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.
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.
On the east side of the park lies the Beaver Meadows Entrance, the most direct entrance from Estes Park, which lies right outside Rocky Mountain National Park. An hour’s drive from Boulder and two hours from Denver, the lively Estes Park is the closest town to the park on the east side of the park. Because the entrance is so accessible from Estes Park and open year round, it is the most popular.
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),[30] the highest point of which is Longs Peak.[31] Trail Ridge Road is the highest paved through-road in the country, with a peak elevation of 12,183 feet (3,713 m).[32] Sixty mountain peaks over 12,000 feet (3,658 m) high provide scenic vistas.[30] 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.[33] Several small glaciers and permanent snowfields are found in the high mountain cirques.[34]
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]

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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.
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.
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]

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. 
Julian’s only Historic Hotel lies in the heart of the turn of the century district just steps away from local dining and shops. The freshly renovated landmark Hotel represents the Gold Rush spirit with historic ambience and modern day amenities. All guest rooms, cottages (w/fireplace) and suites include private baths, free WiFi, A/C, gracious afternoon tea and full two course breakfast. AAA- approved.
Our lodging is a 300 yd. walk to RMNP. The Big Thompson River flows thru our backyard.  Enjoy hiking, wildlife, fishing, birding & photography.  Treat yourself to a soak in our riverside hot tub. Some cabins w/ kitchens & fireplaces. Catering to singles, couples & small families.  Exceptionally clean & affordable w/ a relaxing atmosphere, personality & charm.   Swiftcurrent Lodge on the River Details
It’s open between May and October, although conditions can cause it to be closed temporarily even in those times. We recommend doing the first 18 miles or so of the road at least, from where it starts just inside the park up to just beyond the Alpine Visitor Centre. You’ll find incredible views along this stretch, and you’ll be stopping more than you might think!

It’s open between May and October, although conditions can cause it to be closed temporarily even in those times. We recommend doing the first 18 miles or so of the road at least, from where it starts just inside the park up to just beyond the Alpine Visitor Centre. You’ll find incredible views along this stretch, and you’ll be stopping more than you might think!


The farm-to-table movement isn't just about food anymore. Colorado is home to many microbreweries and small wineries. Known as the Napa Valley of beer, northern Colorado has an abundance of craft beer manufacturers. Just like the region’s fine dining establishments, these small operations use the freshest locally sourced ingredients to provide one-of-a-kind results. Best of all, most offer tours and tastings daily.

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.
Dial (970) 586-1222 for a recorded message on the status of Trail Ridge Road. You may not know that our mountain makes its own weather, so it is not uncommon to have snow in July or August at the top of Trail Ridge Road. Such weather will only last for a few hours to a day, but if you are planning to cross over Trail Ridge Road, weather may hamper your travel. You also may find the road closed due to weather in early June and September/October.
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.
The Pierre Shale formation was deposited during the Paleogene and Cretaceous periods about 70 million years ago. The region was covered by a deep sea—the Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway—which deposited massive amounts of shale on the seabed. Both the thick stratum of shale and embedded marine life fossils—including ammonites and skeletons of fish and such marine reptiles as mosasaurs, plesiosaurs, and extinct species of sea turtles, along with rare dinosaur and bird remains—were created during this time period. The area now known as Colorado was eventually transformed from being at the bottom of an ocean to dry land again, giving yield to another fossiliferous rock layer known as the Denver Formation.[58]
Glacial geology in Rocky Mountain National Park can be seen from the mountain peaks to the valley floors. Ice is a powerful sculptor of this natural environment and large masses of moving ice are the most powerful tools. Telltale marks of giant glaciers can be seen all throughout the park. Streams and glaciations during the Quaternary period cut through the older sediment, creating mesa tops and alluvial plains, and revealing the present Rocky Mountains.[61] The glaciation removed as much as 5,000 feet (1,500 m) of sedimentary rocks from earlier inland sea deposits. This erosion exposed the basement rock of the Ancestral Rockies. Evidence of the uplifting and erosion can be found on the way to Rocky Mountain National Park in the hogbacks of the Front Range foothills.[60] Many sedimentary rocks from the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras exist in the basins surrounding the park.[62]
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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