Enos Mills, the main figure behind the creation of Rocky Mountain National Park, enjoyed walking to Lily Lake from his nearby cabin. Wildflowers are common in the spring and early summer. In the winter, the trail around the lake is often suitable for walking in boots, or as a short snowshoe or ski. Other lakes in the Wild Basin include Chasm Lake, Snowbank Lake, Lion Lakes 1 and 2, Thunder Lake, Ouzel Lake, Finch Lake, Bluebird Lake, Pear Lake, and Sandbeach Lake. Many of the lakes have backcountry campsites. Waterfalls include Ouzel Falls, Trio Falls, Copeland Falls, and Calypso Cascades.
Regardless of whether or not you have seen cliff dwellings before, you will be blown away by Mesa Verde and the amount of access to the actual ruins that the park allows visitors. The park's centerpiece, Cliff Palace is one of the most impressive dwellings in the entire Southwest, with a dramatic setting and incredibly preserved ruins. Ranger-led tours, which run regularly during the summer high season, allow you to climb ladders right up into the heart of the dwelling. If you aren't up for that level of activity, you can get a full view of the site from a nearby overlook.
Offering visitors a glimpse into Colorado’s rich history, Georgetown is a charming Victorian mining town nestled just west of Denver. Once the third-largest city in the state, Georgetown was built in 1884 to service the silver mines. Visitors can take a ride on the famous Georgetown Loop Railroad to Silver Plume and back, or visit the well-preserved Hotel de Paris to browse artifacts from the era. Learn how the wealthy locals used to live at the Hamill House Museum or simply browse the charming streets lined with Victorian-era homes and shops. Those who want to explore the area by car should drive along the Guanella Pass, a long stretch of road with picturesque views, before taking rest in one of the area’s many Victorian bed and breakfast inns.
Smith Fork Ranch is a traditional homestead within the Rocky Mountains and rolling meadows of Colorado featuring old-fashioned Western hospitality and sophisticated wine and cuisine. The cozy mountain lodges envelop guests in homely comfort with plush furnishings, wood burning fireplaces, original artwork, slate tiled bathrooms, handmade soaps and organic lotions, feather beds with fine linens, and hot tubs. The undulating landscape is teeming with wildlife and offers superb hiking, while activities on the ranch will keep honeymooners busy the entire stay.
The Oxford Hotel in downtown Denver offers vacationers historic accommodations, a great spa, fitness center and a gourmet restaurant. Each room and suite at the hotel is individually furnished, featuring unique touches such as antique headboards and romantic claw foot tubs. Plush amenities include flat-screen HD TVs and Bose radios with an iPod docking station. Stay in touch while traveling by connecting through complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi on your phone, tablet or laptop. The Corner Room is especially romantic, letting you enjoy the view of the street below through floor-to-ceiling windows.
There’s no need to travel far from Denver unless you really want to. Boulder is less than an hour’s drive away and is home to the luxurious St. Julien Hotel and Spa. One of the state’s most romantic properties, by booking the St. Julien Suite you’ll enjoy an opulent two-room suite with a balcony, deep soaking tub and plenty of room and relax, unwind and enjoy your time together. You can even order up an in-room couples’ massage. When you do want to venture outside of your room, you’ll find lots to do in town and nearby. Hike the scenic trails that skirt its famous Flatirons Mountains, stroll through legendary open-air mall on Pearl Street, and dine at some fabulous restaurants like The Med, with its Greek Island-themed interior, fine wine and sumptuous Mediterranean small plates.
No trip to Estes Park would be complete without a leisurely drive along the Trail Ridge Road at Rocky Mountain National Park, with its winding scenic views of craggy peaks. Park your vehicle and take a hike through one of the many pine-scented trails bordered by forests and tundra. Keep an eye out for elk and other wildlife as you go! Roosevelt National Forest is another wilderness area worth exploring, Meanwhile, you can enjoy the breathtaking views over the valley on the Estes Park Aerial Tramway, which connects the town to the summit of Prospect Mountain. Down Estes Park has lots of options for one-off shopping and dining, whether you feel like chowing down on a handmade pizza or a juicy elk burger. Afterward, quench your thirst with a pint of Colorado craft beer at one of Estes' local breweries.
A romantic weekend at the Castle Marne Bed and Breakfast on Capitol Hill in Denver will transport you to more elegant and romantic times with its nine magnificent rooms accented by antique Victorian furniture, fine décor, canopy beds, and fluttering curtains. Of course, they all have modern bathrooms with whirlpool or claw foot bathtubs and other contemporary amenities you simply cannot do without.
The best time to visit Rocky Mountain National Park is from June to September when the snow is (mostly) melted and the hiking trails and attractions are accessible. Still, these four months are also the most popular times to visit, so if you'd rather experience RMNP in relative isolation and while wearing snowshoes or cross-country skis, visit between the months of October and May. Whether snow or sunshine, the park is open to the public 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, though some parts may be inaccessible.
Get away and enjoy the surrounding beauty and frequent wildlife visits right from your cabin. Only 3 mi. from Estes Park, our quiet piece of paradise is set on 15 acres of pines & aspen next to RMNP. Full kitchen, living room, and fireplace in all cabins for evening relaxation. Private decks and gas grills. Some w/private hot tubs. Valhalla Resort Details
The first week of the park shutdown brought little financial impact, said town manager Frank Lancaster, probably because most tourists had already booked their Christmas stays and couldn't cancel. Along the town's main street Wednesday, tourists peered in candy store windows, shopped for T-shirts and rented snowshoes, and there was little sign the nearby park is largely inaccessible.
An excellent vacation destination for visitors who are ready to hit the slopes, winter enthusiasts flock to Telluride every year for its 1,700 skiable acres that cater to both experts and novices alike. Visitors flock to Town Park on the southeast edge of town for its abundance of activities available, such as swimming pools, tennis courts, fishing ponds and campgrounds that are popular for the city’s annual festivals and events. Bear Creek Falls and Bridal Veil Falls offer a variety of scenic hiking trails, while the Telluride Historical Museum and Historic Sheridan Opera House are two cultural attractions that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Other interesting summer activities include guided tours of Chimney Rock National Monument, hot air balloon adventures and paddling, tubing or rafting along the San Juan River. In winter you can go dog-sledding, cross-country skiing, snow tubing and more at the Wolf Creek Ski Area, enjoy some brewery-hopping or simply relax in the natural Pagosa Hot Springs. Things to Do in Pagosa Springs
Crested Butte is an amazing ski destination and the wildflower capital of Colorado, attracting outdoor enthusiasts all year round. Before you hit the slopes or the hiking trails, you can learn about the mining history of the town on a Crested Butte Historic District Walking Tour and meet some of the town’s talented artists on a tour of the Crested Butte Creative District.
“This isn’t a furlough for us,” Oropeza said. “There are definitely folks who, if this continues into next week, they’ll have to forfeit their commitment. Some are exploring applying for other jobs. They have student loans, they have car payments and other bills. …There are ripple effects this is having down the road. Our seasonal contracts, we have to have our contracts for summer seasonal work signed soon. All these things are getting backlogged.”
And when it’s time to book your weekend trip to Colorado, consider a vacation rental as your accommodation. Whether you prefer an urban loft, slopeside home, or mountain chalet, TripAdvisor offers a wide variety of different rentals across the state. You’ll be treated to homey amenities such as a full kitchen, laundry, and even perhaps a fireplace and Jacuzzi for those chilly Colorado nights!
The nearest airport is Denver International Airport and the closest train station is the Denver Union Station. Estes Park may be reached by rental car, shuttle or RTD bus. During peak tourist season, there is free shuttle service within the park and the town of Estes Park provides shuttle service to Estes Park Visitor Center, surrounding campgrounds, and the Rocky Mountain National Park's shuttles.
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.