want to return from. The experience glampers have been waiting for to have the best mix of city life glamour with camping excursion awaits at these glamping, cabin getaways. Do not miss the opportunity to camp authentically and luxuriously in one of these unique cabins for rent near Chicago, Illinois.

Escape to the beautiful mountains of Rocky Mountain National Park. The region surrounding Rocky Mountain National Park offers a variety of lodging accommodations to outfit your next hiking vacation, from dude ranches and resorts, to cozy cabins with spectacular mountain views. Lodging accommodations in the Rockies come in all sizes, and offer a variety of amenities.
As much fun as the wedding will be, there are numerous recreational opportunities available in and around the hotel to entertain your friends and family. Your guests will enjoy the short walk along the rushing Big Thompson River to the charming shops in downtown Estes Park, or a relaxing stroll along the shore of nearby Lake Estes. You will also find a wide variety of amenities right at the hotel to entertain young and old alike, including our heated indoor swimming pool and hot tub, complimentary game room featuring pool table, air hockey, foosball and more, our outdoor fire pits where you can roast S’mores, and complimentary bike rentals. Tours of Rocky Mountain National Park also leave right from the hotel in our 15-passenger convertible bus (yes, you read that correctly!) designed to give you the ultimate panoramic mountain viewing experience. Private tours are accepted if you would like to reserve the bus for your wedding party.
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