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.
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.
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.
Features: This hike is a good drive away from the resort. You’ll spend about an hour and a half on highway 34 heading towards Grand Lake before you reenter the Park to check out Adams Falls. That said, the drive is gorgeous, and you’ll sweep over the Continental Divide. Once you’re at Adams Falls, you’ll have a short hike to view falls along the East Inlet of Grand Lake. The aptly named Adams Falls Trail features a 55-foot waterfall. You can continue along the East Inlet Trail to view more of the river, as well as Lone Pine Lake, Lake Verna, Spirit Lake, and other gorgeous sites.
Rock climbing and mountaineering opportunities include Lumpy Ridge, Hallett Peak, and Longs Peak, the highest peak in the park, with the easiest route being the Keyhole Route. This 8 mi (13 km) one-way climb has an elevation gain of 4,850 ft (1,480 m). The vast east face, including the area known as The Diamond, is home to many classic big wall rock climbing routes. Many of the highest peaks have technical ice and rock routes on them, ranging from short scrambles to long multi-pitch climbs.
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.
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.
One look at this little mountain treasure will bring out the naughty in you! Do you relish the devilish delight of leaving everything and everybody behind to indulge in some much needed “me time?” Or do you prefer to sneak in a mischievous getaway with that “special someone?” Whatever your guilty pleasure, this cozy Pigeon Forge cabin will provide the…
This mansion-cabin is the highest priced on our list, but with the view of the lake and five-minute walk to downtown Frisco, we had to show it off! Bring grandma, grandpa, aunts, and uncles and make it a family getaway worth remembering. The three-level getaway has private garages, floor-to-ceiling windows, and four bathrooms. Find your own piece of paradise and escape to Frisco this winter!
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.
Mountain sports enthusiasts can’t deny the draw of Summit County’s ski towns. Breckenridge and Copper Mountain are popular places to hit the slopes, complete with family-friendly activities for any season. Dillon, within easy driving distance of plenty of ski runs, offers world-class sailing and other activities on Dillon Lake. We also offer vacation rentals in the lovely towns of Frisco, Silverthorne, Keystone, and Blue River. You can’t go wrong in Summit County!