Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) in north-central Colorado contains some of the most popular hiking trails in North America. Situated between the towns of Estes Park and Grand Lake, the park hosts 76 mountains over 10 thousand feet high within its 412 square miles. The national park service runs five visitor centers with the headquarters at Beaver Meadows Visitor Center— just off highway 36 in Estes Park. In addition to amazing hikes, the park has some great scenic drives, including Trail Ridge Road, which takes visitors along the continental divide on the highest paved road in the country, and Old Fall River Road, a challenging dirt road that takes you to the Alpine Visitor Center at Fall River Pass - the highest national park visitor center in the United States at almost 11,800 ft. The park has four distinct ecosystems: montane, subalpine, alpine tundra, and riparian where lucky visitors can see wildlife such as mule deer, bighorn sheep and cougars. The high country of the park features many crystal clear alpine lakes, fantastic summits, and stunning views. The Estes Park Shuttle provides service from Denver International Airport to downtown Estes Park, and many shuttles run between the various trailheads, the Moraine Park Visitor Center and even the Glacier Basin Campgrounds. Many visitors use Bear Lake or Glacier Gorge as their starting point into the park.
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.
Located in the moose capital of Colorado — Colorado State Forest State Park — Never Summer Nordic has built and operates seven yurts and two huts inside the state land. Their headquarters is located in Walden on the outskirts of the park, but their backcountry yurts can be found in jaw-dropping, secluded locations throughout all 70,838 acres. Whether you’re looking for a weeklong backcountry ski trip or a romantic weekend getaway, Never Summer Nordic has the yurt for you. See them all here.
There's nothing better than experiencing a new destination with your sweetheart, so consider taking time to discover all there is to see and do in Estes Park. If you and your love want to take in the area's natural beauty, you'll enjoy Estes Park for its mountain views, parks, and wildlife. A visit to Horseshoe Park, Upper Beaver Meadows Trailhead, or Fall River Entrance Station might be just the ticket when you're checking out the sights.
Colorado Cabin Adventures is the perfect mix of comfortable and rustic. For the outdoor enthusiast who loves to explore and wants to climb the highest peak, we are ideally located. For the aficionado of all things fabulous, who hopes to find inspiration, we are nicely decorated. For the rest of the crew, who goes with the flow and wants to just have fun, we are Colorado Cabin Adventures.
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.
The complex interactions of elevation, slope, exposure and regional-scale air masses determine the climate within the park, which is noted for its extreme weather patterns. A "collision of air masses" from several directions produces some of the key weather events in the region. When cold arctic air from the north meets warm moist air from the Gulf of Mexico at the Front Range, "intense, very wet snowfalls with total snow depth measured in the feet" accumulate in the park.
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
Range Property Management is filled with vacation getaways of all sizes, shapes, and descriptions. We have a wonderful variety of cabins, condos, and homes in the Estes Park and surrounding areas. We can find the perfect place for your vacation, weather you prefer to walk to downtown shops or stay in a secluded cabin at the end of a mountain road. Come “Home” after a day in Rocky Mountain National Park and enjoy the beauty of the mountains.
These tented cabins near Colorado Springs are truly one-of-a-kind. They come with private bathrooms, a full kitchen, as well as a full decorated patio, and Wi-Fi. These rentals are booked on the daily, so couples will want to book their unique honeymoon quick so they can experience the wonders of nature and marriage from the comfort of a one-of-a-kind glamping site.