Colorado has no shortage of amazing restaurants to inspire warm feelings. You might opt for the latest offering from a local celebrity chef, such as Alex Seidel, of Fruition and Mercantile in Denver, who was voted one of Food and Wine’s best new chefs in 2010; or Jennifer Jasinski of Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen, who impressed judges in season 5 of "Top Chef Masters" and also won the James Beard Award for Best Chef Southwest in 2013. Or, you might choose a destination restaurant like Ragnar’s in Steamboat Springs, where getting there is half the fun — guests can arrive only via skis, snowboards or snowshoes.
No trip to Estes Park would be complete without a leisurely drive along the Trail Ridge Road at Rocky Mountain National Park, with its winding scenic views of craggy peaks. Park your vehicle and take a hike through one of the many pine-scented trails bordered by forests and tundra. Keep an eye out for elk and other wildlife as you go! Roosevelt National Forest is another wilderness area worth exploring, Meanwhile, you can enjoy the breathtaking views over the valley on the Estes Park Aerial Tramway, which connects the town to the summit of Prospect Mountain. Down Estes Park has lots of options for one-off shopping and dining, whether you feel like chowing down on a handmade pizza or a juicy elk burger. Afterward, quench your thirst with a pint of Colorado craft beer at one of Estes' local breweries.
Colorado is a year-round destination that piques the imagination and inspires the soul with its dramatic landscape and natural beauty. The state is nothing less than stunning, with a diversity that ranges from the majestic Rocky Mountains to the rolling hills, rivers, streams, and high desert of the Colorado Plateau. Mountain towns beckon skiers, hikers, climbers, mountain bikers, and outdoor enthusiasts of all types, but are also great places to soak up some tranquility and enjoy the mountain vibe. Scenic drives through parks and along state highways are some of the best ways to see the amazing sites that the state has to offer. Remnants of the cultures that inhabited the area and the dinosaurs that once roamed the land can be seen and better understood by visiting some of the national parks and monuments. Colorado is an unbeatable destination that will make you rethink your future travel plans.
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)
The riparian ecosystem runs through the montane, subalpine, and alpine tundra zones and creates a foundation for life, especially for species that thrive next to streams, rivers, and lakes. The headwaters of the Colorado River, which provides water to many of the southwestern states, are located on the west side of the park. The Fall River, Cache la Poudre River and Big Thompson Rivers are located on the east side of the park. Just like the other ecosystems in the park, the riparian zone is affected by the climatic variables of temperature, precipitation, and elevation. Generally, riparian zones in valleys will have cooler temperatures than communities located on slopes and ridge tops. Depending on elevation, a riparian zone may have more or less precipitation than other riparian zones in the park, with the difference creating a shift in the types of plants and animals found in a specific zone.
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.
Owners Wendye Sykes and Shelley Powers came to Estes Park from San Francisco looking for an escape from the grind of everyday city life — and that’s exactly what they’ve created at River Spruce. Offering nine different cabins, you’ll find lodgings suitable for couples and families all nestled amidst the scenic Rocky Mountain wilderness and along the Big Thompson River.
Bear Lake is a high-elevation lake in a spruce and fir forest at the base of Hallett Peak and Flattop Mountain. Bierstadt Lake sits atop a lateral moraine named Bierstadt Moraine, and drains into Mill Creek. There are several trails that lead to Bierstadt Lake through groves of aspens and lodgepole pines. North of Bierstadt Moraine is Hollowell Park, a large and marshy meadow along Mill Creek. The Hollowell Park trail runs along Steep Mountain's south side. Ranches, lumber and sawmill enterprises operated in Hollowell Park into the early 1900s.
Putting my Rocky Mountain inspired rectangles away until February, I eventually knitted up the remaining pieces and ironed the whole thing out before I framed the simple square and placed it on my beige wall. Perhaps I needed the chill of winter to remind me of the brisk breeze of that famous mountain range, maybe I briefly tired of sweater and cardigan projects, captivated instead by the simplicity of knit-purl in straight lines.
Located only a 30-minute drive from Denver, Boulder holds its own with its abundance of lush parks and beautiful landscapes. A city with a hippie-like vibe, visitors who explore this area will be delighted to discover an array of shops, breweries and cafes. In addition to its thriving arts and cultural attractions, visitors can lace up their boots and head to the trails at Boulder Creek Path, Eldorado Canyon State Park and the Flatirons. Home of the University of Colorado, plenty of restaurants and drinking establishments are available to choose from, while visitors who are looking for a place to relax can also have a spot of tea at the Celestial Seasonings Tea Factory.
Explore the nearby great outdoors at the Horsetooth Mountain Open Space or get your adrenaline pumping by rafting on Cache La Poudre River with the Mountain Whitewater Descents Company. Visit Global Village Museum of Arts and Cultures to learn about folk art from all over the world. Take the kids to the Farm at Lee Martinez Park to learn about the farm life and play with baby farm animals.