The rain started to head in, but we shifted plans a bit (the park is huge - one side can have rain while the other is sunny) and got to Alluvial Fan, Bear Lake, Nymph Lake and Dream Lake among some other spots. We also drove through most of the park and went to the Alpine  Visitor Center - 11,796 feet up! It's the highest elevation Visitor Center in the park. Great views. Such a different feel - it was cold and there was snow on the ground. In July!
Located in a quiet, residential alpine setting, guests can spread out and explore the surroundings. Numerous balconies and decks have unobstructed views of the Gore Mountain Range, and the large private back yard with charming stone patio and massive outdoor gas fire pit is perfect for Après-ski gatherings. During warmer months, revel in the beauty and tranquility of the fanciful waterfall feature and perennial gardens, and walk up the mountainside on the fantastic stone switchback trail leading to several stone belvederes, each with increasingly magnificent and unobstructed views of the Vail Valley.
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]
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.
I live in Colorado and visit Rocky Mtn National Park often. I was collecting several good articles for friends who will be visiting so they can preview the area. Why do what others have already done so well? You did an excellent job! I hope you get a chance to come back and see the park from the other entrance. It is somewhat different, also beautiful and not to be missed.

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.
Staying or coming to Estes Park for your honeymoon? You will find a wide variety of romantic experiences to make your extended stay full of intimate moments and memorable highlights. Many properties off special honeymoon packages that include indulgences like couples massages, chocolates, champagne and more. Whether or not you ever leave your room, Estes Park honeymoons will create memories to last a lifetime. 
If you’re coming in from Estes Park, as we were, a great place to start is the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center, which is just outside the park.  Here the friendly and knowledgeable park rangers can give you plenty of advice on weather conditions, hiking trails – and even the best spots to photograph sunrise and sunset! From here, it’s a short drive to the park entrance where you’ll pay your visitor fee.
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.
For families looking for log cabins in Wisconsin's rustic woods or a couple looking for romantic weekend getaway on the Door Peninsula, Door County is the ideal destination. From the simple and humble, to the large and luxurious, log cabins symbolize the serenity of a rustic getaway and the bringing together of loved ones. Door County has some of the most tranquil and beautiful cabins in Wisconsin. Whether you're looking for a home deep in the wilderness or near the beach, Door County has log cabin rentals for any occasion.
Explore the stunning mountainous terrain in Colorado during your winter getaway, before coming back to the comfort of a cozy cabin rental. Wizz down the mountains on skis, or trek through the soft powder, and explore your surroundings. You'll find your inviting cabin, nestled in the wilderness, surrounded by pristine white snow. Spend your days taking part in one of the many activities on offer, and pass the evenings snuggled up in your warm, luxury cabin. Curl up by the radiating heat of the fire, or soak yourself in a long relaxing bath. Your luxury accommodation will provide all the comforts of home, shelter yourself from the cold winter outside as you enjoy being tucked away surrounded by the natural beauty Colorado offers.
The montane ecosystem is at the lowest elevations in the park, between 5,600 to 9,500 feet (1,700 to 2,900 m), where the slopes and large meadow valleys support the widest range of plant and animal life,[69][70] including montane forests, grasslands, and shrublands. The area has meandering rivers[70] and during the summer, wildflowers grow in the open meadows. Ponderosa pine trees, grass, shrubs and herbs live on dry, south-facing slopes. North-facing slopes retain moisture better than those that face south. The soil better supports dense populations of trees, like Douglas fir, lodgepole pine, and ponderosa pine. There are also occasional Engelmann spruce and blue spruce trees. Quaking aspens thrive in high-moisture montane soils. Other water-loving small trees like willows, grey alder, and water birch may be found along streams or lakeshores. Water-logged soil in flat montane valleys may be unable to support growth of evergreen forests.[70] The following areas are part of the montane ecosystem: Moraine Park, Horseshoe Park, Kawuneeche Valley, and Upper Beaver Meadows.[70]

At about 68 million years ago, the Front Range began to rise again due to the Laramide orogeny in the west.[58][59] During the Cenozoic era, block uplift formed the present Rocky Mountains. The geologic composition of Rocky Mountain National Park was also affected by deformation and erosion during that era. The uplift disrupted the older drainage patterns and created the present drainage patterns.[60]
Escape to this cozy log cabin that is surrounded by beautiful scenery and is nearby many popular attractions in Southern Colorado. The cabin boasts high-speed wifi, which you may not be using too much with the Mesa Verde cliff dwellings only 25 minutes away. The private property is also only 50 minutes from Durango and 90 from Telluride, making this retreat the perfect home-base for day trips!
The Lowdown: The words “private” and “hot tub” are enough to click on the reservation link for this snuggly cabin in Silverthorne. Large enough to accommodate six, this modern rental features a master bedroom, two flat screen TVs, a patio, walk-in shower, electric fireplace and of course — your very own hidden jacuzzi. Sure, nature is nice too, but this winter stay-cation might leave you lounging indoors.
Hiking is the main attraction at Rocky Mountain National Park, so make sure to come prepared with sturdy and comfortable shoes or boots to make the most of popular trails, such as Bear Lake and Emerald Lake Trail. To experience the park from the comfort and safety of your car, take the hour-long drive on Trail Ridge Road. But before you do anything, you should stop at one of the park's visitor centers, such as Beaver Meadows, to stock up on maps and information. For a refreshing beer or ice cream at the end of a day in the wilderness, head to Estes Park and be sure to check out the establishments along the main drag, Elkhorn Avenue. 
Glacier Basin: Located on Bear Lake Road, approximately six miles south of the Beaver Meadows Entrance Satation, this 150 site campground provide easy access to many areas of the East side of the park. Reservations are available for this popular summer-only campground which offers a shuttle stop, tent & RV (35 feet) spots and on-site Ranger-led evening programs. 

Originally built in 1936 (and with various renovations over the years), the Alpine Visitor Centre (open seasonably) is well worth a visit as part of your Rocky Mountain National Park experience. There’s an informative museum, large gift shop, café, and wonderfully panoramic views. There are also restrooms and staff on hand to answer any questions you might have.
Blackhawk Lodges: Everyone who stays here has their own delightful cabin. Each is a little bit different from the others. Some have sleeping lofts while others are all on one floor. All have charming knotty pine interiors, wood burning fireplaces, full kitchens, color cable TV’s, DVD players and free WIFI. For your further enjoyment, there are picnic tables, and charcoal grills right outside each cabin. There is fishing on the property and an open area down by the river with chairs for all. Also, there is a hot tub right down by the river. We are centrally located two miles outside of downtown Estes Park and two miles from the entrance to RMNP. Open year round, come and enjoy the sights and check out the various wildlife that may be strolling by your cabin at any time.

According to my GPS app the winter track up the hillside from Dream Lake is slightly off from the actual trail, but connects up with the trail within 1/4 mile. Also, about 1/4 mile from Haiyaha the trail peters out and the established track goes straight downhill to the lake. We couldn't figure out where the actual trail was supposed to go so we followed the tracks; it's very steep but will get you to the lake.


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. 

Nicky's Resort is a premier resort property in beautiful Estes Park, Colorado. Nicky's Resort has been a landmark since 1964. Come visit for the first time or revisit the Nicky's Resort and see all the changes. This pristine property offers lodge rooms, cabins, river units, fireplaces, an outdoor heated pool (in season and is located along a breathtaking stretch of the Fall River. Catch a Rainbow Trout right off the deck of Nicky's Resort lobby. River is always stocked for our guests in the summer. Nicky's Resort is located 1 mile west of Estes Park and 2 miles from the north entrance of the Rocky Mountain National Park. Nicky's Steakhouse, located on site of the property, offers extensive menus for your dining pleasure.

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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