Hiking Rocky Mountain National Park
Spend a weekend exploring the scenic wonder and amazing wildlife of Rocky Mountain National Park from a luxurious, historic hotel.The Stanley Hotel, famous for its architecture and magnificent setting is also known as one of America's most haunted hotels with numerous stories from visitors and staff.
Along the trails, streams, lakes and roads our guides will point out the unique wildlife, vegetation, geology and history of one of America’s most magnificent national parks. Wildlife commonly spotted includes elk, moose, bighorn sheep and a variety of songbirds and raptors, along with smaller mammals like fox, coyotes, marmots and badgers.
At each adventurous day’s end, we can relax and refresh in our plush rooms, stroll among the scenic hotel grounds, visit the spa, or watch the sun set behind the peaks of the Rocky Mountains before enjoying a fine dinner. When we return to the Mile High City of Denver, we bring with us memories and photos from the heart of Colorado’s High Country.
Hiking and Exploring Rocky Mountain National Park
Duration: 4 days Start Location: Denver, Colorado End Location: Denver, ColoradoDownload Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : PICK UP IN DENVER AND TRANSFER TO ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
Today we start at Denver International Airport where our guides pick us up in a comfortable van for our scenic transfer to Estes Park, Colorado, gateway community to Rocky Mountain National Park. Along the way enjoy the beautiful views of the Front Range with Longs Peak in the background. See why the early trappers and mountain men called the Rockies ‘The Shining Mountains’ as they watched them rise above the Great Plains on their journey west. Soon we enter the foothills and continue up through canyons and valleys to the historic Stanley Hotel, our home base for the next three days. This famous hotel, built in 1909 by the inventor of the Stanley Steamer, has been the place to stay in Estes Park for over one hundred years. Only a few miles from the park and a short walk from town, this is the perfect spot for relaxing after a day of hiking in the mountains. Who knows? You might even spot a ghost!
Day 2 : DRIVE TRAIL RIDGE ROAD, HIKE MILNER PASS TRAIL
We start with a great breakfast then hit the road for one of the most amazing drives in the country. Trail Ridge Road is the highest section of continuous paved highway in the United States with eleven miles of road above tree line and a maximum elevation of 12,183 feet. We will make several stops at scenic overlooks to enjoy views that stretch east across the Great Plains, north into Wyoming, west to the interior of the park and the Never Summer Range, and south along the backbone of the Rockies and Longs Peak, the park’s highest point at 14,259 feet. At the Alpine Visitor Center we will spend some time enjoying the exhibits and learning more about the alpine tundra before beginning our gentle downhill hike through open meadows and crossing the Continental Divide at Milner Pass before reaching Poudre Lake. Along the way, be on the lookout for the plentiful elk, moose and bighorn sheep that populate this area. Only the keen-eyed visitor will spot the ptarmigan, a grouse-like bird with superb camouflage that molts to white in the winter. We will enjoy a gourmet picnic prepared by our guide on top of the Rockies. Walking in the clean, fresh air whets our appetites for the delicious dinner in town at the end of the day
Day 3 : HIKE TO LOCH VALE, with optional extra hiking
Today we drive into the park for a beautiful hike on Loch Vale Trail to a series of high mountain lakes. We go past Alberta Falls and end up at the Loch, a classic high country lake surrounded by high rugged peaks. This moderate round trip is 6 miles with an optional 3-mile roundtrip from the Loch for motivated hikers to Timberline Falls, Glass Lake and the Sky Pond. We will enjoy a lakeside lunch of fresh, tasty ingredients put together by our creative guides and guaranteed to please. On the way back we take a different route, making a loop past Dream and Nymph Lakes for even more views. Tonight we enjoy a fine dining experience at Cascades in the Stanley Hotel where we compare notes, recap highlights and bask in the warmth of newly made friendships.
Day 4 : SUNRISE HIKE AROUND SPRAGUE LAKE, BREAKFAST AND TRANSFER TO DENVER
Today we are in for a special treat: watching the sunrise at beautiful Sprague Lake. A short drive into the Park brings us to the trailhead; it is very common to see elk and moose grazing in the meadows along the way. A wide, level trail circles the lake providing ample opportunities to find that special viewing spot to watch the sun come up over the eastern horizon and illuminate the western peaks. After we drink in the awakening of the day we will return to The Stanley Hotel for a sumptuous, leisurely breakfast at Cascades. There will be some time to explore the Butterfly Encounter and the Sculpture Garden or finish reading that book as you sip coffee on the veranda. All too soon it is time to check out and drive back to Denver with a stop in scenic Lyons, Colorado for a great lunch at a local favorite, Oskar Blues and Brew Pub. We will drop everyone at DIA or at our recommended hotel at about three o’clock in the afternoon
DATES: Best time to go: June - September Departures: Jun 12 - 15, 2014 Jul 17 - 20, 2014 Aug 21 - 24, 2014 Sep 4 - 7, 2014 Sep 18 - 21, 2014
The Stanley HotelEstes Park, Colorado
Famous for its old world charm- The Stanley Hotel boasts spectacular views in every direction and is less than six miles away from Rocky Mountain National Park. Multiple renovations have restored this 140-guest room hotel to its original grandeur. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and a member of Historic Hotels of America.
Famous for its old world charm, The Stanley Hotel boasts spectacular views in every direction and is less than six miles away from Rocky Mountain National Park. Multiple renovations have restored this 140-guest room hotel to its original grandeur. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and a member of Historic Hotels of America, The Stanley offers over 14,000 square feet of unique meeting and event space equipped with modern day amenities. Only an hour away from Denver, it is the ideal destination for your Colorado getawayFamous for its old world charm, The Stanley Hotel boasts spectacular views in every direction and is less than six miles away from Rocky Mountain National Park. Multiple renovations have restored this 140-guest room hotel to its original grandeur. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and a member of Historic Hotels of America, The Stanley offers over 14,000 square feet of unique meeting and event space equipped with modern day amenities. Only an hour away from Denver, it is the ideal destination for your Colorado getaway - See more at: http://www.stanleyhotel.com/about#sthash.POLodrOC.dpuf
Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.
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