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.
Central ColoradoFind yourself in Colorado Springs at Pikes Peak. We have five historic trains to transport you back to the days of cowboys and gold mining. Endless trails allow you to enjoy the abundant sunshine and spectacular scenery. A family vacation in Colorado Springs is the smart choice – great lodging values, a long list of low-cost or no-cost activities, and adventure around every corner. Order your free guide today.
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
Central Colorado - Pikes Peak RegionNestled within majestic Rocky Mountain scenery, Cripple Creek offers fun and adventures for the entire family. Try your luck in one of our exciting casinos, check out our fascinating museums, or explore our many history-rich activities such as a ride on the CC&V Narrow Gauge Railroad or a 1,000 foot descent underground into the Mollie Kathleen Mine.
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
Imagine taking a trip on a train with your partner, very Old World romantic, isn’t it? The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad offers several options for guests who are looking for romantic getaways. The railroad runs between Chama, New Mexico and Antonito, Colorado. There are several trips available for you to choose including a full-day trip, a half-day trip, a sunset trip, and galloping goose #5. The sunset trip is probably the most romantic option of all. Depending on the route you choose, the fare starts from 95.75 USD.
You have never seen a Y like this! We offer over 200 family cabins ranging from 2-4 bdrms, which can hold up to 10 people. Be close to the main campus & activities or far from it all, in secluded woods. Our cabins are fully furnished and include eating & cooking utensils, plus linens & towels. Many free activities are available - we offer more activities onsite than any other area property! YMCA of the Rockies - Estes Park Center Details
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.
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.
After facing near extinction last century, the bighorn sheep population is currently thriving: there are roughly 300–400 of these striking animals in the park. Look for them at the aptly named Sheep Lakes from May through mid-August, when the bighorns descend to eat soil and obtain minerals not found in their high mountain habitat. Their visits generally occur between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Old-fashioned hospitality is the specialty at Sylvan Dale in Loveland. During August and September, the guest ranch offers great grown-up getaways complete with home-style meals and a personal horse for your stay, plus options for overnight trail rides, trap shooting and more. Guests lend a hand with ranch chores, but come nighttime, you can kick back by the campfire to toast s’mores and mingle with fellow guests who might just feel like family by the end of your stay. Find more dude ranches in Colorado >>
Old World meets ghostly charm at the 135-room Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, just an hour from Denver, Colorado. Located six miles from the Rocky Mountain National Park in the shadow of Pikes Peak, the Stanley is a “shining” example of romantic, secluded and haunted. Make it a weekend getaway as there is so much to do and see in the surrounding area, from visiting Rocky Mountain National Park to exploring the beautiful downtown.
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.
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.
At the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park, the historic village of Estes Park offers shopping and dining in a quaint, alpine resort-style setting. The town is also home to the Stanley Hotel, which inspired Stephen King's "The Shining." Every September, Estes Park hosts the Longs Peak Scottish-Irish Highland Festival, one of the largest Celtic festivals in the nation.
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.
The outdoor adventurer remains busy throughout the year in Rocky Mountain National Park. Open 365 days a year, there are activities and sports throughout the summer/fall and winter/spring seasons. Whether looking for a new route to an adrenaline rush, or simply enjoying a favorite pastime, Rocky Mountain National Park's unique and varied landscapes offer something fun.
A gorgeous mountain town that is not as well-known as its counterparts, Salida offers a variety of historic attractions to fill up a weekend itinerary. Take the Monarch Scenic Tram to soak in stunning Rocky Mountain views, go for a dip in the Salida Hot Springs or explore the area’s local history and culture at the nearby Salida Museum. When the weather warms up, grab a kayak or tube and head to the Arkansas River, and active travelers can utilize one of the many scenic mountain bike trails to explore the region further. A certified Colorado Creative District, visitors can also browse the area’s abundance of impressive art studios and galleries.
Loveland, dubbed as the ‘Sweetheart City’ and known nationwide for its Valentine’s Day Love Stamp Program, is near the college town of Fort Collins in northern Colorado. Rent a charmingly restored 1903 Victorian cottage for your love nest, or snuggle together in a neighborhood home just minutes from hiking in the Rocky Mountain National Park. A visit to the Sweetheart City Winery is a great opportunity to sample some local wines while checking out original oil paintings inspired by a trip to Tuscany. Voted by locals as one of the most romantic places in Loveland, South Shore Parkway is certain to aid in a stolen kiss or two. Sample small plates and incredible desserts at Door 222 Food and Drink, a downtown gem not to be missed.
The Experience: Super close to Manitou Springs, you'll find another town called Colorado Springs, which is also in the Pikes Peak region. While you're there, you have to see the park known as the Garden of the Gods. As its title implies, it's pretty otherworldly. With incredible, oddly shaped sandstone rock formations, you'll want to spend all day here. You should also pay a visit to the Royal Gorge Bridge, an insanely high, dramatic bridge between the canyons. Then head to the upscale resort Broadmoor.
Overlooking the scenic Beaver Creek Mountain, Park Hyatt Beaver Creek is a luxury Colorado resort and spa where guests can experience the vacation of their dreams. From breathtaking mountain views to championship golf courses to exquisite cuisine, Hyatt’s Beaver Creek ski resort offers the perfect year-round Vail Valley mountain escape with premium amenities, such as ski in and ski out access, a year-round heated outdoor pool, and an outdoor fire pit for roasting s’mores.
Fall River provides a beautiful backdrop for our lodging resort. After your hiking, snowshoeing or back-country skiing adventure, spend an intimate evening in a luxurious Spa Suite or relax in a spacious 1 Bedroom Suite. Enjoy sounds of the river from your private cabin/condo deck. All the conveniences of home in each suite. Boulder Brook on Fall River Details
Buena Vista is an historic mining and railroad town that resoundingly lives up to its Spanish name meaning “good views” – you are surrounded by towering mountain peaks that provide a wonderful year-round playground for adventure seekers. The area boasts some of the best river rafting adventures in the country and you can also go hiking, biking, horseback riding, fishing and zip-lining.
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.
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.
Our lodging is a 300 yd. walk to RMNP. The Big Thompson River flows thru our backyard. Enjoy hiking, wildlife, fishing, birding & photography. Treat yourself to a soak in our riverside hot tub. Some cabins w/ kitchens & fireplaces. Catering to singles, couples & small families. Exceptionally clean & affordable w/ a relaxing atmosphere, personality & charm. Swiftcurrent Lodge on the River Details
Would you like to stay in a historic red barn, a former milk room, or an original historic log cabin and get an idea of how the original Colorado settlers lived? Converted to the luxury Four Mile Creek Bed and Breakfast, this former 1885 homestead is a quaint reminder of the area’s adventurous past. With its main lodge building, old converted barn, and two log cabins, the Bed and Breakfast today offers rustic luxury and unparalleled comfort. The rooms are furnished with antique pieces and fireplaces, with luxurious bathrooms featuring claw foot tubs, conveying a sense of times gone by while providing entirely modern comfort and amenities.
Dinosaur National Monument is so diverse that the possibilities here extend well beyond the archeological aspects, from a simple driving tour through the monument to hiking, fishing, rafting, and camping. A number of scenic drives run through the park on both paved and four-wheel drive roads. Hiking trails range from short nature walks of less than a half mile to eight-mile-long day hikes. Campgrounds, some of which are open to both tents and RVs and others open only to tents, are spread around the park. It's possible to spend a few days in this area if you are interested in exploring the park.
Rock climbing and mountaineering opportunities include Lumpy Ridge, Hallett Peak, and Longs Peak, the highest peak in the park, with the easiest route being the Keyhole Route. This 8 mi (13 km) one-way climb has an elevation gain of 4,850 ft (1,480 m). The vast east face, including the area known as The Diamond, is home to many classic big wall rock climbing routes. Many of the highest peaks have technical ice and rock routes on them, ranging from short scrambles to long multi-pitch climbs.
Nestled below Colorado's radiant mountaintops is beautiful Lazy R Cottages in Estes Park. Just one mile from Rocky Mountain National Park, we offer one-, two- and three-bedroom cabins perfect for romantic escapes and family vacations. Our cabins have kitchens or kitchenettes, fireplaces, decks with mountain views, and some with personal hot tubs … perfect for relaxing after a day enjoying Estes Park and the National Park. Dog-friendly units available ($15 per dog/per night). Free Wi-Fi. View more about our Estes Park cabins.