The complex interactions of elevation, slope, exposure and regional-scale air masses determine the climate within the park,[48][49] which is noted for its extreme weather patterns.[49] 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.[48]

Did solo today, 2.8.19, 6.5 miles. Although experienced hiker, I made several mistakes. Wore spikes but needed snowshoes. Trail drifted over causing difficult to follow and lost trail several times adding time wasted back tracking. No one has been on the trail in some time. Overall not well marked. I went clockwise from East Portal. GPS helped when I had a cell signal. Reflective tags in trees only in the middle third of the trail. I wore spikes but needed snowshoes as I stepped into sudden deep snow pockets up past my knees. Fell five times. My fault. Had to run the last mile due to waning light. This is not the prettiest trail In RMNP so will likely not do again.
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.
Get away and enjoy the surrounding beauty and frequent wildlife visits right from your cabin. Only 3 mi. from Estes Park, our quiet piece of paradise is set on 15 acres of pines & aspen next to RMNP. Full kitchen, living room, and fireplace in all cabins for evening relaxation. Private decks and gas grills.  Some w/private hot tubs.  Valhalla Resort Details
From this parking area it’s a short, relatively easy hike to Roaring River, where you can see the Alluvial Fan. This is what remains of the devastation caused when Lawn Lake Dam failed in 1982, releasing 30 million cubic feet of water down Roaring River valley, which truly earned its name that day. When the water reached Horseshoe Park, it spread out, and left behind the alluvial fan of debris that can be seen today.

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).
Although this rental may not have the traditional cabin look, it is still surrounded by nature and close to the Rocky Mountains. This studio-style getaway is perfect for couples but can have two more guests as well. Skiiers will be happy to find that the cabin is only 40 miles from Aspen and about an hour from Vail, two of the most popular skiing destinations in the state.
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.
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.
American cowboy culture still has a strong presence in Colorado. Once a year, the National Western Stock Show – one of the nation's biggest rodeos – takes over. Artists, musicians, and cowboy competitors perform daily for two full weeks. Some of the most entertaining events feature local children riding and roping just like their parents. The event is kicked off with a cattle drive through Colorado's city streets.

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]
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.  

Timber Creek: The only campground on the park's west side, Timber Creek is often the best bet for those seeking an open spot on a first-come basis. This campground offers 98 sites, accommodations for RVs up to 30 feet, a dump station and water hook-ups. Timber Creek is summer only and access from Estes Park is available only when Trail Ridge Road is open (usually Memorial Day through mid-October, depending on weather) approximate drive time from Estes Park is an hour and a half. 
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]
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]

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.
Aspen draws pro skiers, celebs and snow buffs of all kinds to its top-notch terrain, world-class resorts, and unparalleled Apres ski scene. Although everyone knows Aspen as a winter resort town, outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy it in the summer, when the mountains become a perfect setting for hiking, biking and horseback tours. It’s a top vacation rental destination, too. After all the outdoor activities, who wouldn’t want to retire to a luxurious apartment or a cozy, firelit home?
The Lowdown: Just three miles north of downtown Breck, the Silver Pines Cottage has all the essentials you need and then some for a ski vacation without the hassle of resort lodging. With unbeatable mountain views, this cozy cabin retreat is great for families with a children’s playroom but offers a steam shower and whirlpool for the adults. The entire house is yours for unbelievably only $144 a night.
Non-flowering lichens cling to rocks and soil. Their enclosed algal cells can photosynthesize at any temperature above 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 °C), and the outer fungal layers can absorb more than their own weight in water. Adaptations for survival amidst drying winds and cold temperatures may make tundra vegetation seem very hardy, but in some respects it remains very fragile. Footsteps can destroy tundra plants and it may take hundreds of years to recover.[73] Mammals that live on the alpine tundra, or visit during the summer season, include bighorn sheep, elk, badgers, pikas, yellow-bellied marmots, and snowshoe hares. Birds include prairie falcons, white-tailed ptarmigans, and common ravens. Flowering plants include mertensia, sky pilot, alpine sunflowers, alpine dwarf columbine, and alpine forget-me-not. Grasses include kobresia, spike trisetum, spreading wheatgrass, and tufted hairgrass.[73]
The Fern Lake trail passes Arch Rock formations, The Pool, and the cascading water of Fern Falls. Two backcountry campsites are located near the lake, and two more are closer to the trailhead. Odessa Lake has two approaches: one is along the Flattop trail from Bear Lake while the other is from the Fern Lake trailhead, along which are Fern Creek, The Pool, Fern Falls, and Fern Lake itself. One backcountry campsite is available.[44] Other lakes are Jewel Lake, Mills Lake, Black Lake, Blue Lake, Lake of Glass, and Spruce Lake.[44]
The Pool is a large turbulent water pocket formed below where Spruce and Fern Creeks join the Big Thompson River. The winter route is along a gravel road, which leads to a trail at the Fern Lake trailhead. Along the route are beaver-cut aspen, frozen waterfalls on the cliffs, and the Arch Rocks.[44] The trail to Alberta Falls runs by Glacier Creek and Glacier Gorge.[44]
Below 9,400 feet (2,865 m), temperatures are often moderate, although nighttime temperatures are cool, as is typical of mountain weather.[49] Spring comes to the montane area by early May, when wildflowers begin to bloom. Spring weather is subject to unpredictable changes in temperature and precipitation, with potential for snow along trails through May.[49] In July and August, temperatures are generally in the 70s or 80s °F during the day, and as low as the 40s °F at night.[49] Lower elevations receive rain as most of their summer precipitation.[48]
Nestled next to the rambling waters of Fall River, Boulder Brook is ideally located between the unique shopping of downtown Estes Park and the rugged splendor of the Rocky Mountain National Park. Whether exploring or staying “home” to quietly sit in the shade reading or fishing, it is likely that you will enjoy a visit from deer, elk, or bighorn sheep during your stay at Boulder Brook.
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!
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.

Windcliff is a distinctive mountainside view neighborhood featuring fully furnished vacation homes and condominiums. Located on 240 secluded acres on the sunny side of Ram’s Horn Mountain, and just minutes from Estes Park, each home has spectacular views of Rocky Mountain National Park and the Continental Divide. Your home is fully furnished and equipped, including fireplaces, full kitchens, decks, washer and dryer, microwave, cable TV, linens and towels, and of course a breathtaking view! Bordering Rocky Mountain National Park, and Roosevelt National Forest, you can hike right into the National Park from several Windcliff homes!
YMCA of the Rockies offers an experience every family should enjoy at least once. On the grounds of the Estes Park Center, there are hotel-style lodge rooms, cabins and vacation homes. And, when you’re looking for activities, the challenge will be choosing from the long list of options. The lineup includes archery, disc golf, challenge courses, horseback riding, mini golf, roller skating and ice skating, zip lining, yoga, outdoor arts programs and more. For a complete list of activities, click here.

Fall River Cabins features five luxurious Cabins located on the banks of Fall River. We are also excited to announce the brand new Stream Suites building which will be located across the river from the 5 Cabins. Book with us and have access to over 4000ft of fall river, private hiking trails, wonderful service and much much more. Come ready to relax, indulge, & explore.
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.
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.
Year-round lodgings include a historic, romantic 2 bedroom cabin with jetted tub and gas fireplace, a one bedroom cabin with sleeping loft, wood fireplace and jetted tub, plus other cabins and lodge rooms.  All non-smoking units have free wireless internet and local phone, fridge, microwave, coffeemaker, cable TV and are air-conditioned. Many units accept pets. Enjoy a hike on the mountain or walk around the pond and take those special photographs. Ask about our romance packages with flowers, chocolates and champagne!
Beaver Mountain Loop, also used by horseback riders, passes through forests and meadows, crosses Beaver Brook and several aspen-filled drainages, and has a great view of Longs Peak.[42] Deer Mountain Trail gives a 360 degree view of eastern part of the park. The summit plateau of Deer Mountain offers expansive views of the Continental Divide. During the winter, the lower trail generally has little snow, though packed and drifted snow are to be expected on the switchbacks. Snow cover on the summit may be three to five feet deep, requiring the use of snowshoes or skis.[42]
This romantic Estes Park resort package includes a couples 60 minute Signature Massage, a bottle of champagne or sparkling cider, chocolate covered strawberries, and one dozen roses. Does not include cost of guest room. At check-in the guest will receive a card that is good for a wine tasting for two. Simply take that to Snowy Peaks Winery and they will take care of it from there.
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.
The popular Cascade Luxury Suite in the Lodge is NOW OPEN! It is newly improved and upgraded and has even more amenities than before! With a private entrance, King bed, fireplace, dining area, kitchenette area, large HDTV, Cable, private outdoor hot tub, and large bathroom with jetted tub for two with mountain views and oversized shower with double sided body spray shower heads, and more.
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