Basking in your newlywed glow, discover a luxurious ski in/ski out mountain retreat with resort amenities, tucked away on a quiet mountainside in exclusive Bachelor Gulch. Beautiful woodwork gives this residence an elegant alpine lodge ambiance. Design features include stately vaulted ceilings, natural log walls, hardwood floors, and a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace. Relax on the leather sofas around the fireplace, and even cook an intimate meal in the impressive chef’s kitchen, which features granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and a spacious island. Enjoy the rustic charm of the Colorado mountains in every hand-selected detail from the light fixtures to its eight cowhide chairs. Located between Beaver Creek and Arrowhead, honeymooners can take advantage of Bachelor Gulch’s natural beauty, fine dining, arts, and culture. And while you’re here, enjoy complimentary access to the coveted Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch guest amenities. These include a 21,000-square-foot spa, hot and cold plunge pools, and co-ed grottos with steam rooms and saunas, perfect for unwinding after your once-in-a-lifetime wedding celebration.
The Cliff House at Pikes Peak is surprisingly affordable, with additional add-ons that can add a lot to your escape without breaking the bank. Add some chocolate-covered strawberries, crème brulee or an artisan cheese plate to your room for just a few dollars more. Or you can spring for a bottle or two of sparkling wine or Vista Point Chardonnay. Once you arrive, however, you’ll be blown away at the beautiful accommodations in this elegant late 1800s-style hotel with amazing mountain views, two-person spa tubs and much more. Stay at the hotel for some fine dining, venture into Manitou Springs to take in the beautiful sights or head to nearby Cripple Creek for some casino gambling.
Hands down, Crested Butte is my favorite summer destination in Colorado. In addition to world-famous mountain biking and hiking (the views from Snodgrass Mountain are second-to-none), don’t miss the four-week long Crested Butte Music Festival (with the free Divine Family Young People’s Concert July 13, 20 and Aug. 3) and the Wildflower Festival (July 8-14, 2013) where you’ll swear you climbed onto a Monet canvas of mad, extravagant colors. Last winter, CBMR purchased the Coke Zero Gravity BagJump; a 50 feet by 50 feet bag of air for guests to tube and ski and ride into. Come summer, the resort will be setting up two levels of scaffolding at 10 feet and 20 feet for kids and adults alike to jump into the cloud-like bag of air. The resort will also be building a dirt jump for biking enthusiasts to practice their jumping skills with their bicycles for an added adrenaline rush, as if the 25 miles of trails in the Evolution Bike Park isn’t enough. For younger kids, check-out the Trailhead Children’s Museum and big kids (must weigh at least 70 pounds) can try the Crested Butte Zipline Tour, which includes five zip lines ranging in length from 120 – 400 feet connected by features or “events” such as suspended wood bridges and towering platforms. P.S. A few years ago, my kids did Kids Nature Camp at world-renown Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in nearby Gothic, Colo. and still rave about it.
Since it’s just the two of you, a tiny house would be a great choice for the most romantic vacation. The small house known as “Dreamy Romance Parisian Honeymoon Cottage” in Colorado is the perfect option for lovebirds. In addition to the comfortable bed and beautiful decor, there is a small, beautiful, private garden where you can have a glass of wine with your partner and watch the changing colors of the gorgeous sunset.
The Trail Ridge Road, which itself reaches an altitude of more than 12,000 feet, is the main driving route through the park and offers easy access to this incredible terrain. You can sightsee from the comfort of your car or stop off along the way for a hike or easy walk. The park has an extensive system of hiking trails that range from paths of less than a half-mile to full-day and multi-day hikes. If you're lucky, you may see elk, bighorn sheep, deer, and other critters.
Zach Zehr, an avid backcountry adventurer, spends a lot of time in Rocky Mountain National Park, which is open but operating with a limited staff since Dec. 22, 2018, due to the federal government shutdown. Because of the shutdown, the roads aren’t being plowed so much of the park is not open to vehicle traffic. Fat bikes, however, work just fine. Zehr, who is also the manager at the Estes Park Mountain Shop, and some friends rode their fat bikes to the Bear Lake Trailhead and did a backcountry ski trip in the park on Jan. 6, 2019. (Provided by Zach Zehr)
Rooms are beautifully decorated with plush furnishings and luxurious fabrics and boast private en-suite bathrooms and modern amenities, including air-conditioning, coffeemakers, and free high-speed wireless Internet access. Flat screen televisions and cable TV provides ample entertainment and a delicious home cooked breakfast is served each morning. The inn is within close proximity to several popular Golden attractions, including the world-famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre and Golden Gate State National Park.
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. 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.
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.
The complex interactions of elevation, slope, exposure and regional-scale air masses determine the climate within the park, which is noted for its extreme weather patterns. A "collision of air masses" from several directions produces some of the key weather events in the region. When cold arctic air from the north meets warm moist air from the Gulf of Mexico at the Front Range, "intense, very wet snowfalls with total snow depth measured in the feet" accumulate in the park.
Tucked deep in the San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado, this carefully restored 19th-century ghost town and natural spa is surprisingly well appointed. The rugged, old-timey building exteriors hide high-end features such as cathedral ceilings, air conditioning, and gas fireplaces. Dolores has four parks and a peaceful bike trail that takes peddlers along the tumultuous Dolores River. You can enjoy hands-on exhibits and a nature hike at the Anasazi Heritage Center, or explore an exact replica of the original narrow-gauge rail car, the Galloping Goose. Share a romantic meal with tasty cocktails at Sophia’s Bistro.
Manor Vail Lodge - ideal for both winter and summer romantic getaways in Vail. The spacious condo-style studio & 1 bedroom suites are roomy (700+ sq ft) and have private balconies with creek or Mountain views, cozy fireplace, full kitchens and Queen or King beds. Outside are 2 pools, hot tubs, fitness and spa facilities, local free shuttle (short walk) and Golden Peak Chair 6 & Gondola 1 (5 minute walk away). 2017 ERV Rating* for Couples - Romantic Lodging in Vail, CO: 91% - Excellent. (595 E. Vail Valley Dr, Vail, CO 800-950-8245)
Only a few miles from downtown Denver, Littleton is a historic suburb of Denver with its own charm and history. Its turn-of-the-century houses are witnesses of the rich history while cozy restaurants and bars are inviting and popular. The Main Street has a lineup of independently owned galleries and shops. The Littleton Museum tells the story of the town’s past with its 19th century farm. Town Hall Arts Center presents community-run theater and music events. Littleton has more than 59 parks and two light rail stations with access to Downtown Denver. For outdoor enthusiasts, the Rockies are only half hour away. South Platte Park and Carson Nature Center offer hiking trails and fishing lakes. Pirates Cove Water Park has lap pools, a 35-foot slide, and a tubing river.
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.
Beaver Mountain Loop, also used by horseback riders, passes through forests and meadows, crosses Beaver Brook and several aspen-filled drainages, and has a great view of Longs Peak. Deer Mountain Trail gives a 360 degree view of eastern part of the park. The summit plateau of Deer Mountain offers expansive views of the Continental Divide. During the winter, the lower trail generally has little snow, though packed and drifted snow are to be expected on the switchbacks. Snow cover on the summit may be three to five feet deep, requiring the use of snowshoes or skis.
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.
Northern New MexicoRed River, New Mexico! A place where fresh powder winters meet refreshing summer days. Red River offers something for everyone with its convenient scenic location in the heart of Northern New Mexico’s Enchanted Circle. Red River is the place that awakens us each day by the soothing sound of a rushing river and then again each evening as the sun sets over main street. The mountain town of Red River is New Mexico True.
The Experience: If Aspen isn't quite your mountain town scene, head to Vail instead. It's equally as idyllic (it was modeled after European mountain resorts), pedestrian-friendly, and lovely, but the town itself is more of a square in a village with a small collection of boutiques and restaurants for visitors. Ride up and down the gondolas for mountain views in every direction and ski the unique back bowls. It's also closer to Denver, making it easier to get to and, therefore, a little more crowded during peak seasons.
Depending on when you choose to stay in an Estes Park vacation rental, you may be able to catch family-friendly events like the annual Teddy Bear Picnic or Longs Peak Scottish-Irish Highland Festival. If you aren't able to make it to those events, don't worry: you can always pick up some local history at the Lula W. Dorsey Museum or Stanley Steam Car Museum. Visit the local shops and galleries like the Wild Spirits Gallery or Alpenglow Images & Accents to see some local photography, woodworking, jewelry, and other crafts or pick up a souvenir or two for friends and family back home.
Rocky Mountain National Park encompasses 265,461 acres (414.78 sq mi; 1,074.28 km2) of federal land, with an additional 253,059 acres (395.40 sq mi; 1,024.09 km2) of U.S. Forest Service wilderness adjoining the park boundaries. The Continental Divide runs generally north–south through the center of the park, with rivers and streams on the western side of the divide flowing toward the Pacific Ocean while those on the eastern side flow toward the Atlantic.
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.
^ Montana State University states in their profile of Rocky Mountain National Park that there has been an increase of 2.5 °F (1.4 °C) in the average park temperature over "the past century" (charts show the period from about 1895-2010). The National Park Service site states that the increase has been 3.4 °F (1.9 °C) over "the last century" (chart shows the period from about 1905-2010).
My mind calm, the knitting absorbed any excess energy and left my senses free to absorb the stunning surroundings. Feeling no need to move, I watched the silhouettes of fish moving upstream, hummingbirds zip over my head, and a northern harrier cruise over the grassland, looking for prey. Months later, I can imagine every detail of that spot on the bank anytime I close my eyes.
While January isn’t typically busy, Murdock said that in December 2017, the park had 112,000 visitors. Visitors have shown up every day since the shutdown began, even though recent snowstorms and unplowed roads have made the park essentially off limits to vehicles. Anyone can still walk in, though, and Murdock has seen proof that that’s happening.
When taking in the amazing views at Rocky Mountain National Park, don’t forget to look down! Summer is a great time to see wildflowers at the park, which is home to hundreds of different flower species. Wander through colorful mountain meadows and alpine wildflower hotspots like this beautiful rainbow bouquet at Upper Ouzel Creek. Crystal Brindle, National Park Service
With over 1,800 acres of skiable terrain in Beaver Creek, it’s no wonder this resort town is a top choice for a weekend trip in Colorado. Beaver Creek is home to the Birds of Prey downhill course, too—a difficult run that’s often included in World Cup races in early December. Not up to the challenge? No worries. There’s plenty more to do like catching a show at the Vilar Performing Arts Center or hanging out at the Beaver Creek Resort. Swing by in the afternoon for a taste of their fresh-baked (and free) chocolate chip cookies.