Rocky Mountain National Park, established in 1915, is a living showcase of the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains. Located outside Estes Park, Colorado, Rocky Mountain is a great family vacation destination, offering outdoor experiences for all—from easy nature hikes around crystal clear mountain lakes to daring rock scrambles up waterfalls and mountains.
Outdoor adventurers, skiers, nature lovers and history buffs a return to Colorado year after year for memorable vacations surrounded by spectacular scenery. Colorado is famous for its first class ski resorts such as Aspen, Telluride and Crested Butte and elegant cities packed with cultural attractions, including Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs and Estes Park. You can get back to nature in the beautiful state parks where you can admire everything from towering sand dunes and waterfalls to gushing white water rapids and historic scenic railways. Here are the best places to visit in Colorado.
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.
Bear Lake is a high-elevation lake in a spruce and fir forest at the base of Hallett Peak and Flattop Mountain. Bierstadt Lake sits atop a lateral moraine named Bierstadt Moraine, and drains into Mill Creek. There are several trails that lead to Bierstadt Lake through groves of aspens and lodgepole pines. North of Bierstadt Moraine is Hollowell Park, a large and marshy meadow along Mill Creek. The Hollowell Park trail runs along Steep Mountain's south side. Ranches, lumber and sawmill enterprises operated in Hollowell Park into the early 1900s.
This southwestern mountain town is ideal for multi-sport adventurers who want to have access to activities on land and in the water. The Animas River snakes right through Durango and is famous for providing some of the best kayaking and rafting in the state. Head just uphill, and you can be surrounded by the soaring peaks of the Rockies, hiking in out-of-this-world alpine terrain, while the lowlands offer outstanding mountain biking on over 1,000 miles of trails in the Durango area alone. One of the must-dos, no matter when you’re here, is to hop aboard the historic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, a narrow gauge steam train built specifically built to handle the narrow mountain routes, chugging along at 18 miles per hour as it climbs the steep and magnificent mountain passes between Durango and Silverton. Much of its downtown area is a designated National Historic District and offers a number of interesting places to visit, like the San Juan County Historical Society, housed in the old county jail, as well as the Mayflower Gold Mill National Historic Site and the Old Hundred Gold Mine.
With a diverse landscape of desert, snow covered mountains and river canyons, Colorado is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. It is home to modern cities like Denver and Boulder, as well as numerous skiing and snowboarding destinations such as Vail and Aspen. A family-friendly destination, Colorado is an excellent year-round destination that has a variety of fun things to do and see, from hot springs and outdoor activities to world-class restaurants, museums and more. If you’re planning an upcoming trip to the Rocky Mountain state, these are 10 of the most popular Colorado vacation rental destinations that you need to check out.
Cheyenne Mountain Resort offers a honeymoon escape that includes breathtaking mountain views, outstanding dining and especially luxurious rooms. It has a good menu of special romance packages to choose from too, including having Champagne, locally-sourced gourmet cheeses and fresh fruit delivered to your room. You can look forward to indulging in a romantic dinner buffet for two, or even go all out by booking the boudoir portrait session, which includes complimentary Champagne. Activities abound too, with a 35-acre lake for water sports, five indoor and outdoor pools, a spa, 18-hole golf course, tennis courts and a fitness center.
The climate change study projects further temperature increases, with greater warming in the summer and higher extreme temperatures by 2050. Due to the increased temperature, there is a projected moderate increase in the rate of water evaporation. Reduced snowfall—perhaps 15% to 30% less than current amounts—and the elimination of surface hail, along with the higher likelihood of intense precipitation events are predicted by 2050. Droughts may be more likely due to increased temperatures, increased evaporation rates, and potential changes in precipitation.
Located just a few miles to the northwest of Denver, Boulder is a college town nestled against the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Boulder’s inhabitants are best known for their healthy lifestyles, and outdoor activities are plentiful in and around the city. Boulder Creek cuts straight through the town and is lined with walking and biking trails. The four-block pedestrian-friendly Pearl Street Mall features outdoor performers in all but the most inclement weather. A drive up Baseline Road on Flagstaff Mountains rewards visitors with spectacular views, and there are picnic areas and hiking trails to enjoy at the summit as well.
Brush up on your Lindy Hop and head to this one-of-a-kind ball that celebrates all things 1940s each June. A hangar at the Boulder Municipal Airport is transformed into a dance hall befitting the USO, with 1940s cars, celebrity impersonators, swing dance lessons, live music and an authentic-attire contest that’ll make you feel like an extra in “Casablanca.”
You’ll feel really spoiled (especially in Vail!) with complimentary WiFi, complimentary underground valet parking, free breakfast buffet included a surprisingly hefty selection of pastries, breads, fruits, meats, cheeses, cold cereals, and eggs, as well as juice, tea, and coffee. And the outdoor heated swimming pool is worth taking the plunge just for the view.
Be the first to stay in one our NEW Estes Park cottage cabins! This Estes park cabin rental is a one bedroom cabin with a queen bed in the bedroom and loft with one queen and two twin mattresses. Don’t worry about the linens, we’ve got that covered at our lovely new Estes park cabin. There is a bathroom with toilet and shower. Satellite TV/DVD player. Full kitchen with oven, fridge, microwave, coffee pot ,along with dishes, pots and pans. Also enjoy a pic a nic table, fire pit and grill just outside your front door.
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Southern ColoradoKnown as a heritage town with grand nineteenth-century architecture and brick streets that date to the early 1900s, Trinidad is set in a green valley halfway between Denver and Santa Fe. The town is surrounded by vast state and national recreation areas, including two state parks. Trinidad is the gateway to the Scenic Highway of Legends, where travelers find lakes and stunning dikes that radiate out from the ancient Spanish Peaks. Historic and prehistoric sites abound in every direction.
The Fall River Visitor Center just outside Rocky Mountain National Park is the only one open during the government shutdown. It's run by the Rocky Mountain Conservancy, a non-profit that supports the park. That, plus its location outside the park, and the fact that the Rocky Mountain Conservancy leases the private building are why this visitor center can stay open.
Many of Arkansas’s cabins are located near areas that are popular for outdoor fun, including float and fishing streams, lakes, hiking and biking trails, national forests and state parks. However, you’ll also find cabins just beyond the bustle of the city, where you’ll also be close to dining options and exciting things to do. Blue Heron Campground & Resort offers rustic cabins right on the bank of the White River in the North Central region of Arkansas, making it a premier trout fishing spot. Or stay in a luxurious log cabin nestled in the Ozarks at Lake Forest Cabins Resort in Eureka Springs.
Visitors come from far reaches to travel America’s highest continuous paved highway. Not for the queasy and open only between Memorial Day — pending the towering walls of winter snow have melted — and Labor Day, two-lane Trail Ridge Road takes explorers across the Continental Divide, past weathered tundra overlooking sweeping valleys and into the clouds at 12,183 feet. The ribbon of a road covers the 46-mile stretch between Estes Park on the park’s east side and the marine town of Grand Lake at the park’s western entrance. There Peak to Peak Highway is another byway near the park, starting in Estes and going through Nederland, Black Hawk and Central City.
Located south of the town of Avon, Beaver Creek is a family-friendly town that combines the convenience of a modern resort with the quaint charm of an alpine village. The long list of activities available here includes outdoor fun like fly fishing, hiking, wine tasting and panning for gold, in addition to mountain 4×4 tours, rafting, skiing and golf. The town also hosts fun activities like movie nights under the stars, kids activities and various group tours.
In Estes Park, nearly half of the accommodations are house rentals, which represent 43.29% of its available accommodations. Additionally, house rentals in Estes Park have an average cost of $453 per night as well as an average size of 2,030 ft². Moreover, these rentals are optimal if you're going in a group of 8, as that is the average number of vacationers house rentals can host in Estes Park. If you would like to rent something else, you can search many other offers, such as apartment rentals, which are another typical type of property in Estes Park. The average size of apartment rentals in Estes Park is 1,310 ft², and the average price is $331 per night.
Leave the fast lane, cross our covered bridge to simple serenity in a cozy cottage, suite or vacation home in towering pines along Fall River. Bask in hot tub bubbles. Warm to the scent and sizzle of a wood-burning fireplace. Fall asleep to the river's lullaby. Roam 30 acres adjoining RMNP. Enjoy the serendipity of wandering wildlife and friendly gatherings in our library. Castle Mountain Lodge on Fall River Details
Guests are treated to a delicious gourmet three-course breakfast every morning along with complimentary bedtime snacks. An intimate library and comfortable lobby offer the perfect place to curl up with a book, an experience that is even nicer when it’s done in front of a crackling fire. The adjacent Rocky Mountain National Park provides a variety of activities from hiking and mountain biking to mountain climbing, fishing, and wildlife watching.
Brian and I descended back to ~7,000 feet for dinner in a small-town Indian restaurant in Nederland, Colorado, west of Boulder. By then, both our heads ached like a bad hangover, and my lungs literally burned when I tried to inhale anything but shallow breaths. Add generalized joint pain, and I had a full-blown case of altitude sickness. Given that I am a noted hypochondriac, I expected the worst.
Breckenridge is one of the top names in Colorado getaways, but you have to see the quaint downtown surrounded by towering peaks to truly understand what makes this destination so great. Known for its premiere skiing and beautiful hiking—picture rocky trails and alpine lakes—it’s a Colorado weekend getaway that makes you want to get outside and explore. For those who are interested in cozying up while on vacation, a spa package or winery visit could do the trick.
Owners Wendye Sykes and Shelley Powers came to Estes Park from San Francisco looking for an escape from the grind of everyday city life — and that’s exactly what they’ve created at River Spruce. Offering nine different cabins, you’ll find lodgings suitable for couples and families all nestled amidst the scenic Rocky Mountain wilderness and along the Big Thompson River.
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.
Gem Lake is high among the rounded granite domes of Lumpy Ridge. Untouched by glaciation, this outcrop of 1.8 billion-year-old granite has been sculpted by wind and chemical erosion into a backbone-like ridge. Pillars, potholes, and balanced rocks are found around the midpoint of the trail, along with views of the Estes Valley and Continental Divide. Potts Puddle trail is accessible from the Black Canyon trail.
A small city that packs a lot of punch for its size, Vail is one of the most beloved ski destinations in the country, where its not uncommon to spot a celebrity or two. Nestled between the Gore Mountain Range and Sawatch Mountain Range, this narrow alley is home to the largest single-mountain resort in the United States. While most visitors come to Vail for its famous 5,289 acres of ski slopes, in the summer visitors can also explore the Eagles Nest Wilderness Area and Holy Cross Wilderness area to hike the area’s rugged mountainside trails.
Dinosaur National Monument, in northwest Colorado, combines dramatic scenery with natural and cultural history to create one of Colorado's most interesting sites. Dinosaur remains embedded in exposed rock walls reveal evidence of the giants that once roamed these areas. Petroglyphs offer insight into the cultures and people that lived here long ago, and surrounding it all are cliff walls and the Green and Yampa Rivers snaking through the otherwise dry landscape.
The Big Meadows area with its grasses and wildflowers can be reached via the Onahu, Tonahutu, or Green Mountain trail. Other scenic areas include Long Meadows and the Kawuneeche Valley (Coyote Valley) of the upper Colorado River which is a good place for birdwatching, as well as snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in winter. The valley trail loops through Kawuneeche Valley which contained as many as 39 mines, though less than 20 of those have archived records and archeological remains. LuLu City is the site of an abandoned silver mining town of the early 1880s located along the Colorado River Trail. According to a 1985 report prepared for the NRHP, there were only three cabin ruins remaining along with remnants of six other buildings.
In 1941, the area was officially named The Loveland Ski Tow Inc. By 1948, four ski tows were in use and they were logically named A, B, C,and D. The next decade would bring big changes to the area. In 1955, the business was sold to group of stockholders who employed Pete Seibert (10th Mountain Division Member) as the general manager. Seibert would later build the Vail Ski Area in the early 1960’s.
The Signature Jill's Restaurant has an outdoor terrace with mountain views and serves contemporary American & French cuisine with organic ingredients. The T-Zero Lounge serves signature martinis, cocktails and fine wine. Live entertainment is offered almost every night. If you are celebrating a special occasion, the private dining room can seat up to 25 guests. The terrace can be reserved for private parties in the summer. Room rates start at $249 per night. Things to Do in Boulder
Sonnenalp Hotel is often named as Vail’s top hotel, in a place that’s already home to countless exceptional properties. A Bavarian-style lodge, it offers Old World Alpine traditions merged with the spirit of the west. All rooms offer views of either Gore Creek or Vail Village and boast impressive amenities like goose down comforters and handmade furniture, a fireplace, marble bathrooms with heated floors and an oversize tub. The impressive breakfast buffet is a great way to fuel up for activities, which includes spa services, a private 18-hole golf course, hotel ski guides, and more.
The Royal Gorge Bridge & Park – Just a few minutes away from Echo Canyon River Expeditions office, you’ll find Colorado’s Natural Wonder – the Royal Gorge. In 1929, the Royal Gorge Bridge was built across the gorge and still stands as one of the world’s greatest engineering feats. Buy tickets online or as a rafting package to save a few dollars. The newly rebuilt attractions and visitor’s center enhance your experience of this amazing chasm and expansive view of the Wet Mountain range. There are also trails, located just before the gates of the park at the rest area, that allow visitors to walk or bike a few miles along the rim of the Gorge.
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.
Rocky Mountain National Park is home to herds of elk and bighorn sheep, but it also has a population of mountain lions and black bears. Although attacks are very rare, the National Park Service recommends visitors hike in groups since these animals are less likely to grow aggressive when faced with multiple people. Campers should also stow all food in food lockers if available or in airtight, bear-resistant containers. Ticks also pose a risk, and since these can be carriers for disease, it's important to do nightly tick checks after a day on the trails.
When it’s your turn for some pampering, escape to Smith Fork Ranch in Crawford within the secluded Gunnison National Forest, where romance and relaxation are as big of a priority as adventure. Indulge in sumptuous open-air massages, luxe cabins and candlelight dinners featuring farm-to-table cuisine from the ranch’s organic homestead. During adult weeks in September and October, activities range from archery to fly-fishing, if you’re not too busy taking it easy.
“If my internship changes and I’m not able to do what I expected to do, that’s not a huge deal in comparison to others’ problems. My concern is for the more established park rangers,” said Burkey, who hails from Ohio. “I don’t have a family and kids to provide for. My future coworkers, my supervisor, they do have a family, bills and a mortgage. And they’re the ones not getting paid.”
Solitude Cabins offers a rate to fit every budget and time of year, whether you want to get away in the winter for a snowy adventure, or your prefer to enjoy the colorful hiking trails of the summer. We do offer discounts and package specials, so please contact us well ahead of your trip to learn more. Our cabins comfortably house up to six guests.
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.
Split down the middle by the vast Rocky Mountains and jam-packed with national parks and wilderness areas, Colorado is an ideal travel destination for outdoor pursuits in every season. From skiing and whitewater rafting to hiking, biking and camping, outdoor activities are a way of life in the Centennial State. The state’s fun-loving culture attracts visitors looking for a laidback vacation too. After all, Colorado produces more beer than any other state and is one of only two states in the Union that has legalized marijuana for recreational use. Rich in historical and cultural attractions as well as in natural beauty, the best places to visit in Colorado have something special to offer every visitor.
Nestled along the Fall River, Murphy’s River Lodge is located only two blocks from the historic downtown area of Estes Park. Completely remodeled lodgings include 13 rooms, rooms with private decks, a second property Murphy’s Resort and six fully-furnished vacation home rentals in Estes Park. These single family home rentals include access to River Lodge or Resort amenities including the pools and hot tubs!
The suites have private balconies with a sunken living room. If you want to splurge, the most luxurious suite, the Centennial Suite, has a full kitchen, living area, dining area, private balcony, separate bedroom and an oversized Jacuzzi tub. Choose from five restaurants and lounges. The Swan offers fine dining in an elegant bistro setting, while the Garden Terrace is more casual. The Pub is the place to go to watch televised sporting events and the Golf Grille is conveniently located at the golf course. Take the complimentary shuttle to the Park Meadows Retail Resort for a day of shopping, or drive to Downtown Denver, 20 minutes away. Fly to Denver International Airport which a 30-minute drive away. Weekday rates start at $99 per night.
ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productPass By: Fall River Visitor Center, Rocky Mountain National Park, ColoradoEnter into Rocky Mountain National Park for the day of adventureStop At: Alluvial Fan, Rocky Mountain National Park, ColoradoWalk down the trail and take in the fresh air withness the power of destruction along your walk to a waterfall and alluvial fan. See boulders the size of cars deposited onto the valley floorDuration: 35 minutesStop At: Horseshoe Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, ColoradoEnjoy a picnic lunch nestled into a picturesque mountain valley next to a streamDuration: 40 minutesStop At: Trail Ridge Road, Rocky Mountain National Park, ColoradoTravel 11 miles into the Alpine along this scenic drive on the highest paved road in North America stopping to take photos and walk down the overlooks and enjoy the majestic views and wildlife sightings.Duration: 2 hoursStop At: Alpine Visitor Center, Rocky Mountain National Park, ColoradoVisit the Ranger Station and Gift shop or enjoy a walk up to the highest point on Trail Ridge Road taking in the 360 degree breathtaking mountain viewsDuration: 40 minutesStop At: Many Parks Curve Overlook, Rocky Mountain National Park, ColoradoSee the many sides of the park on this short walk with views of Long's Peak and the mountain valleysDuration: 20 minutesPass By: Beaver Meadows Visitor Center, Rocky Mountain National Park, ColoradoExit the park through Beaver Meadows looking for wildlife along the way.Stop At: Downtown Estes Park, Estes Park, ColoradoStroll down Elkhorn Avenue grab a drink or ice-cream and pop into the local shops or visit the historic Stanley Hotel while in this quaint mountain town.Duration: 45 minutes