Alternatively, you can just stay at the Inn and enjoy the comfort and luxury of this lovely historic Victorian house with exquisitely appointed rooms and modern amenities. Enjoy a gourmet breakfast and lavish afternoon tea, sit in the beautiful garden with a book, or go explore lively Breckenridge with charming bars, restaurants, shops, and galleries.
Most visitors to the park drive over the famous Trail Ridge Road, but other roads include Fall River Road and Bear Lake Road. The park is open every day of the year, weather permitting. Due to the extended winter season in higher elevations, Trail Ridge Road between Many Parks Curve and the Colorado River Trailhead is closed much of the year. The road is usually open again by Memorial Day and closes in mid-October, generally after Columbus Day. Fall River Road does not open until about July 4 and closes by, or in, October for vehicular traffic. Snow may also fall in sufficient quantities in higher elevations to require temporary closure of the roads into July, which is reported on the road status site.
Rocky Mountain National Park’s 415 square miles encompass and protect spectacular mountain environments. Enjoy Trail Ridge Road – which crests at over 12,000 feet including many overlooks to experience the subalpine and alpine worlds – along with over 300 miles of hiking trails, wildflowers, wildlife, starry nights, and fun times. In a world of superlatives, Rocky is on top!
Castle Mountain Lodge got its start in the late 1950s and became the first new cottage to be built and rented annually. Soon after the first building was built, five more cottages were constructed. Today, the dog-friendly lodgings feature one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom options and include access to the public hot tub, rooms with private, indoor hot tubs and rooms with private, outdoor hot tubs. Get all the details and make your reservation online here.
In the shadow of Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, the quirky town of Hooper sits atop a natural artesian hot spring, with water flowing year-round into the family-friendly Sand Dunes Pool. On the same property, The Greenhouse is an all-indoor, all-adult oasis with three small soaking tubs and a 10-by-75-foot zero-entry pool. The Greenhouse also has a 10-person sauna, indoor gardens and an onsite bar to help you stay even toastier.
Take advantage of The Mining Exchange MX Spa Couples Retreat massage, perfect for newly married couples celebrating wedded bliss, long-time couples enjoying their anniversary, or simply a needed romantic Colorado Springs getaway. This massage also offers special add-on features including a soak in one of their Kohler VibrAcoustic Bubble Massage Chromotherapy Tubs, chocolate covered strawberries and champagne.
One of the country’s most beautiful natural area’s to explore in the United States, the Rocky Mountain National Park is an ideal vacation destination for those who crave outdoor adventures and awe-inspiring vistas of mountains, lakes and valleys. With 355 miles of hiking trails, ranging from flat lakeside strolls to steep mountain climbs, there are corners of this park that appeal to everyone. Take a scenic drive and spot diverse wildlife, such as Elk, Mule Deer and Bighorn Sheep, or go hunting for one of the 30 postcard-worthy waterfalls views. While there is no lodge inside the park, visitors can find campgrounds to pitch a tent and spend a night under the stars.
Located in in southwestern Colorado, Mesa Verde is home to the famous cliff dwellings of the ancient Anasazi people. It is one of the most significant archeological preserve of Native American culture in the US. In the 12th century, the Anasazi start building houses in shallow caves and under rock overhangs along the canyon walls. The most famous of these is Cliff Palace. The Ancient Puebloans constructed it from sandstone bricks, and mortar made from ash, clay and water. It encompassed 150 rooms and 76 open areas. Climatic change and increased population placed the communities under stress and by the late 1270s, the Ancestral Puebloan population began migrating to what is now New Mexico and Arizona.
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.
Diana Rowe is a freelance writer living in suburbia Denver, 20 minutes from downtown and under an hour to the Colorado Rockies. Finding the perfect hotel, whether for leisure or business travel, is an important part of Diana’s travels. Her articles have been featured in Global Traveler Magazine, Business Traveler, Away.com, TripAdvisor.com, Latitudes (American Eagle in-flight), American Cowboy, Persimmon Hill Magazine, Prevue Magazine, and Corporate & Incentive Travel Magazine. She’s also a blogger/writer for TravelingMom.com, TravelShark.com and Cvent.com. Catch up with Diana at www.dianarowe.com or follow her adventures at www.TravelingInHeels.com, Facebook fan page or Twitter @dianarowe
The Western Slope has plenty of charms, including being a dinosaur mecca with plenty of hands-on science, and is the heart of Colorado’s agricultural region. At the Museum of Western Colorado’s Dinosaur Journey, visitors can get up close and personal with dinosaur skeletons, a working paleontology lab and realistic robotic dinosaurs. Dedicated to “putting science in the hands of kids,” the Western Colorado Math and Science Center features interactive exhibits in biology, physics, earth and space science, and electronics. From June through October, orchards are laden with some of the sweetest harvests around: cherries, grapes, apples, plums, pears, apricots and peaches. Take an orchard tour or check out the myriad of roadside stands selling fresh produce, jams and ciders. For great biking or strolling, the Colorado Riverfront Trail winds for more than 18 miles through the city of Grand Junction’s picnic grounds, botanical garden, protected wetlands and fishing pier. Buy one/get one free passes are available for six major attractions from the Grand Junction Visitors Center. This “Map to Adventure” includes Dinosaur Journey, Museum of the West, Cross Orchards, the John McConnell Math & Science Center, The Art Center and the Western Colorado Botanical Gardens.
Victorian elegance sets the standard for southwestern hospitality at the General Palmer Hotel, located in the heart of Durango, Colorado. Opened in 1898, it was named for one of this town’s founding fathers and remains as the only historical Four Diamond in southwestern Colorado. In the heart of downtown Durango, you can park your car and enjoy easy walking distance to art galleries, specialty stops, and a variety of restaurants.
If you needed a reason to visit Keystone this summer, here are several: Cupcakes and Canvases, Bike-In Movies, Kidtopia Kids Theatre, festivals such as Snake River Festival and Cirque D’Wheels, Model Boat Regata. If those don’t keep you busy, try Adventure Point Summer SNOW Tubing Hill, Kidtopia Play Park, Lakeside SUP, paddle boating, kayaking, GPS Geo-Cache Adventure, Keystone Science School Day Camps, miniature golf and dinner wagon rides. There are plenty of freebies, too, including a free scenic ride for kids 12 and under and if you’re staying at the resort, the Kidtopia Children’s Theatre in the Quaking Aspen Amphitheatre is free on Fridays.
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.
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.
Summer nights are long in Colorado, and after dinner Brian and I still had time for a shoreline walk around the Barker Reservoir, rimmed by mountains and fed by a cool and clear river. I took photos of the baby Canada Geese near shore, a speck of black in the middle of the water that turned out to be a cormorant, a hummingbird settled against a tree branch, while Brian cast a line. But I really didn’t want to move.
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Region 4 is the heart of the park with easy road and trail access, great views, and lake hikes including the most popular trails. Flattop Mountain is a tundra hike and the easiest hike to the Continental Divide in the park. Crossing over Flattop Mountain, the hike to Hallett Peak passes through three climate zones, traversing the ridge that supports Tyndall Glacier and finally ascending to the summit of Hallett Peak.
At one time, Niwot was an important hunting and fishing area for American Indians. A railroad extension followed the arrival of Gold Rush miners, and many of the original buildings are part of Old Town in the National Historic District. Located 9 miles from Niwot, the Boulder Reservoir is a popular spot for swimming, boating, and fishing, and there are extensive trails to hike or bike throughout the area. Book your stay at the tranquil Niwot Inn and Spa, or choose a rural escape, like a fully restored 1890s farmhouse where a creekside bike path connects you to the cottonwood-shaded Pearl Street in Boulder. Enjoy a romantic evening at Colterra Food & Wine or the popular Sugarbeet in nearby Longmont.
Snow-fed rivers tumble over granite boulders in the Rocky Mountains, creating an ideal environment for fly-fishing and whitewater rafting. The state's most famous river -- the Colorado -- flows from headwaters in Rocky Mountain National Park, with alternating stretches of heart-pounding hydraulics and quiet areas where you can wade out and cast your fly. Stay at a Bureau of Land Management campground along the shore, or at private riverside cabins such as those found at Colorado Cabin Adventures 3 miles from Grand Lake. For a more remote experience, stay at Cottonwood Cove, tucked along the banks of the Rio Grande just downstream from the picturesque mining town of Creede.
From 9,000 ft (2,700 m) to 11,000 ft (3,400 m), the montane forests give way to subalpine forests. Forests of fir and Engelmann spruce cover the mountainsides in subalpine areas. Trees grow straight and tall in the lower subalpine forests, but become shorter and more deformed the nearer they are to the tree line. At the tree line, seedlings may germinate on the lee side of rocks and grow only as high as the rock provides wind protection, with any further growth being more horizontal than vertical. The low growth of dense trees is called krummholz, which may become well-established and live for several hundred to a thousand years old.
Keystone is the ultimate year-round outdoor playground. Families will discover a wealth of things to do to keep the kids, and themselves happy, with everything from a Kidtopia Play Park, Keystone Science School Day Camps and the summer snow tubing hill to stand up paddle boarding and boating on the lake, miniature golf, GPS Geo-Cache Adventures and dinner wagon rides. Then there are the festivals, like the Model Boat Regata, the Snake River Festival, and Cirque D’Wheels. If you stay at Keystone Resort, the Kidtopia Children’s Theatre hosted in the Quaking Aspen Amphitheatre is free every Friday.
Loveland is called so for a reason. Romantic getaways in Colorado are blessed with vast views of Big Thompson Canyon and its inhabitants – sheep, deer, and the odd eagle. Don't miss out on Loveland Brewery, which is a bastion of Colorado's brew culture. Meanwhile, Telluride is overlooked by sky piercing peaks and retains a sense of seclusion from the outside world, making it ideal for weekend getaways in Colorado for couples. Mountain Village presents visitors with a horde of glittering attractions, while a charming "free box" is still used to exchange items.
Plan a weekend of pampering and relaxation at St Julien Hotel in downtown Boulder. The hotel features a 10,000-square-foot spa with 12 treatment rooms, and a two-lane infinity pool with a whirlpool and outside terrace. Guests can get in shape at the fitness center with the latest cardiovascular and aerobic equipment. Choose from 201 rooms and suites with luxury bathrooms with soaking tubs and separate glass showers. Ask for a view of the Flatiron Mountains when you book your stay. All rooms offer complimentary Internet access, wired and wireless.
The Elk are bugling and Fall is coming. What a perfect time to come to Estes Park to see the Elk in their natural surroundings of Rocky Mtn National Park. Within the boundaries of Rocky Mountain National Park, more than 100 peaks rise above 11,000 feet in altitude, including Longs Peak at 14,259 feet. These amazing mountains cradle the Estes Valley, providing residents and guests with incredible beauty and inspiration.
While kids of all ages are welcome at this Ouray resort, you’ll will find multiple kid-free corners available around the clock. The adults-only indoor sanctuary is open 24 hours and filled with spa-like stonework, including a spring-fed tub built from river rocks. Outside, a 102-degree soaking tub implements adult time from 10pm to 8am, enough to make any couple starry-eyed under the night sky.
The charming town of Boulder is surrounded by dramatic scenery, including the amazing Flatirons, acres of forest and snow-capped peaks – a perfect year-round playground. You can soak up the atmosphere on historic Pearl Street before hiking deep into Flatiron territory from the Open Space Mountain Park or meander through the town along Boulder Creek Path.
Another of Colorado's fourteeners, Mount Evans reaches an elevation of 14,271 feet. Almost equally impressive is the Mount Evans Scenic Byway, which extends almost to the summit. This is the highest paved road in the United States, reaching over 14,130 feet. The views from the top and on the way up, above the tree line, are outstanding, with meadows, lakes, and rolling mountains extending out into the distance. The area is so open and exposed that you have a good chance of seeing wildlife, particularly bighorn sheep.
Estes Park cabins, homes, rooms, and suites bordering Rocky Mountain National Park! Enjoy wood-burning fireplaces and fully-equipped kitchens with a hot tub on-site. Free Wi-Fi, dog friendly lodging (w/ conditions). Spectacular views and great wildlife watching! Easy access to hiking, snowshoeing, back-country skiing! The perfect place for your mountain getaway! McGregor Mountain Lodge Details
The Red Farmhouse Bed and Breakfast is a lovely country-style guesthouse nestled amongst five acres of ponderosa pines in East Parker. Located just a few minutes from Southlands and downtown Parker, the bed and breakfast features comfortable guest rooms with private bathrooms, amenities such as flat-screen televisions and wireless Internet, and an inviting lobby for relaxing and socializing with other guests.
Located at the eastern foot of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado Springs has multiple attractions, ranging from museums and parks to trains and a zoo. It is within close proximity to Pikes Peak, a landmark in the Pike National Forest. The Garden of the Gods park is also located in Colorado Springs and features red sandstone formations and stunning mountain views.
Estes Park vacation rentals are always worth considering, but be sure to check the calendar before you book and you could enjoy something even more special. Estes Park hosts a variety of events throughout the year, any of which would make a great addition to your vacation itinerary. For example, in early June, the Estes Park Jazz Fest takes place and features jazz musicians from across the country and beyond.
Just a 5-minute stroll from downtown Estes Park, Fall River Village offers 66 luxury accommodations, including 60 two bedroom and two bathroom condos, a honeymoon suite, four three bedroom and four bathroom townhomes and a four bedroom townhome with panoramic views of the Continental Divide. Property amenities include a heated, outdoor pool, year-round, outdoor hot tubs, a community room, fire pit and grill areas as well as an outdoor recreation area with yard games and a hammock.
Vail is one of the world’s most popular ski resort towns, but in the warmer months of the year, it draws visitors who come to mountain bike, hike, golf and ride whitewater rapids. Throughout the season, there are an abundance of music and dance festivals, including the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival which features orchestras like the New York Philharmonic that performs at the outdoor Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, as well as the Vail International Dance Festival and the Vail Jazz Festival. Just a few of the other highlights include botanical tours through the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, rock climbing excursions in Vail Valley and the wealth of shops, bars and eateries in the village of Vail itself.