With the beauty of Rocky Mountain National Park literally on his doorstep, Erik rises frequently long before dawn to hike back to remote lakes or up high peaks to capture the unparalleled beauty of the Park in warm morning light. Erik has his own gallery in Estes Park, Colorado as well as mini-galleries in Grand Lake, Colorado and outside of Abiquiu, New Mexico where he shows his Desert Southwest work. Read more >>
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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. 
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!
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.

For the ultimate mountain getaway, stay in one of our updated vintage 1, 2, or 3 bedroom cabins! Just 1 mile from the entrance to RMNP on the quiet side of town. Walk to a Park trailhead, fish for stocked trout in front of your cabin, soak in the hot tub, relax around the campfire. Experience the Estes of yesteryear!  Idlewilde by the River Details
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,[69][70] including montane forests, grasslands, and shrublands. The area has meandering rivers[70] 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.[70] The following areas are part of the montane ecosystem: Moraine Park, Horseshoe Park, Kawuneeche Valley, and Upper Beaver Meadows.[70] 

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. 

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.
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
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
Marissa is a writer for 303 Magazine’s Travel, Lifestyle + Culture Desk. She grew up in Canada, but spent her adult life navigating South Carolina as a Canadian transplant. She secretly enjoys the cold weather in Colorado, but complains about it anyway. In her free time, you can find her bothering her friends to go out, watching comedy shows or driving long distances to see something cool she read about online. All wit and charm is 85% her parents and 15% something she learned in middle school from the 8th graders on her bus. Follow her on Twitter @marissajkozma
I would definitely recommend driving Trail Ridge Rd. between Grand Lake and Estes Park.  This is a great drive through the entire park with lots of great pull outs and stops along the way.  Be aware that this is the highest paved road on the continent at over 12,000ft. elevation and altitude sickness affects 50% of the visitors.  Trail Ridge Rd. is very scary to drive if you're not used to curvy roads with no guards rails.  Without stops, it will take 1.5hrs to drive from town to town.  Because we stopped so much, it took us 4 hrs to get from Estes Park to Grand Lake, we ate dinner in Grand Lake and then it took us 1.5 hrs to drive straight back.
If you love the great outdoors but also want luxurious comfort on your vacation, let the Cabins at Rams Horn Village Resort be basecamp for your Rocky Mountain Getaway. Our western-styled Cabins are the definition of Rocky Mountain comfort w/ all the modern conveniences.  Each cabin is its own private retreat from everyday cares, allowing families & friends to come & play together, & build lifelong memories.  Rams Horn Village Resort Details
Well-appointed guest rooms are decorated with country mountain flair including handmade quilts and calico dust ruffles and feature en-suite bathrooms and spectacular views. Guests are treated to a delicious gourmet three-course breakfast every morning and complimentary bedtime snacks. An intimate library and comfortable lobby offer the perfect place to curl up with a book in front of a crackling fireplace. The nearby Rocky Mountain National Park provides a variety of activities from hiking and mountain biking to mountain climbing, fishing and wildlife watching.
According to my GPS app the winter track up the hillside from Dream Lake is slightly off from the actual trail, but connects up with the trail within 1/4 mile. Also, about 1/4 mile from Haiyaha the trail peters out and the established track goes straight downhill to the lake. We couldn't figure out where the actual trail was supposed to go so we followed the tracks; it's very steep but will get you to the lake.
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.  
Streamside on Fall River is nestled between the cool clear waters of Fall River and the granite peak of Old Man Mountain. As one of Estes Park's most unique resorts, our secluded village of 21 cabin suites and condos feature such amenities as gas fireplaces, private hot tubs, jetted tubs, kitchens, free Wi-Fi, cable TV/DVD, gas grills, and hammocks for relaxing under the sunny blue skies of Colorado. Fish for rainbow trout or enjoy great wildlife watching. Challenge yourself to the summit of Old Man Mountain for breathtaking panoramic views or hike the trails of Rocky Mountain National Park, just three miles away. Guests enjoy having 24 hour access to the Swim Spa with exercise pool, Jacuzzi and two outdoor hot tubs--perfect after a long day of hiking. On-site guest laundry is available as well.
Hot Tubs, Woodstoves, Secluded, Outdoor Fireplace for campfire, WiFi.  Charming, pet friendly, private vacation cabins off Hwy 7 in Allenspark and Raymond, conveniently located between Lyons and Estes Park.  Choose directly on the Middle St Vrain River OR on spacious, wooded acreage bordered by the famous crystal clear Willow Creek.  Year round-Great Value!  Hideout Cabins Details

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.
Most visitors to the park drive over the famous Trail Ridge Road, but other roads include Fall River Road and Bear Lake Road.[95] The park is open every day of the year, weather permitting.[96] Due to the extended winter season in higher elevations, Trail Ridge Road between Many Parks Curve and the Colorado River Trailhead is closed much of the year. The road is usually open again by Memorial Day and closes in mid-October, generally after Columbus Day.[93] Fall River Road does not open until about July 4 and closes by, or in, October for vehicular traffic.[97] Snow may also fall in sufficient quantities in higher elevations to require temporary closure of the roads into July,[49][93] which is reported on the road status site.[95]

Fall River provides a beautiful backdrop for our lodging resort. After your hiking, snowshoeing or back-country skiing adventure, spend an intimate evening in a luxurious Spa Suite or relax in a spacious 1 Bedroom Suite. Enjoy sounds of the river from your private cabin/condo deck. All the conveniences of home in each suite.  Boulder Brook on Fall River Details
Your wedding night should be as special as the ceremony. Ensure yours is perfect by choosing the right place to stay. Whether you want to retire to a hotel room next to family and friends or escape to a secluded, private cabin, Estes Park lodging properties fulfill your needs. Sink into suites outfitted with personal hot tubs. Lay before a roaring fire, just you and the love of your life. Walk hand-in-hand along wooded paths beside a gurgling river. Estes Park accommodations make it possible to enjoy these experiences and more. Plus, they extend the same hospitality to your wedding guests, turning your ceremony into a true destination wedding. Book suites, hotel rooms, cabins—even private vacation homes for your wedding. From rustic to historic, Estes Park offers a range of accommodations.
NEW CABIN ON PROGRAM!!! DISCOUNTED INTRODUCTORY RATES FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY. BOOK NOW! "Poolside Cinema Lodge" is a breathtaking 6-bedroom, 6.5-bathroom cabin with a PRIVATE INDOOR POOL nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains. With room for 26, everyone is sure to have the time of their life in this luxury cabin rental in the mountains. You will be welcomed…
We stayed at the Stanley Hotel, the most famous of all the lodging options in Estes Park, and the place that originally put this location on the map. Once the summer residence of the Stanley Family, it’s been open since 1909, and is today a major tourist attraction in its own right – not least because Stephen King stayed here once, and got his inspiration for horror novel The Shining during his stay.
If you are going into the Park backcountry overnight, you will need a backcountry permit, available free at park headquarters, or the Kawuneeche Visitor Center. Some areas are closed to overnight camping, and the danger of avalanches frequently exists, so plan your trip carefully, checking with park rangers for the latest Information on the areas In which you plan to travel.
Fall River provides a beautiful backdrop for our lodging resort. After your hiking, snowshoeing or back-country skiing adventure, spend an intimate evening in a luxurious Spa Suite or relax in a spacious 1 Bedroom Suite. Enjoy sounds of the river from your private cabin/condo deck. All the conveniences of home in each suite.  Boulder Brook on Fall River Details
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!
The weather in RMNP is extreme—and unpredictable. Ranging from snowstorms in the winter to hot, clear days in the summer, Rocky Mountain’s got it all. Summer is quick—just July and August—but beautiful, as temperature ranges from 40s at night and up to the 80s during the day. The rest of the year, expect snow at most elevations, and definitely up on Trail Ridge Road.
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.
First – Rocky Mountain National Park is open year round, 24 hours a day. So no worries there. However, if you want to drive Trail Ridge Road, you need to visit from around the end of May to early October. July through September are the busiest time of year, so my recommendation to avoid the crowds and still get good weather, plus plenty of light for activities, would be June.
Located near Estes Park Colorado and only a few hours from Denver, the park is open 24 hours a day 365 days a year! Boasting over 300 miles of trails and encompassing 415 square miles this truly is a Rocky Mountain High! With such an amazing variety of wild creatures and unbelievable scenery, RMNP, attracts visitors from all over the world. Enjoy the magnificent sites as you drive, hike, bike or take the public transportation. As spring begins to arrive in the recreational opportunities in the park will get better and better.
Trail Ridge Road is 48 miles (77 km) long and connects the entrances in Grand Lake and Estes Park.[92][93] Running generally east–west through many hairpin turns,[5] the road crosses Milner Pass through the Continental Divide[93] at an elevation of 10,758 ft (3,279 m).[92][94] The highest point of the road is 12,183 feet (3,713 m),[93] with eleven miles of the road being above tree line which is approximately 11,500 feet (3,505 m).[92] The road is the highest continuously paved highway in the country,[93] and includes many large turnouts at key points to stop and observe the scenery.[92]
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!
Streamside is one of the Rocky Mountains most unique resorts. Secluded and private luxury cabin-suites on 17 acres along the Fall River. Relax in you own private hot tub on your deck nestled in the trees overlooking the river or cozy up inside by the custom gas log fireplace and enjoy the peaceful tranquility of our quiet mountain resort. Our property also features an indoor Swim Spa for your pleasure. One-third is a hot tub and the remaining two-thirds measures 20 x 8 and has three swim-against jets for treadmill swimming or water aerobics. All cabin-suites have TV/HBO, VCR’s and we offer a video library complimentary for our guests. Special packages are available for that unforgettable romantic honeymoon in the Rocky Mountains. 

First – Rocky Mountain National Park is open year round, 24 hours a day. So no worries there. However, if you want to drive Trail Ridge Road, you need to visit from around the end of May to early October. July through September are the busiest time of year, so my recommendation to avoid the crowds and still get good weather, plus plenty of light for activities, would be June.
Nature created a perfectly beautiful vacation spot right on Fall River, where you will find our lovely village of 20 cabin suites. They are sprinkled over 17 acres amid the Pine & Aspen with kitchens, fireplaces, decks, grills, Free Wi-Fi, & some private hot tubs overlooking the stocked fishing river. Streamside is perfect for your relaxing river-front getaway.  Streamside on Fall River Details
I have to say that Rocky Mountain National Park is probably the most beautiful and scenic place I have ever been. I kept thinking that I had seen the most amazing part, only to take the next turn and be wowed again. If you are in the area and are a hiking/nature fan, this is one place you shouldn't miss. If nothing else, just a drive through the park is well worth the time.
The Rocky Mountain National Park Act was signed by President Woodrow Wilson on January 26, 1915, establishing the park boundaries and protecting the area for future generations.[2] The Civilian Conservation Corps built the main automobile route, Trail Ridge Road, in the 1930s.[2] In 1976, UNESCO designated the park as one of the first World Biosphere Reserves.[6] In 2017, more than 4.4 million recreational visitors entered the park.[7] The park is one of the most visited in the National Park System, ranking as the third most visited national park in 2015.[8]
Colorado is overflowing with things to do: world-class skiing, mountain biking, paddling, hiking, ATVing, hot-air ballooning and rock climbing… and that’s just the start of it. If you visit Colorado wanting an adventure, you won’t be disappointed. Of course, Colorado also offers great mountain music, sensational local breweries, gourmet cuisine, and outstanding art and culture. Be sure to book a Colorado vacation rental or Colorado cabin rental, for much-needed relaxation after your jam-packed itinerary.
Cabins are available for rent at nearly all of our parks throughout the United States and Canada. Jellystone Park’s cabins are ideal for those who want to enjoy nature in the comfort of their own homes. The effort that Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts put into making your family vacation a memorable one will be evident from the moment you set foot in any of our parks.

Just 30 minutes outside of Estes Park, you’ll find WeeCasa, the world’s largest tiny house resort. Set up neighborhood-style in close proximity to each other and just steps from the creek, each tiny house consists of approximately 135 – 400 square feet of charm and character. Just like hotel rooms (and even better, too), each home is fully stocked with appliances, towels, bedding, cutlery and dishes, and even WiFi. All you need to bring are food and beverages!
I have to say that Rocky Mountain National Park is probably the most beautiful and scenic place I have ever been. I kept thinking that I had seen the most amazing part, only to take the next turn and be wowed again. If you are in the area and are a hiking/nature fan, this is one place you shouldn't miss. If nothing else, just a drive through the park is well worth the time.
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]
I would definitely recommend driving Trail Ridge Rd. between Grand Lake and Estes Park.  This is a great drive through the entire park with lots of great pull outs and stops along the way.  Be aware that this is the highest paved road on the continent at over 12,000ft. elevation and altitude sickness affects 50% of the visitors.  Trail Ridge Rd. is very scary to drive if you're not used to curvy roads with no guards rails.  Without stops, it will take 1.5hrs to drive from town to town.  Because we stopped so much, it took us 4 hrs to get from Estes Park to Grand Lake, we ate dinner in Grand Lake and then it took us 1.5 hrs to drive straight back.

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]
Apart from elk, many other ungulates reside in the park, including bighorn sheep, moose, and mule deer. Bison were eliminated from the park in the 1800s, as were pronghorn and moose, the latter of which was restored to the area in 1978. Moose are now frequently seen in the park, especially on the park's west side.[77] The park's bighorn sheep population has recovered and is estimated at 350 animals.[78]
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.
Moraine Park: Campers, particularly hikers, favor this year-round campground, where several trails originate. It's easily accessed via Bear Lake Road, near the park's Beaver Meadows Entrance (southwest), and features 244 sites, all able to be reserved. It allows RVs up to 40 feet long and accommodates them further with a dump station and water hook-ups. Group sites also are available. 

What can I say!!!! Five stars! How can you even rate nature?! It's perfection! I'm a lover of nature and parks and can find no fault in what I love! Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park is beautiful and so pristine! I highly, highly, highly recommend you visit if you're in the area! My pictures do not do it justice! There are cabins, hiking paths, beautiful lakes and rivers and lots of deer! Unfortunately I didn't see any other living creatures besides birds and deer on this trip! Lol :)  I'm happy not to run into bears though!
Reserved through Airbnb, Little Red Treehouse is exactly what it sounds like. Custom-built by owner and founder Leam Blackwood and sitting amongst the trees in Lyons, Colorado, this charming home offers huge views, a deck-top private shower, a balcony breakfast nook, an efficiency kitchen with both heat and electricity, stunning lodge design, and a unique treehouse experience you’ll never forget.

Chapin Pass trail traverses a dense forest to beautiful views of the Chapin Creek valley, proceeding onward above timberline to the western flank of Mount Chapin. Tundra Communities Trail, accessible from Trail Ridge Road, is a hike offering tundra views and alpine wildflowers. Other trails are Tombstone Ridge and Ute Trail, which starts at the tundra and is mostly downhill from Ute Crossing to Upper Beaver Meadows, with one backcountry camping site. Cache La Poudre River trail begins north of Poudre Lake on the west side of the valley near Milner Pass and heads downward toward the Mummy Pass trail junction. Lake Irene is a recreation and picnic area.[40]
Lulu City, Dutchtown, and Gaskill in the Never Summer Mountains were established in the 1870s when prospectors came in search of gold and silver.[19] The boom ended by 1883 with miners deserting their claims.[20] The railroad reached Lyons, Colorado in 1881 and the Big Thompson Canyon Road—a section of U.S. Route 34 from Loveland to Estes Park—was completed in 1904.[21] The 1920s saw a boom in building lodges and roads in the park, culminating with the construction of Trail Ridge Road to Fall River Pass between 1929 and 1932, then to Grand Lake by 1938.[22]
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.
I wonder why the Colorado ANTIFA groups, who actively target and beat up Trump supporters aren't listed? https://rockymountainantifa.blogspot.com/ And considering that 99% of all fake hate crimes are committed by liberals trying to harm conservatives or their agendas, the entire Dem Party should be listed as a hate group- http://fakehatecrimes.org/
This 5-bedroom residence features a stunning family room with a massive gas fireplace and a professional chef’s kitchen with dining area and breakfast nook. No expense was spared on the multi-zone sound system and other electronics throughout the home. Guests can settle into the cozy library/TV room or be blown away by the mineshaft themed cinema with a state-of-the-art digital projector and 11.1-point channel sound and hundreds of first-run movies and TV – all complimentary!
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