Precambrian metamorphic rock formed the core of the North American continent during the Precambrian eon 4.5–1 billion years ago. During the Paleozoic era, western North America was submerged beneath a shallow sea, with a seabed composed of limestone and dolomite deposits many kilometers thick. Pikes Peak granite formed during the late Precambrian eon, continuing well into the Paleozoic era, when mass quantities of molten rock flowed, amalgamated, and formed the continents about 1 billion–300 million years ago. Concurrently, in the period from 500–300 million years ago, the region began to sink while lime and mud sediments were deposited in the vacated space. Eroded granite produced sand particles that formed strata—layers of sediment—in the sinking basin.
Further from Estes Park and nestled directly above Fort Collins, Gaia’s Farm & Gardens is a three-acre, sustainable, permaculture farm that offers a CSA program of organic produce, a cafe-style roadside stand, farm-to-table private tours, animal-assisted therapy, horticultural therapy, a therapeutic petting zoo, and The Shangri-la Inn. Unlike any other inn experience, the Shangri-la allows guests a bohemian and eco-friendly stay in both farm and bed and breakfast style.
The Wildwood Inn is 4 miles west of Estes Park, for those lovers who want to get a little further away from it all. Situated on seven acres right on Fall River and adjacent to Rocky Mountain National Park, the inn is surrounded with majestic mountain views, river views and abundant wildlife. All the cabins, suites and vacation homes feature fireplaces, fabulous views, luxurious down bedding and high-thread-count linens. This is a great place to get away with that special someone in luxury, surrounded by natural beauty.
River Spruce is a small cabin resort with cabins right alongside the Big Thompson River. You can walk into the National Park meadows in about 15 minutes and the park is literally across the street. We only have 8 cabins on the property so we are able to provide excellent service. We start your day by bringing fresh baked goodies to your door every morning except Sunday and you may end your day in the cool mountain air sitting in your own private hot tub or around your fire pit roasting marshmallows.
Highlights of our trip were stopping and eating lunch at Hidden Valley, where we saw a bull Elk up close grazing. Hiking the beautiful Bear Lake, Nymph Lake and then on to the breathtaking Dream Lake. Fly fishing in Moraine Park on the Big Thompson River, with Elk surrounding us. Seeing a Moose for the first time at Forest Canyon. Seeing two Big Horn sheep at Sheeps Lake.
Our warm and inviting Beaver Creek accommodations feature premium amenities that will make guests feel right at home, such as our Hyatt Grand Beds® with crisp linens, large flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and rich alpine views. Indulge in one of our luxury suites and enjoy extra perks, like a 500 sq. ft. terrace overlooking the entire valley, a kitchenette, and cozy fireplace for chilly nights.
The Mummy Range is a short mountain range in the north of the park. The Mummies tend to be gentler and more forested than the other peaks in the park, though some slopes are rugged and heavily glaciated, particularly around Ypsilon Mountain and Mummy Mountain. Bridal Veil Falls is a scenic point and trail accessible from the Cow Creek trailhead, at the Continental Divide Research Center. West Creek Falls and Chasm Falls, near Old Fall River Road, are also in this region. The Alluvial Fan trail leads to a bridge over the river that had been the site of the Lawn Lake Flood.
So you know: we worked in partnership with Visit Estes Park on our trip to the Rocky Mountain National Park, and they covered our park entry fees. The Stanley Hotel also covered our two nights of accommodation in the hotel, plus breakfast and dinner. All other expenses, including car hire, additional meals etc, we covered ourselves. If you’re interested in learning how we choose companies to work with, check out our code of ethics.
Now, folks are often overwhelmed when they make their first visit to The Park. After all, there are hundreds of miles of trails (in fact there are over 350 miles of trails within RMNP), and dozens of trailheads to explore. So where do you begin? Well, we’re here to help you find the right trail to fit your fitness level, as well as your aptitude at altitude—after all, Longs Peak (the tallest peak in The Park) tops out at a whopping 14,255 feet! Today, we’re going to point out 10 of the easiest hikes you can find in the park. Here’s our list of casual Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes:
Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the highest national parks in the nation, with elevations from 7,860 to 14,259 feet (2,396 to 4,346 m), the highest point of which is Longs Peak. Trail Ridge Road is the highest paved through-road in the country, with a peak elevation of 12,183 feet (3,713 m). Sixty mountain peaks over 12,000 feet (3,658 m) high provide scenic vistas. On the north side of the park, the Mummy Range contains a number of thirteener peaks, including Hagues Peak, Mummy Mountain, Fairchild Mountain, Ypsilon Mountain, and Mount Chiquita. Several small glaciers and permanent snowfields are found in the high mountain cirques.
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!
Fall River Village: Located along the banks of Fall River and the popular Riverwalk, Fall River Village is Estes Park’s newest and best located resort. Situated on six and a half acres of beautiful mountain landscape, the resort features 60 new two bedroom, two bath vacation condos. The resort has an in-ground, outdoor pool and year-round, outdoor hot tub, a community room, fire pit and grill areas, and an outdoor recreation area with yard games and a hammock. Perfect for friends and family to gather together for memories that will last a lifetime.
Rocky Mountain National Park really delivers in all seasons! This park is so beautifully diverse: from streams and Bear Lake to impressive peaks and herds of elk...I love coming back here to explore all the beauty of nature. Also, if it's too hot at the lake, drive a few thousand feet above the tree line and you're able to cool down. Nature and altitude are magical!
Below 9,400 feet (2,865 m), temperatures are often moderate, although nighttime temperatures are cool, as is typical of mountain weather. 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. 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. Lower elevations receive rain as most of their summer precipitation.
Whether you’re looking for an affordable place to stay for the weekend or a luxury mountain getaway, vacation rental cabins make a Colorado trip relaxing and easy. Find a cabin near your favorite ski resort or stay secluded in the Rocky Mountains. Get ready to cuddle up by the fireplace in these 15 magnificent cabin rentals in the great state of Colorado.
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.
Cabins are standalone autonomous accommodation options that offer a stay in nature. You'll find cabins in all sorts of wild places, from lakesides to beaches to mountain ranges. Most are small and cozy, and traditional, letting you channel your inner explorer as you gaze out across babbling riverways or pine-studded valleys. Romantic cabins are wonderful for couples as they come with warm beds and sharing space with cracking fires and maybe even a hot tub.
Relaxing vacations at Boulder Brook’s adult-only romantic cabin resort includes soaks in the hot tub, enjoying the local wildlife, fishing in the river and sitting on your private deck. Choose between oversized studio Spa Suites, or our comfortable one and two bedroom suites. Downtown Estes Park is only 2 miles away with its charming shopping, beautiful river walk and tasty restaurants.
Estes Park is the gateway into the national park, but it’s also a destination unto itself. Stop by The Barrel, a seasonal alfresco beer garden, and window-shop along Elkhorn Ave., Estes' bustling main thoroughfare. Filled with one-of-a-kind stores, several fine restaurants and plenty of places for an afternoon snack, the area is just steps from the park’s eastern entrance. Stop for coffee and sit outside on the Riverwalk.
Or enjoy a family wildflower hike to Gem Lake or Bridal Veil Falls. For a little more challenge, try the 2.8-mile Mills Lake trek. You’ll be rewarded with grand views of 14,259-foot-tall Longs Peak and the Keyboard of the Winds, a whimsical rock formation named for its shape. Pull over at Moraine Park for prime wildlife watching. More than 3,000 elk and 800 bighorn sheep live in the park, and this U-shaped valley is a regular gathering spot for bugling elk.
Features: If you’re looking for beautiful falls and a relatively easy hike, you’ve got to trek to Copeland Falls. Copeland Falls is about a 30 minute drive South from our resort. The trail is well shaded by pine trees, and it brings you to several cascading waterfalls, all along the North St. Vrain Creek. You can see both Upper Copeland Falls and Lower Copeland Falls on sections of this trail.
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.
If you want to hike in the Bear Lake Road corridor and plan to arrive after 10, your best option, and on some days your only option, will be to take the Hiker Shuttle from the Estes Park Visitor Center. This shuttle runs every 30 minutes from the Estes Park Visitor Center to the Park & Ride on Bear Lake Road. Expect wait times to board the shuttles. An entrance pass is required to use The Hiker Shuttle. Purchase a pass online at go.nps.gov/rockyfees
During the winter most of Trail Ridge Road is closed due to heavy snow, limiting motorized access to the edges of the park. Winter activities include snowshoeing and cross-country skiing which are possible from either the Estes Park or Grand Lake entrances. On the east side near Estes Park, skiing and snowshoeing trails are available off Bear Lake Road, such as the Bear Lake, Bierstadt Lake, and Sprague Lake trails and at Hidden Valley. Slopes for sledding are also available at Hidden Valley. The west side of the park near Grand Lake also has viable snowshoeing trails. Backcountry skiing and snowboarding can be enjoyed after climbing up one of the higher slopes, especially late in the snow season after avalanche danger has subsided, and technical climbing remains also a possibility, although typically differing in style from the summer months.
Enjoy LUXURY mountain cabins at our resort with outstanding VALUE. "A Home Away from Home Getaway." 1, 2, and 3-bdrm condos available with fully applianced kitchens, living room fireplaces & private decks overlooking Fall River. Private hot tubs & spa suites are also available. Located only 1 mi. to RMNP, 3 mi. to Downtown. FREE: Stocked river fishing, Wi-Fi, local calls, movies, games, indoor & outdoor activities. Estes Park Condos Details
In Colorado, one-third of the vacation accommodations are house rentals, which represent 37.67% of its listed properties. In addition, these properties have an average size of 2,210 ft² and an average price of $439 per night. Furthermore, these properties are excellent for 7 it represents the average number of people house rentals can accommodate in Colorado. If you would like to rent something else, you can look for many other offers, such as apartment rentals, which are the second most typical property type in Colorado. While house rentals in Colorado have an average size of 2,210 ft², apartment rentals have an average size of 1,100 ft².
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. The trail to Alberta Falls runs by Glacier Creek and Glacier Gorge.
Horace Albright, director of the National Park Service between 1929 and 1933, once said about Trail Ridge Road, "It's hard to describe what a sensation this new road is going to make. You will have the whole sweep of the Rockies before you in all directions." Trail Ridge Road was a sensation when it debuted back in 1932 and it remains so today for the travelers that make the 48-mile drive from Estes Park to Grand Lake, rising above the tree line for 11 miles at an elevation of nearly 11,500 feet. Visitors should keep that in mind when they're stopping at the lookout points that the road experiences temperatures that are 20 and even 30 degrees lower than both Estes Park and Grand Park.
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, including montane forests, grasslands, and shrublands. The area has meandering rivers 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. The following areas are part of the montane ecosystem: Moraine Park, Horseshoe Park, Kawuneeche Valley, and Upper Beaver Meadows.
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.
Overlooking the scenic Beaver Creek Mountain, Park Hyatt Beaver Creek is a luxury Colorado resort and spa where guests can experience the vacation of their dreams. From breathtaking mountain views to championship golf courses to exquisite cuisine, Hyatt’s Beaver Creek ski resort offers the perfect year-round Vail Valley mountain escape with premium amenities, such as ski in and ski out access, a year-round heated outdoor pool, and an outdoor fire pit for roasting s’mores.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, The Baldpate Inn has been enchanting Rocky Mountain travelers for more than 100 years. It’s nestled among the aspen and evergreen trees right beside Rocky Mountain National Park and began as a lodging destination almost right away when homesteaders Gordon and Ethel Mace moved in and built a handful of small cabins on their land. In addition to location and history, the inn boasts the world’s largest key collection and a photograph collection that includes signed portraits of presidents, celebrities, writers, inventors and more.
Located 75 minutes west of the Resort along with a five-mile stretch of Colorado’s famed Tarryall River, The Broadmoor Fly Fishing Camp is a private escape that pairs world-class fishing with exceptional accommodations and dining. This outstanding retreat borders 120,000 acres of the Lost Creek Wilderness, offering honeymooners who love to fish together the opportunity to experience more than five miles of private waters under the guidance of professional Broadmoor guides. The picturesque camp features a beautifully restored Main Lodge with a wraparound deck and seven rustic yet well-appointed guest cabins dating back to the 1920s. During the evenings, guests gather in the Main Lodge for artfully prepared meals and relaxation. In addition to the exceptional fly fishing, camp guests can enjoy a variety of fun activities such as horseback riding, hiking, and the opportunity to see some of Colorado’s most spectacular wildlife.
Boulder Brook on Fall River is an intimate, adult-only riverfront resort. Our Spa Suites are perfect for the romantic getaway, featuring riverfront decks, vaulted ceilings, private two-person jetted tubs and warm fireplaces. One Bedroom Suites become your home away from home, with a cozy living room featuring a private riverfront deck and a separate bedroom. Riverview, Mountain and Country Suites are one-of-a-kind units with full kitchens. The Aspen Suite is our only 2-bedroom suite accommodating up to 6 adults.
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. 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.