Boulder Brook Blog

Green Jeep Tours

The Most Fun You Can Have! With several different tours, we will certainly have a tour for you. Our experienced tour guides, not only have great knowledge and abilities, they also are entertaining and friendly. Perfect for families that want to experience the Rocky Mountain National Park, natural waterfalls, and the local wildlife.

Our tours include a 7 day pass to the National Park! No Hidden Fees!

Some of the tours we offer:

*Rocky Mountain Experience: Our premiere tour begins by entering Rocky Mountain National Park at the Fall River entrance station. During the course of the tour we will navigate 12 miles of switchbacks on a dirt road starting at an elevation of 7800ft and arriving at a peak elevation of 12090ft.

*Grand Lake: This tour is a combination of The Falls with continuation to Grand Lake, Colorado. After arriving at the Alpine visitor center, we’ll head west to Grand Lake Colorado.

*Rustic Ranch: Visit an authentic ranch dating back to the 1800’s. With more than 1000 acres, this secluded ranch is a must-see opportunity of a life time. The tour departs Estes Park on HWY 7 with a stop in the Tahosa Valley at the base of Mt. Lady Washington, Long’s Peak and Meeker, as well as, the Enos Mills Cabin. From there we continue to Meeker Park.

*Photo Safari: This specialty tour is geared specifically towards photography. Our trained guides will take you where the action is! Professionals and amateurs alike will appreciate the many photo ops along the way!

Checkout our website at

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Estes Park Elk Festival, October 1 – 2, 2016

Fall is always a great time to visit Rocky Mountain National Park. The summer crowds have died down, the air is cool with a touch of winter’s bite and aspens are turning into a dazzling gold color. Another bonus: the elk rut season is in full swing.

At its peak from mid-September to mid-October, the elk rut is a time when male elk, or bulls, vie for the attention of their female counterparts, known as cows. Their goal is to prove their prowess and win the loyalty of a “harem” of females. Eight-to-nine-year-old bulls stand the greatest chance of mating.

The bulls become more aggressive during this season, charging at each other and locking antlers as they battle over dominant status and mating rights. Although competition is high, actual fighting is rare since it causes injury and depletes energy. Rather, they compete by showcasing their antlers, necks and bodies, as well as emitting a strong, musky odor.

Elk bugling is another significant characteristic of rut season. This loud call is the sound of a bull trying to attract and keep an eye on as many cows as possible. It starts out as a high-pitch cry and then, about 16 percent of the time, becomes a series of low, resonating grunts.  

To celebrate the annual elk rut and learn about the “wapiti (the Native American name for elk), Estes Park hosts the 18th Annual Elk Fest in Bond Park. 

The free festival features bugling contests, Cabela’s Archery Range, elk exhibits, the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program, elk seminars, elk-inspired arts and crafts, Native American music, dancing and storytelling, self-guided elk tour maps, a children’s’ area with elk-themed activities, and a craft beer garden.  

Vendors will display artwork, handmade elk-ivory jewelry, and will offer distinctive elk cuisine.  Mountain men from around the country will gather at the Mountain Man Rendezvous to sell their wares and demonstrate their skills. 

Enjoy the Educational Seminar Tent to learn more about Elk and wildlife in Estes Park from a variety of professionals including Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Mile High Note Game Calls. Representatives from the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program will display on a gloved hand some of their magnificent rescued birds.  It’s amazing to see these majestic birds close up! Colorado Parks and Wildlife are on-site offering an Elk Camp where you can explore a variety of educational booths, and their staff will be helping in the field as attendees take the self-guided elk tour!

Live country, rock and bluegrass music will light up the park Saturday and Sunday with popular Colorado bands performing on stage. 

Celebrate elk fest by participating in the 2nd annual Rut Run 5k on Saturday!  Race day registration starts at 8:30am at Town Hall and the race begins at 9am. Participants will start and finish at Bond Park with an elevation gain of 246 feet and will receive a long sleeve shirt, a one-pint beer token and burrito.

On both Saturday and Sunday, stop into Town Hall (adjacent to Bond Park/Elk Fest) to watch a 20-minute video produced by the Estes Park News that shares the history of elk in Estes Park and how elk adapt to each season in our mountain valley. Learn safety tips for elk watching and see footage of Estes Park elk that has been included in National Geographic, the BBC and many others have used in their worldwide programming. Stick around after with staff from Colorado Parks & Wildlife for Q & A. 

On Sunday from 1-3pm, amateurs compete to see who can sound most like an elk bugling at the Elk Bugling Contest.


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Autumn Gold Festival

September 24 – 25, 2016

Aspens turn to a golden hue. The sounds of elk bugles reverberate throughout the air. It’s a perfect season for one of Estes Park’s late-autumn traditions when a series of bands herald Autumn Gold – a Festival of Bands, Brats & Beer, scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 24 and 25, 2016.

Entrance is free to dance, listen to music and enjoy the festival. The Estes Park Sunrise Rotary will be offering mustard-smothered bratwursts, cold brews, soft drinks and more as talented local musicians and award-winning Colorado band play. Browse the vendor booths who will be offering corn on the cob, funnel cakes, fresh squeezed lemonade, roasted almonds and desserts.

Bring the kids! Free family activities include face painting, soap bubbles, corn bag toss, a bounce house and a classic car show. 

The highlight of the Autumn Gold Festival is the popular raffle with the winner taking home the grand prize of $5,000. Additional prizes include a $2,500 runner-up prize and various other cash awards. Raffle tickets are $25 each. 
















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Fall Colors in Estes Park

Exploring the incredible fall colors in Colorado can take on so many different attitudes. From leisurely escapes with scenic fall foliage drives and heart-warming comfort foods, to active autumn trips full of climbing new routes and summiting golden peaks. Whichever your dream fall vacation entails, you won’t find a more inspiring mountain location than Estes Park.

Surrounded by the protected lands of Rocky Mountain National Park and Roosevelt National Forest, Estes is not only home to hundreds of miles of trails, breathtaking views and chilly mountain streams. We are also home to thousands of wild elk, and this time of year they are in full rut – or mating season. The fantastic sights and sounds of the bull elk mating rituals add another dimension to autumn in these mountains. With so much to see and do, you’ll want to start planning right away for your perfect Colorado fall getaway in the base camp to Rocky Mountain National Park.


Top 10 Trails for Leaf Viewing


Gem Lake – Lumpy Ridge Trailhead – 3.5 mi round trip

Not only does the Gem Lake trail offer a path through the aspen groves, it also gives a panoramic view at the Estes Park Lookout over the entire valley and Longs Peak.


Bierstadt Lake – Bear Lake Trailhead to Park ‘N Ride

This point-to-point hike offers beautiful hints of color as you walk through a forested area and final view across Bierstadt Lake to Long’s Peak and the Continental Divide.


The Pool – Fern Lake Trailhead – 3.4 mi round trip

Enjoy the soundtrack of the Big Thompson River as you hike through the aspens, eventually arriving at The Pool, the location where the Big Thompson meets Fern Creek.


Glacier Creek – Bear Lake Trailhead to Sprague Lake Trailhead

Start at Bear Lake and enjoy a mostly downhill stroll through close forest, then take the shuttle at Sprague Lake to your car.


Sprague Lake – Sprague Lake Trailhead – 0.9 mi loop

While you take a short hike around the lake, enjoy views of changing colors on the surrounding moraines.


North Deer Mountain Trail – Deer Mountain Trailhead – 6.2 mi round trip

Deer Mountain is an opportunity to bag yourself a summit while enjoying beautiful vistas of the Fall River Valley, Mummy Range and golden aspens.


Estes Cone – Long’s Peak Trailhead – 6.5 mi round trip

The hike to Estes Cone is a majority of lower elevation hiking through varied terrain, like aspen and pine forests, and past the Eugenia mine, and holds a steep last portion. Your work will be rewarded with views of Long’s Peak, Mt. Meeker, the Continental Divide, the Mummy Range, and a view of the Estes Valley.


Ouzel Falls – Wild Basin Trailhead – 5.4 mi round trip

Ouzel Falls isn’t the only attraction on this hike through the forest. You also get to see Copeland Falls and Calypso Cascade along the way. All while enjoying the vibrant autumn colors.


Bridal Veil Falls – Cow Creek Trailhead – 6.2 mi round trip

Hike up cow creek among beautiful transitioning colors, with the backdrop of the Mummy Range.


Mills Lake – Glacier Gorge Trailhead – 5.3 mi round trip

On this hike, you will pass Alberta Falls, a popular destination surrounded by aspen groves. You will also have great views over other changing forests from a distance on this hike.



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Longs Peak Scottish Irish Highland Festival

Longs Peak Scottish Irish Highland Festival

  • September 8, 2016 – September 11, 2016
  • Recurring daily
  • Location: US Highway 36 & Community Drive, Longs Peak Scottish Irish Highland Festival, CO
  • Phone: 800-90-ESTES
  • Time: 9 am 5 pm


Enjoy bagpipes & drums, Highland & Irish Dancing, Folk music and Celtic rock, jousting competitions, athletic and other competitions at the largest Scottish Festival in the West!


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Labor Day Weekend

September 3 – September 5, 2016


Enjoy the holiday weekend in Estes Park with many different celebrations!

Annual Arts and Crafts Show From September 3-5, The Labor Day Arts and Crafts Show will fill Bond Park and the adjacent downtown area with over 100 booths featuring a variety of hand-crafted goods. The Estes Valley Sunrise Rotary hosts this free unique shopping event from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday. Available handmade goods for sale include paintings and drawings, jewelry, metal work, clothing and tapestry bags, gourmet pantry items, home décor, wood carvings, doll clothes and toys, pottery, glass and more.


13th Annual John Denver Tribute Concert Keeping icon John Denver’s legacy very much alive, Brad Fitch will perform Denver’s classics on Saturday. Doors for the tribute concert will open at 4 p.m. and the music will kick off at 5 p.m. with opening acts and Fitch to follow.


The list of things-to-do doesn’t stop at these three events; explore the trails of Rocky Mountain National Park, take a scenic drive or enjoy the last hoorah of summer at one of the family amusement parks. It’s a weekend that promises plenty of relaxation and enjoyment. Find your perfect place to kick-up your hiking boots at the end of the night; make your weekend lodging reservations in Estes Park today!

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Living History


MacGregor Ranch Museum and Maude’s Mercantile – Founded in 1873, MacGregor Ranch is both the last remaining working cattle ranch in Estes Park and one of the few sites operating as both a working ranch and youth education center in the northern Colorado area. It is unique in that its historic collection and structures are original to the 1873 homestead family, and its collection is completely intact.

The original 1896 ranch house has been in operation as a museum since 1973. All three generations of MacGregors lived on the Ranch; and today, the museum hosts over 7,000 visitors – over half of which are school aged-children.  Visit the Ranch Museum and Maude’s Mercantile Tuesday through Saturday from 10a – 4p.  Call 970-586-3749 or visit for more information.



Mary’s Lake Lodge is on the State Register of Historic Properties thanks to the Jones family and their Rockdale Cottages which were originally located just south of Marys Lake.  After the opening of Trail Ridge Road in 1920 enabled travelers to pass through Rocky Mountain National Park for the first time,  Roe Emery, head of Rocky Mountain Parks Transportation Co., recognized the need for hotel accommodations and quickly began construction on the Grand Lake Lodge.  This, along with the acquisition of Hot Springs Hotel in Idaho Springs, CO and the Mary’s Lake Chalet, made perfect components for the Scenic Circle Tour which allowed travelers to purchase a planned vacation package start from their home train station, to Denver, through the mountains, and back home.  In 1923 Lewis sold the three hotels to Emery at which time he began major expansion projects on the Mary’s Lake Chalet; a south wing was added and the main lodge and north wing were expanded allowing up to 300 guests accommodations.  Read more about the historic lodge at or check out the history of Tavern 1929 at where you will find an excellent selection of micro-brews and a delightful pub menu to enjoy on their mountainside veranda.



The Baldpate Inn began with newlyweds, Gordon and Ethel Mace, and Gordon’s two brothers, Charles and Stuart Mace. In 1911, while visiting Estes Park on their honeymoon, the Maces were so taken with the area’s beauty they decided to homestead the property upon which the Baldpate now stands.   Initially only a small Homestead cabin was built on the land and rhubarb was planted to fulfill the requirements of the Homestead Act. In order to supplement their income, the Mace family built several small tourist cabins which proved popular and successful.  To accommodate the overwhelming demand for hospitality, the family made plans to build an inn. With their homestead patent registered as complete on January 22, 1917, the family officially opened The Baldpate Inn.



The Inn is constructed from hand-hewn timber cut from the property. Massive stone fireplaces were built to provide warmth and hot water. The Baldpate  opened boasting hot running water, electric lights, and indoor plumbing!  Visit the on-site historic key room/museum where keys, stories and photos abound.  Visit the “Key-thedral” Theater for an evening of entertainment under the stars.



Elkhorn Lodge is a historic 1874 western ranch and lodge. Said to be one of the area’s most haunted hotels, some of the ghosts here are thought to be “original” residents of Estes Park.  Considered to be the oldest, continuously operated hotel in Colorado, the Elkhorn Lodge is a terrific example of a late 19th century hunting lodge built to serve the burgeoning demand from tourists for an immersive “Rocky Mountain” experience. Originally comprising several thousand acres that have since been deeded to the Rocky Mountain National Park, the Lodge property, which has structures dating back to the 1870s, now includes 65 acres and 35 buildings completed in the rustic style. The buildings include the main lodge, Estes Park’s first school building, the ranch house, the coach house that over time was both a stage stop and casino, a number of cabins, a horse barn, two dormitories and a small building in the rustic stick style known as the chapel. Elkhorn Lodge was listed to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 and was recently discovered to be the site of one of the first golf courses built in Colorado.

Along with historic buildings and believe it or not, stuffed elk heads in the old lobby, the lodge now features a working livery and Cheesy Lee’s Pizza and Bakery.



The Estes Park Museum welcomes visitors Monday – Saturday from 10a to 5p and Sunday from 1p-5p.  Exhibits include Call of the Wild in which visitors are challenged to identify local wildlife; return cattle to their ranches in Pursuing the Wealth of Land or examine a 1909 Stanley Steamer Runabout  in Roads to Paradise.  Guests can also visit the furnished 1908 Cobb-Macdonald cabin and the original National Park Service Headquarters Building.  The museum also houses seasonal and temporary exhibits. For more information please  visit The museum is located at 200 Fourth Street.  Phone: 970-586-6256



If you prefer to experience history in a romantic, relaxing, mountain dining room with lovely service and a delightful meal please visit Twin Owls Steakhouse (1929 Homestead);  The Dunraven Inn (Early 1930’s Homestead); or The Rock Inn (1937)



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Come Visit Boulder Brook

Nestled next to the rambling waters of Fall River, Boulder Brook is ideally located to take advantage of the unique shopping of downtown Estes Park or the rugged splendor of the Rocky Mountain National more