The Experience: While news just broke that the old-timey train that travels along the mountainside through Pikes Peak will be closed for repairs for the rest of 2018, the nearby town of Manitou Springs should definitely stay on your bucket list. This resort town, located outside of Colorado Springs, is a true gem, complete with 1000-year-old Anasazi (the Ancestral Puebloans) cliff-dwelling ruins in the Mesa Verde National Park and a Victorian-era castle museum and tea room. Stay at the quaint Holden House bed and breakfast.
Now part of the Estes Park Condos family, Black Canyon Inn offers privately owned condos and a stunning log cabin — all located off of the beaten path but still within Estes Park. Max occupancy options range from two guests in the secluded Columbine Cabin all the way up to ten guests in other lodges. See all of them here and enjoy jaw-dropping photos and views before you arrive!
Spring Break is here and Rocky is getting visitors from all over the country. Maybe that's why these Sandhill Cranes decided to stop by out in Moraine Park! They are probably Grus canadensis tabida, or "Greater Sandhills," and part of the Rocky Mountain population. These birds winter in New Mexico and then move on up into NW Colo, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana (but not Nebraska). Good thing they had a nice protected place to stop and take a break! (The cranes at Kearney Nebraska are Grus canadensis canadensis - "Lesser Sandhills") kb/ks
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.
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.