Join us on a magnificent day tour of the Rocky Mountain National Park from Denver. See the continental divide, the most prominent hydrological division and the world’s largest mountain barrier. On this day trip from Denver, we will take you to the “top of the world” in the park, filled with spectacular vistas. Experience the great outdoors and nature by walking along beautiful trails and watching the wildlife in its natural habitat. The Rocky Mountain National Park is considered to be one of the most majestic and breathtaking sights to behold in our country. On this Sightseeing tour, you be witness to once in a lifetime wildlife sightings, soaring mountain peaks, and come to understand the true meaning of “Purple Mountain Majesties”. Winter (November - May): In this mountain tour, we will explore the quaint and peaceful Bear Lake. Stop at Estes Park (lunch stop), Gateway visitor center, Moraine Park, Stanley Hotel (photo opportunity) and moreSummer (June - October): we will explore Trail Ridge Road, stop at the Alpine Visitors Center, which features extraordinary views of alpine tundra and full river cirque. Stop at Estes Park, Many Parks curve, Rainbow curve, Stanley Hotel (photo opportunity) and more. You’ll also have the chance to take in some local history about our beautiful state, and grab a snack and souvenir. This park is full of more wildlife and breathtaking views than most people see in an entire lifetime. Note: tour may be modified due to the weather and road closures.
Luxurious guest rooms feature king or queen sized beds dressed in plush linens, private bathrooms with showers and baths, working fireplaces and flat-screen televisions with cable TV, and special touches such as deluxe bath and spa amenities and Godiva bedside chocolates. Some rooms enjoy signature private whirlpool tubs for two and secluded balconies with stunning mountain views. A hearty breakfast is served each morning, and complimentary beverages, afternoon tea, and an assortment of homemade treats, sweets, and cakes are available throughout the day.
The city of Vail was built to accommodate the Vail Ski Resort, which is the largest single-mountain ski resort in the country. With 193 marked skiing trails, Vail is one of the nation’s most popular ski resorts as well. The Tyrolean-style village is nearly as well visited during the summer. Nearby streams and lakes stocked with fish make Vail an angler’s dream, and opportunities for river rafting abound. Horseback riding, mountain biking, golf and hiking are other popular warm-weather activities.
The Gant is one of the best romantic getaways for couples who like the flexibility of staying in a luxury condominium hotel located at the base of Aspen Mountain. The resort has two heated outdoor swimming pools, three hot tubs, five tennis courts, barbecue grills and laundry facilities. Summer activities in Aspen include whitewater rafting, fly fishing, golf, horseback riding, jeep tours, hot air balloon rides, parasailing and mountain biking. In the winter, plan a ski trip, snowboarding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, sleigh rides, snowcat powder tours and ice skating.
There are several Front Range towns that have fun winter attractions that are worth experiencing. Next time you’re passing through Idaho Springs, relax at Indian Hot Springs or go snowshoeing in the Arapaho National Forest. Georgetown hosts ice races on its frozen lake. While in Evergreen, make use of the giant frozen lake by ice skating or fishing.
The best part of a staycation is you can completely tailor it to your needs. Whether you’re looking to stay in and relax or seize the night life, experiencing your city free from the distractions of home is priceless. Hotel Tonight caters to late bookers looking for the best deals and Airbnb is a great option if you’re looking for more space. Don’t forget to switch your phone to airplane mode. You’re on vacation after all!
Below 9,400 feet (2,865 m), temperatures are often moderate, although nighttime temperatures are cool, as is typical of mountain weather. 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. 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. Lower elevations receive rain as most of their summer precipitation.
Non-flowering lichens cling to rocks and soil. Their enclosed algal cells can photosynthesize at any temperature above 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 °C), and the outer fungal layers can absorb more than their own weight in water. Adaptations for survival amidst drying winds and cold temperatures may make tundra vegetation seem very hardy, but in some respects it remains very fragile. Footsteps can destroy tundra plants and it may take hundreds of years to recover. Mammals that live on the alpine tundra, or visit during the summer season, include bighorn sheep, elk, badgers, pikas, yellow-bellied marmots, and snowshoe hares. Birds include prairie falcons, white-tailed ptarmigans, and common ravens. Flowering plants include mertensia, sky pilot, alpine sunflowers, alpine dwarf columbine, and alpine forget-me-not. Grasses include kobresia, spike trisetum, spreading wheatgrass, and tufted hairgrass.
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.
A sanctuary just for mature audiences all year long, Stonebrook Resort on Fall River offers plenty of peaceful settings, from secluded outdoor hot tubs overlooking the river to private hiking trails that lead to Rocky Mountain National Park, just 2 miles away. Downtown Estes Park, with snug restaurants, breweries and wineries well-suited for a couples’ night out, is just 2 miles the other way.
Loveland continued its expansions during the 1990’s. In 1990, Yan was contracted to install Loveland’s first fixed-grip quad. The lift serves intermediate and expert bowl terrain to the right of Chair 4. Due to increased skier numbers, in 1995, Loveland decided to enlarge the Basin lodge to its current size. This drastically increased the number of people the building could accommodate. The following year, chair 3 was replaced by a Poma quad chair, doubling the lift capacity at the Valley.
Most visitors enter the park through the eastern entrances near Estes Park, which is about 71 miles (114 km) northwest of Denver. The most direct route to Trail Ridge Road is the Beaver Meadows entrance, located just west of Estes Park on U.S. Route 36, which leads to the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center and the park's headquarters. North of the Beaver Meadows entrance station is the Fall River entrance, which also leads to Trail Ridge Road and Old Fall River Road. There are three routes into Estes Park: I-25 to U.S. 34 west which runs alongside the Big Thompson River; U.S. 36 west (northwest) from Boulder connecting to U.S. 34 west; and the Peak to Peak Highway, also known as State Highway 7, from points south.
Baker Pass crosses the Continental Divide through the Never Summer Mountains and into the Michigan River drainage to the west of Mount Nimbus—a drainage that feeds streams and rivers that drain into the Gulf of Mexico. Other mountain passes are La Poudre Pass and Thunder Pass, which was once used by stage coaches and is a route to Michigan Lakes. Little Yellowstone has geological features similar to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. The Green Mountain trail once was a wagon road used to haul hay from Big Meadows. Flattop Mountain, which can be accessed from the eastern and western sides of the park, is near Green Mountain. Shadow Mountain Lookout—a wildfire observation tower—is on the National Register of Historic Places. Paradise Park Natural Area is an essentially hidden and protected wild area with no maintained trails penetrating it.
Colorado is the perfect destination for an extra-special weekend getaway, especially since it’s home to numerous exciting cities and nature spots. Admire panoramic views of the sweeping, majestic Rocky Mountains, and plan an afternoon hike and picnic. Book a stay at a gorgeous Colorado vacation rental near a historic national park to conveniently enjoy the great outdoors. Here are eight of the most romantic weekend getaway locations in Colorado.
The Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra, the High Desert Opera, the Mesa State College Theatre and the Avalon Theatre provide a great selection of entertainment. Nature lovers can explore the diverse landscape along many miles of hiking and biking trails, try an off-road adventure, climb the marvelous red rock formations, or take to the rivers for some rafting, kayaking and paddling. Leave plenty of time to taste your way around the 22 wineries and tasting rooms. Things to Do in Grand Junction
The Leland House and Rochester Hotel are family-owned historic hotels with an authentic Western theme. The 14 rooms at the Rochester Hotel are themed after Westerns that were filmed in the Durango area. Each of the 12 accommodations in the Leland House is named after a historic Durangoan and is decorated with that person’s memorabilia, biographies and photos. All rooms have Wi-Fi, cable, Aveda products, complimentary gourmet breakfast and free Cruiser bike rentals. Grab a drink at the Rochester Bar which serves the hotel’s signature Rochester wine.
Nestled just one mile from the south entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park and two miles from downtown Estes Park, Rockmount Cottages is a 20 cabin resort covering 15 acres of wilderness. On the grounds, you’ll have access to a half mile of the Big Thompson River available for fishing and riverside picnics. To fit the lodge lifestyle, each cabin is constructed of knotty pine and most include cozy, stone fireplaces as well as furnished kitchens, a 40-inch flatscreen and DirecTV, wireless internet, and outdoor charcoal grills and picnic areas.
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. Well-appointed guest rooms are decorated with country mountain flair. You’ll find niceties such as handmade quilts and calico dust ruffles, and rooms also feature en-suite bathrooms and spectacular views.
Located only a 30-minute drive from Denver, Boulder holds its own with its abundance of lush parks and beautiful landscapes. A city with a hippie-like vibe, visitors who explore this area will be delighted to discover an array of shops, breweries and cafes. In addition to its thriving arts and cultural attractions, visitors can lace up their boots and head to the trails at Boulder Creek Path, Eldorado Canyon State Park and the Flatirons. Home of the University of Colorado, plenty of restaurants and drinking establishments are available to choose from, while visitors who are looking for a place to relax can also have a spot of tea at the Celestial Seasonings Tea Factory.
Settle into a cozy log cabin on Chicago Creek in Idaho Springs. An iconic historical marker, a water wheel that powered a stamp mill, is visible from US 6 and US 40. Idaho Springs abounds with places to hike, ride, view wildlife, or do some birding. In the winter, take some easy ski runs at the Echo Mountain Resort. Drive up the 14-mile-long Mount Evans road, the highest paved road in America, and enjoy the surrounding landscapes from 14,200 feet above sea level. When it’s time to relax, head over to the geothermal springs and caves at Indian Springs Resort.
You won’t believe the powdery slopes, 14,000-foot peaks, and stunning scenery of Telluride until you see the town for yourself. This Colorado destination screams weekend getaway—there are dozens of hikes and even more things to do. For example, you could give paragliding a chance, or bring the whole group along for a food tour featuring Telluride’s best bites.
The Stanley Hotel is a luxurious hotel in the heart of Estes Park in Colorado that combines a particular style and sophistication with rich colonial charm. Featuring deluxe resort lodging, an exclusive day spa and wellness center, and an array of adventures and activities for the whole family, this hotel is the ideal place for a year-round mountain vacation. Guests can choose from deluxe rooms and suites at the main hotel or accommodations next door at the newly remodeled 40-room boutique hotel called The Lodge.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison is a fabulous, rugged looking canyon, and it's remote enough that it has the feeling of being undiscovered. Steep cliff walls rise up from the Gunnison River, creating a narrow and dramatic canyon. The depth of the canyon is around 2,000 feet, with Gunnison Point and Chasm View at just over 1,800 feet and Warner Point at 2,722 feet.
Known as a world-class ski destination, Aspen is beautiful year around and offers activities and attractions for all ages. Skiers can challenge their skills on the magnificent steeps, slopes and glades of Aspen Mountain or Ajax, on rugged Aspen Highlands or enormous Snowmass. Take a 14 minute ride with the Silver Queen Gondola to the top of Ajax Mountain for the spectacular views of the mountain peaks, the city below and tall evergreens all around you. There are bluegrass concerts on Sundays.
Colorado's biggest city is also its cultural hub. While you can go just about anywhere in Colorado to find outdoor adventures galore, in Denver you get the best of both worlds. The city is filled with top-notch museums, lively sports venues, prime shopping streets and an unmatched brewery scene. Meanwhile, just outside city limits, travelers have easy access to the Rockies as well as the photogenic Mount Evans Scenic Byway. Read More »
With many peaks and granite rock formations, there are lots of rock climbing opportunities. Some favorite climbs include the aptly-named Lumpy Ridge and Longs Peak. Whether you prefer bouldering, mountaineering, rock climbing, or ice climbing, the park has something for climbers of all levels. In the winter, opportunities for snowshoeing, skiing, and sledding draw all levels of explorers. If you're in the western part of the park, visit Grand Lake. This breathtaking lake is the state's largest natural body of water, promising scenic views and plenty of outdoor fun.
Rooms enjoy large beds, plush décor, kitchenettes with microwaves and fridges, and cable TV and free wireless Internet, and guests have access to a year-round indoor heated swimming pool and an outdoor hot tub. Sip complimentary morning coffee accompanied by muffins in front a crackling fire in the inviting lobby before heading out to enjoy some of the many outdoor activities in the area.
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.
That was not my intention. We planned a trip from Florida to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado for one of my freelance writing projects, and originally scheduled a day in Denver (at 5,280 feet in elevation) to acclimate. Frontier Airlines had a different idea. I heard alternatively that our plane had a mechanical issue, that weather in the Midwest grounded the flight, and that the crew went on strike. Regardless, the airline cancelled our original flight.
Popular during both the winter and the summer, Crested Butte offers year-round activities that appeal to outdoor enthusiasts. Soak in the crisp mountain air after taking the Silver Queen lift up to 11,875 feet up to see Crested Butte from above, visit the pedestrian-friendly city center with its myriad of locally owned shops, or choose your pick between summer and fall mountain biking and the area’s numerous trails. Those with little ones can head to the Trailhead Children’s Museum, Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum or find swimming and hiking at Meridian Lake in the summer.