The riparian ecosystem runs through the montane, subalpine, and alpine tundra zones and creates a foundation for life, especially for species that thrive next to streams, rivers, and lakes.[74] The headwaters of the Colorado River, which provides water to many of the southwestern states, are located on the west side of the park. The Fall River, Cache la Poudre River and Big Thompson Rivers are located on the east side of the park. Just like the other ecosystems in the park, the riparian zone is affected by the climatic variables of temperature, precipitation, and elevation. Generally, riparian zones in valleys will have cooler temperatures than communities located on slopes and ridge tops. Depending on elevation, a riparian zone may have more or less precipitation than other riparian zones in the park, with the difference creating a shift in the types of plants and animals found in a specific zone.[75]
The land at Dao House sits on what was once a gathering place of peace for rival Native American tribes in the region. Over the years, it has operated as a homestead, a ranch and a fox farm before becoming a lodge for the first time in 1948. In 2015, Dao House emerged as a meeting point of western and eastern cultures and today, they offer lodging, equestrian experiences and wellness activities including an oxygen lounge, internal martial arts, personalized retreat programs and shorter wellness getaways.
Estes Park has long billed itself as "The Gateway to the Rockies." This little town has a lot of charm of its own. For the many people who feel that the best part of the Rockies is the view, Estes Park is the best of both worlds. It is the perfect romantic getaway for those who would rather avoid the mountain roads and bone-chilling temperatures of Vail and Aspen during the winter.
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?
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!
Escape to the beautiful mountains of Rocky Mountain National Park. The region surrounding Rocky Mountain National Park offers a variety of lodging accommodations to outfit your next hiking vacation, from dude ranches and resorts, to cozy cabins with spectacular mountain views. Lodging accommodations in the Rockies come in all sizes, and offer a variety of amenities.
Cushion plants have long taproots that extend deep into the rocky soil. Their diminutive size, like clumps of moss, limits the effect of harsh winds. Many flowering plants of the tundra have dense hairs on stems and leaves to provide wind protection or red-colored pigments capable of converting the sun's light rays into heat. Some plants take two or more years to form flower buds, which survive the winter below the surface and then open and produce fruit with seeds in the few weeks of summer. Grasses and sedges are common where tundra soil is well-developed.[73]
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]
Features: The Lily Lake Loop is one of the easiest hikes in the park, and the trailhead is only about 6 miles from our resort. On the Lily Lake Loop, you’ll enjoy vistas of Lily Lake, as it reflects the surrounding mountain range. Take a moment to soak in Longs Peak, Meeker, and Estes Cone. Hike, picnic, fish, and relax. At only 10 feet of elevation change across the entire trail, the Lily Lake Loop is more of a walk in The Park than a hike, and it offers breathtaking beauty that can only be found in RMNP. Lily Lake Loop is handicap accessible.
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]
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