^ 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).
Another one of the state’s most popular skiing and snowboarding destinations, Steamboat Springs may be a winter wonderland during the chillier months of the year, but the summer brings an endless landscape of green dotted with brilliant wildflowers. This is when this Wild West town really comes alive, with visitors enjoying fly fishing, inner tube rides and rafting trips on the Yampa River, endless scenic hiking and mountain biking trails, and natural hot springs that are ideal for soothing sore muscles afterward. If you can be here around late June/early July, you can attend the legendary annual Hot Air Balloon Rodeo and Art in the Park festival which boasts an extensive display of colorful hot air balloons along with some 50 artist vendors, live entertainment, food and drink vendors, and an interactive children’s art area.
Located just a few miles to the northwest of Denver, Boulder is a college town nestled against the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Boulder’s inhabitants are best known for their healthy lifestyles, and outdoor activities are plentiful in and around the city. Boulder Creek cuts straight through the town and is lined with walking and biking trails. The four-block pedestrian-friendly Pearl Street Mall features outdoor performers in all but the most inclement weather. A drive up Baseline Road on Flagstaff Mountains rewards visitors with spectacular views, and there are picnic areas and hiking trails to enjoy at the summit as well.
During the winter most of Trail Ridge Road is closed due to heavy snow, limiting motorized access to the edges of the park. Winter activities include snowshoeing and cross-country skiing which are possible from either the Estes Park or Grand Lake entrances. On the east side near Estes Park, skiing and snowshoeing trails are available off Bear Lake Road, such as the Bear Lake, Bierstadt Lake, and Sprague Lake trails and at Hidden Valley. Slopes for sledding are also available at Hidden Valley. The west side of the park near Grand Lake also has viable snowshoeing trails. Backcountry skiing and snowboarding can be enjoyed after climbing up one of the higher slopes, especially late in the snow season after avalanche danger has subsided, and technical climbing remains also a possibility, although typically differing in style from the summer months.
Categories: IUCN Category IIRocky Mountain National ParkRocky MountainsHistory of the Rocky MountainsArchaeological sites in ColoradoBiosphere reserves of the United StatesCivilian Conservation Corps in ColoradoNational parks in ColoradoNational parks of the Rocky MountainsProtected areas established in 1915Protected areas of Boulder County, ColoradoProtected areas of Grand County, ColoradoProtected areas of Larimer County, ColoradoProtected areas on the Colorado River1915 establishments in Colorado
A small city that packs a lot of punch for its size, Vail is one of the most beloved ski destinations in the country, where its not uncommon to spot a celebrity or two. Nestled between the Gore Mountain Range and Sawatch Mountain Range, this narrow alley is home to the largest single-mountain resort in the United States. While most visitors come to Vail for its famous 5,289 acres of ski slopes, in the summer visitors can also explore the Eagles Nest Wilderness Area and Holy Cross Wilderness area to hike the area’s rugged mountainside trails.
Idyllically pinned between the crags and currents of Little Prospect Mountain and Big Thompson River, This Mountain Life makes for a serene setting to call basecamp. Open your windows to clean crisp air, bluebird skies and sights and sounds of a winding snow-fed alpine river. Watch wildlife from Mountain Chickadees to Colorado Chipmunks and Wapiti Elk. Sleep like a log. Step out your haven in Historic Downtown to easily access top Estes Park shops, attractions and venues — from river walks to fishing spots, sweet shops to best restaurants, from care-free strolls to heart-pounding treks.
Head to Denver, Colorado where you can see shows, visit museums and sample new flavors at gourmet restaurants. The Curtis – a DoubleTree by Hilton is a boutique hotel with 336 innovative accommodations, a retro dining experience and a state-of-the-art fitness center. The Bigger Better Deal Rooms offer 350 square feet of living space and views of downtown Denver. There are three types of suites to choose from: a KISS Suite, a Rolling Stones Suite and a suite dedicated to the Spice Girls. Guests can also stay in a “Hyper Themed” room on each of the 13 themed floors, such as the Jimmy Buffett Suite and the Ghostbusters Suite.
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.
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.
Pagosa Springs is a picturesque, off-the-beaten-path destination surrounded by the San Juan National Forest. It’s an ideal spot for a Colorado weekend trip, with beautiful hiking paths, numerous hot springs, and stunning spots like Chimney Rock National Monument and Treasure Falls. Or going off-roading for another fun way to make the most of this charming town’s personality and views.
A small mining camp not so long ago, Boulder is a modern, sophisticated town at the base of the Flatirons, popular among extreme sports folks and lovers of magnificent nature of all ages. Stroll through the charming downtown with the popular Pearl Street Mall. Discover Boulder’s past at the Boulder History Museum located in the beautiful historic Harbeck-Bergheim House. Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art not only has a range of permanent and temporary exhibits, but also popular educational programs.
Gem Lake is high among the rounded granite domes of Lumpy Ridge. Untouched by glaciation, this outcrop of 1.8 billion-year-old granite has been sculpted by wind and chemical erosion into a backbone-like ridge. Pillars, potholes, and balanced rocks are found around the midpoint of the trail, along with views of the Estes Valley and Continental Divide. Potts Puddle trail is accessible from the Black Canyon trail.
A classic Colorado city just up the road from Denver, Fort Collins is a great spot for a weekend trip in Colorado. The historic college town is artsy and vibrant with plenty to do. Whether it’s bringing the kids to the Museum of Discovery, hiking and kayaking at Horsetooth Open Space, perusing Old Town shops, or biking to Fort Collins’ many craft breweries, there’s something for everyone.
The park was designated a World Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations in 1976 to protect its natural resources. The park's biodiversity includes afforestation and reforestation, ecology, inland bodies of water, and mammals, while its ecosystems are managed for nature conservation, environmental education and public recreation purposes. The areas of research and monitoring include ungulate ecology and management, high-altitude revegetation, global change, acid precipitation effects, and aquatic ecology and management.
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.
Just outside the towns of Grand Junction and nearby Fruita is Colorado National Monument. A scenic road snakes its way through some outstanding scenery. This is not typical mountain scenery, but a landscape of huge rock spires, cliff walls, canyons, and desert-like surroundings with small trees and scrubby bushes. Most people drive through the monument along Rim Rock Drive and stop at the lookouts that peer over the landscape below. The road is also a popular road biking area, with hearty souls peddling their way up to the lookouts. A number of day hikes access some scenic areas of the monument, most of which involve moderate elevation changes that range from approximately 300 feet to more than 1,000 feet.
Experience diverse ecosystems during your visit to Estes Park, your jumping-off point for Rocky Mountain National Park, which offers many things to do, from guided tours and camping to hikes and stargazing. It’s a great place for solo travelers, as well as families and those traveling with larger groups. Fun activities available include mountain biking, kayaking, going horseback riding, as well as miniature golf, rodeos and amusement parks, to name a few.
It’s always “do not disturb” mode at this quaint adults-only hideaway in Crested Butte that’s strictly 16-plus. Just a few blocks from historic Elk Avenue, Purple Mountain Bed & Breakfast has six plush rooms, an onsite day spa and an outdoor hot tub. In the winter, a free shuttle whisks you to Mt. Crested Butte for some of Colorado’s best skiing; when you’re ready for après, retire back to the house for complimentary craft beer on tap and a Ghirardelli hot chocolate bar you won’t have to share with the kids. Happy hour, indeed. Find more B&Bs in Colorado >>
Take your love to new heights by ringing in your celebration at a unique tree house cabin rental near Pagosa Springs. From the private hot tub to feeling like you are above the trees with epic views of Pagosa Springs, this rental cannot be beaten. Guests would be right to take a vacation to this site in the winter so they can take advantage of skiing Wolf Creek Pass. Snuggle up with your partner from the comfort of a luxurious accommodation for your honeymoon.
At about 68 million years ago, the Front Range began to rise again due to the Laramide orogeny in the west. During the Cenozoic era, block uplift formed the present Rocky Mountains. The geologic composition of Rocky Mountain National Park was also affected by deformation and erosion during that era. The uplift disrupted the older drainage patterns and created the present drainage patterns.
With two bedrooms, a fully-equipped kitchen (complete with a coffee bean grinder, toaster, and crockpot) and one and a half updated bathrooms, the remote cabin provide luxury accommodations within walking distance of three picturesque mountain lakes. Guests enjoy a range of activities, including hiking, mountain biking, paddle boarding, fly fishing, or exploring the Alta Lakes Ghost Town, or sledding, tubing, ice skating, and more in the winter months.
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
Garden of the Gods Park is a registered National Natural Landmark comprised of 1,300 acres of magnificent views and stunning red sandstone formations. TripAdvisor® users voted Garden of the Gods the #1 park in the U.S. and #2 park in the world. Make sure to snap some selfies of you and your partner smooching under Kissing Camels and holding up Balanced Rock.
Located on Main Street of the charming historic mining town of Frisco, Colorado, the Frisco Lodge Bed and Breakfast has been greeting guests with comfort, luxury, and old-world hospitality since 1885. A range of opulent rooms with refined furnishings will make you feel pampered and relaxed, and the beautiful cozy living room with a piano and fireplace will allow you to meet some interesting people and have a chat or a glass of wine in the afternoon.
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.
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!