At the Open Air Adventure Park, rope bridges, aerial tightropes and swinging logs challenge folks 5 years old and up. Kent Mountain Adventure Center, the first outfitter in the US to offer breathtaking (literally) cliff-camping excursions, has activities like a kids mountaineering camp, a New Year's Eve Longs Peak trek, backcountry ski classes/guiding, and a year-round “snow-climbing school.” Or, get above it all in a different way at Estes Park’s own Jurassic Park. This climbing area just south of town features rock outcroppings, slabs and routes that make for a perfect outing.
Rocky Mountain National Park was selected to participate in a climate change study, along with two other National Park Service areas in the Rocky Mountain region and three in the Appalachian Mountain region. The study began in 2011, orchestrated by members of the academic scientific community in cooperation with the National Park Service and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The stated objective: "develop and apply decision support tools that use NASA and other data and models to assess vulnerability of ecosystems and species to climate and land use change and evaluate management options."
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. The Civilian Conservation Corps built the main automobile route, Trail Ridge Road, in the 1930s. In 1976, UNESCO designated the park as one of the first World Biosphere Reserves. In 2017, more than 4.4 million recreational visitors entered the park. The park is one of the most visited in the National Park System, ranking as the third most visited national park in 2015.
Many hikers want to experience the thrill of camping in the wild, which is what backcountry camping in Rocky Mountain National Park is like. Backcountry permits are necessary and may be obtained at the Backcountry Offices. Near Estes Park, the Backcountry Office is located at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center. Many backcountry campsites dot the park, including special sites for groups of more than seven people. Campers are asked to take responsibility for their sites, such as practicing proper Leave No Trace techniques and taking appropriate wildlife protection measures. More information on these tips plus suggestions for how to plan a backcountry camping trip may be found at the official Rocky Mountain National Park Backcountry Webpage.
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.
Features: If you’re on the lookout for wildlife, then the Coyote Valley Trail is one of your best bets. This fairly flat trail takes visitors through the Kawuneeche Valley, which features a sprawl of grassland in the midst of the booming mountains that line the Never Summer range. Along this hike, you may see deer, moose, elk, coyotes, beaver, and plenty of species of birds, including eagles and kingfishers. Coyote Valley Trail is about an hour and 15 minutes from the resort, and the you’ll take Trail Ridge Road over Trail Ridge Pass. Trail Ridge Road is famous, since it’s the highest continuous paved road in the nation! Coyote Valley Trail is wheelchair accessible.
Above tree line, at approximately 11,000 ft (3,400 m), trees disappear and the vast alpine tundra takes over. Over one third of the park resides above the tree line, an area which limits plant growth due to the cold climate and strong winds. The few plants that can survive under such extreme conditions are mostly perennials. Many alpine plants are dwarfed at high elevations, though their occasional blossoms may be full-sized.
The park may be accessed through Estes Park or via the western entrance at Grand Lake. Trail Ridge Road, also known as U.S. Route 34, connects the eastern and western sides of the park. The park has a total of five visitor centers. The Alpine Visitor Center is located in the tundra environment along Trail Ridge Road, while Beaver Meadows and Fall River are both near Estes Park, with Kawuneeche in the Grand Lake area, and the Moraine Park Discovery Center near the Beaver Meadows entrance and visitor center.
With 60+ spruce trees in the yard, water features, decks, hot tubs, gas grills, picnic tables, swings, and Adirondack chairs, its just a lovely place to hang out! We have wireless internet available, plus an internet station in the office for your use. Each unit has cable TV with HBO and direct-dial phones. Most have full kitchens, many come with fireplaces. Groups welcome.
We believe our cabins in Gatlinburg are the best in the Smoky Mountains. When you experience what our cabins have to offer, we think you’ll agree. We set ourselves apart with a huge variety of cabin amenities, sizes, and locations. At our Gatlinburg cabin rentals, you’ll find secluded outdoor hot tubs, Blu-ray players, Wi-Fi, private pools and home theaters, full kitchens, and so much more. Some cabins are conveniently located within walking distance of downtown, while others are secluded in the trees or peacefully set high atop the mountains. We have cozy 1 and 2-bedroom cabins perfect for honeymoons and spacious large group lodges perfect for church retreats and family reunions, each with its own unique experience for you.
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Wind down with dinner at the storied Stanley Hotel. The elegant 109-year-old, white-pillared landmark sits on a hill overlooking downtown Estes Park. Guided tours take you through an underground tunnel and reveal how Stephen King was inspired to write The Shining while staying in room 217. Stop by the beautifully crafted antique Cascades Whiskey Bar to choose from 250 different wine labels and the largest whiskey collection in the state.
Looking for a great trail in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado? AllTrails has 191 great hiking trails, trail running trails, views trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 101 moderate trails in Rocky Mountain National Park ranging from 0.6 to 39 miles and from 7,795 to 13,047 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
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
The park is home to some 2,000 to 3,000 elk in summer, and between 800 and 1,000 elk spend the winter within its boundaries. Because of lack of predation, the National Park Service culls around 50 elk each winter. Overgrazing by elk has become a major problem in the park's riparian areas, so much so that the NPS fences them out of many critical wetland habitats to let willows and aspens grow. The program seems to be working, as the deciduous wetland plants thrive within the fencing. Many people think the elk herd is too large, but are reluctant to reintroduce predators because of its proximity to large human populations and ranches.
Hiking here is pure enjoyment and easy for all levels. First timers take it easy and tackle Alluvial Fan. There are two trailheads (because of the river diversion). If you want a little extra joint park on the east side. West side is closer if you prefer to tackle the trail straight up. This is kid friendly trail but always wise to be accompanied closely by an adult. The bridge is still out so tread carefully when crossing the river.. ..It's a bit slippery (yes, yours truly took a bit of a tumble).
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. 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.
Nestled next to the rambling waters of Fall River, Boulder Brook is ideally located between the unique shopping of downtown Estes Park and the rugged splendor of the Rocky Mountain National Park. Whether exploring or staying “home” to quietly sit in the shade reading or fishing, it is likely that you will enjoy a visit from deer, elk, or bighorn sheep during your stay at Boulder Brook.
With two bedrooms, a fully-equipped kitchen (complete with a coffee bean grinder, toaster, and crockpot) and one and a half updated bathrooms, the remote cabin provide luxury accommodations within walking distance of three picturesque mountain lakes. Guests enjoy a range of activities, including hiking, mountain biking, paddle boarding, fly fishing, or exploring the Alta Lakes Ghost Town, or sledding, tubing, ice skating, and more in the winter months.
Glacier Basin: Located on Bear Lake Road, approximately six miles south of the Beaver Meadows Entrance Satation, this 150 site campground provide easy access to many areas of the East side of the park. Reservations are available for this popular summer-only campground which offers a shuttle stop, tent & RV (35 feet) spots and on-site Ranger-led evening programs.
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.
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.