We saw the park on a tour that traveled the totality of the park along Trail Ridge Road from Grand Lake entrance at the west to Estes Park at the east. It was 40 miles of nature at its best. We entered and exited in the Montane zone where ponderosa pine dominate below 9,000 feet. We reached the alpine zone above 11,400 where it is too extreme for trees to grow. Here are my favorite first-hand experiences:
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.
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.
Region 4 is the heart of the park with easy road and trail access, great views, and lake hikes including the most popular trails.[35] Flattop Mountain is a tundra hike and the easiest hike to the Continental Divide in the park. Crossing over Flattop Mountain, the hike to Hallett Peak passes through three climate zones, traversing the ridge that supports Tyndall Glacier and finally ascending to the summit of Hallett Peak.[44]

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.

While it is possible to travel through Rocky Mountain National Park and not catch sight of any wildlife, we venture to say that is an unlikely experience. From everyday sightings of chipmunks and mule deer to the moving experience of viewing elk in rut (the mating season), the animals in the park let you know that you are part of something truly wild. Some of these critters are harder to spot than others - they might camouflage themselves in the trees or hide in the underbrush - but look closely and you may have an encounter unlike any other. 


Aspen Winds on Fall River: Looking for Rocky Mountain National Park lodging? A stay at Aspen Winds provides the opportunity to experience the Rockies' splendor as you have only imagined possible. Aspen Winds provides you with the luxury of relaxing in your private suite along Fall River. We offer one and two bedroom suites and spa suites centrally located 3 miles from the center of Estes Park and 1.5 miles from Rocky Mountain National Park. Our Suites are updated each year to provide you with an upscale experience. Enjoy a private deck, gas fire place, Flat Screen TV's with Netflix, DVD & Blue ray. Free Wi-Fi available. No Pets.
Colorado is a leader in the American foodie revolution and continues to set the bar nationwide. Seasonal and perfectly fresh foods are the focus, and health-conscious vacationers will find that the cuisine options are limitless. Many restaurants will let diners know which small farms and local producers were used in sourcing their meal. Colorado’s cities are consistently voted among America's best for foodies, particularly for their attention to quality.
Not only is the grand Stanley Hotel a member of the Historic Hotels of America, it's also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Aside from its historic accolades, the property boasts another claim to fame. Fans of "The Shining" will recognize the hotel as the setting for the creepy Stephen King novel, but the hotel also touts a history of paranormal activity. To learn more, visitors can take one of two tours – a daytime tour that focuses more on pop culture and a night tour that concentrates on the property's ghost lore.
Blackhawk Lodges: Everyone who stays here has their own delightful cabin. Each is a little bit different from the others. Some have sleeping lofts while others are all on one floor. All have charming knotty pine interiors, wood burning fireplaces, full kitchens, color cable TV’s, DVD players and free WIFI. For your further enjoyment, there are picnic tables, and charcoal grills right outside each cabin. There is fishing on the property and an open area down by the river with chairs for all. Also, there is a hot tub right down by the river. We are centrally located two miles outside of downtown Estes Park and two miles from the entrance to RMNP. Open year round, come and enjoy the sights and check out the various wildlife that may be strolling by your cabin at any time.
From 9,000 ft (2,700 m) to 11,000 ft (3,400 m),[72] the montane forests give way to subalpine forests.[69] Forests of fir and Engelmann spruce cover the mountainsides in subalpine areas. Trees grow straight and tall in the lower subalpine forests, but become shorter and more deformed the nearer they are to the tree line.[72] At the tree line, seedlings may germinate on the lee side of rocks and grow only as high as the rock provides wind protection, with any further growth being more horizontal than vertical. The low growth of dense trees is called krummholz, which may become well-established and live for several hundred to a thousand years old.[72]

There is also plenty for you to explore in the surrounding areas. If you head south, you’ll reach Red Rocks Park, which is known for its red rock formations. Head east, and you’ll find yourself in Denver, where you can experience a taste of the city, complete with shopping and dining options. Head west, and you’ll be in the Rocky Mountains, with options to ski.
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]
A family-owned business started in 2001, Cabins For You boasts beautiful cabin rentals in both Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN, placing you in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains. From private indoor pools, incredible home theaters, and rec rooms loaded with game tables to fully equipped kitchens, spacious decks with hot tubs, and stunning mountain views, our cabins have it all. Our top priority is helping You find the perfect cabin for your honeymoon, vacation, retreat, or reunion in the Smokies. Need help finding the right fit? Check out our Smoky Mountain Memories magazine for advice on choosing the right cabin, tips on planning a vacation in Gatlinburg, and more. Or just give us a call – we’re here 24/7.
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.
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.

Nicky's Resort is a premier resort property in beautiful Estes Park, Colorado. Nicky's Resort has been a landmark since 1964. Come visit for the first time or revisit the Nicky's Resort and see all the changes. This pristine property offers lodge rooms, cabins, river units, fireplaces, an outdoor heated pool (in season and is located along a breathtaking stretch of the Fall River. Catch a Rainbow Trout right off the deck of Nicky's Resort lobby. River is always stocked for our guests in the summer. Nicky's Resort is located 1 mile west of Estes Park and 2 miles from the north entrance of the Rocky Mountain National Park. Nicky's Steakhouse, located on site of the property, offers extensive menus for your dining pleasure.
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 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]
Misty Mountain Lodge offers the best of both worlds. 2 miles to the National Park, 2 minutes walk to everything downtown. We have rooms, suites and cabins. Every single unit is different! The back of our property is Little Prospect Mountain, and the Big Thompson River is right across our lane. If you cross the bridge in front of our place, you can follow the Riverwalk about a block down to the River Plaza (at the confluence of the Big Thompson and Fall Rivers) on the back side of downtown Estes Park.
Range Property Management is filled with vacation getaways of all sizes, shapes, and descriptions. We have a wonderful variety of cabins, condos, and homes in the Estes Park and surrounding areas. We can find the perfect place for your vacation, weather you prefer to walk to downtown shops or stay in a secluded cabin at the end of a mountain road. Come “Home” after a day in Rocky Mountain National Park and enjoy the beauty of the mountains.   
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
Boasting a rich history, cozy accommodations, delicious cuisine and spectacular mountain views, the Baldpate Inn is a traditional mountain getaway that has been enchanting visitors for nearly 100 years. Built in 1917, the Inn is located seven miles south of Estes Park next to the Rocky Mountain National Park and offers a variety of things to see and do.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, The Baldpate Inn has been enchanting Rocky Mountain travelers for more than 100 years. It’s nestled among the aspen and evergreen trees right beside Rocky Mountain National Park and began as a lodging destination almost right away when homesteaders Gordon and Ethel Mace moved in and built a handful of small cabins on their land. In addition to location and history, the inn boasts the world’s largest key collection and a photograph collection that includes signed portraits of presidents, celebrities, writers, inventors and more.
Not everyone wants a honeymoon on the beach or has the time to make it out to a tropical location. Colorado is an amazing destination for a honeymoon. Imagine dipping into a steaming outdoor hot tub right outside your honeymoon cabin, or spending time cuddling next to a cozy fireplace inside.  Here are some inviting and romantic cabins all around Colorado that are perfect for a honeymoon.
Stay in 1 of our 5 renovated riverfront cabins for a romantic atmosphere away from daily routine.  With a private hot tub overlooking Fall River & a jetted spa tub for 2 in the living area, fireplace, full kitchen & gas grill on the deck, you can rest & reconnect.  Nestled among tall Ponderosa pines just 1 mi. west of downtown, with easy access to RMNP.  Fall River Cabins Details
Now, folks are often overwhelmed when they make their first visit to The Park. After all, there are hundreds of miles of trails (in fact there are over 350 miles of trails within RMNP), and dozens of trailheads to explore. So where do you begin? Well, we’re here to help you find the right trail to fit your fitness level, as well as your aptitude at altitude—after all, Longs Peak (the tallest peak in The Park) tops out at a whopping 14,255 feet! Today, we’re going to point out 10 of the easiest hikes you can find in the park. Here’s our list of casual Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes:

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.[50] 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).[50] 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."[51]
A cozy Hansel and Gretel style cabin with a separate bunkhouse. A dream come true for those who discover its peaceful and healing quality year round. Central to boundless amenities. Roomy 1,000 square foot cabin, with stone fireplace and a woodburning stove in the master bedroom with private half bath. The second bedroom adjoins a full bath. 1-10 people. Third virtual bedroom plus bunkhouse. Free Wireless WiFi.
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]
Not everyone wants a honeymoon on the beach or has the time to make it out to a tropical location. Colorado is an amazing destination for a honeymoon. Imagine dipping into a steaming outdoor hot tub right outside your honeymoon cabin, or spending time cuddling next to a cozy fireplace inside.  Here are some inviting and romantic cabins all around Colorado that are perfect for a honeymoon.
You have never seen a Y like this!  We offer over 200 family cabins ranging from 2-4 bdrms, which can hold up to 10 people.  Be close to the main campus & activities or far from it all, in secluded woods.  Our cabins are fully furnished and include eating & cooking utensils, plus linens & towels.  Many free activities are available - we offer more activities onsite than any other area property!  YMCA of the Rockies - Estes Park Center Details
If you’re looking to hit the trails and experience the grandeur of Rocky Mountain National Park, stay with us here at Rams Horn–we’re just about as close as you can get to RMNP. Plus, we’re just a minute away from downtown Estes Park. Book a stay in one of our luxury cabins, and enjoy all of the magical views of the Rockies, the quaint mountain-town feel of Estes, and all of the luxuries of home (and more!). Schedule your stay at our resort today!
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