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Boulder Brook Blog

Estes Park Halloween

Thursday, October 31st is Halloween, so there’s still time to decorate your coat, pick a costume that fits over your down jacket or be a Southpark kid and make a costume of your outerwear and winter gear! Whatever you choose, with or without costume, Estes Park is making ready to welcome everyone for Trick-or-Treating up and down Elkhorn Ave.


Between 5p and 9p the Town will close Elkhorn Ave from Spruce Drive to Riverside Drive and side street traffic will be detoured accordingly.  Curbside east and west bound lanes of Elkhorn Ave will be closed from Riverside Drive to Ed’s Cantina (390 East Elkhorn Ave.)  Cones and event fencing will guide pedestrians to designated crosswalks.  Estes Park Police Officers will be stationed throughout town for added safety.


Some safety tips: Remember, it is getting dark much earlier so make reflective clothing and gear part of your costume. (Could be really cute! Glow in the dark anything – worm, clown,  ghost, super-hero….you get the idea.) Carry a flashlight. Walk, don’t run. Stay on sidewalks and in designated pedestrian areas and crosswalks.  Limit what you carry so it’s easy to get around!!


After the outdoor fun, come indoors to any one or all of several Halloween parties. Fun starts at 7p with the ladies night Halloween event and Costume Contest at the Estes Park Resort.  Next you can check out Lonigans Costume Party with DJ Matt, and top off the evening at the Rock Inn at 10pm for BooGrass with Chain Station.


Whatever you choose be safe, and have fun!







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Boulder Brook is OPEN and ready to welcome you!

We are excited to welcome guests back to Boulder Brook and Estes Park. We are clean and shiny and aside from a bit of outdoor river-related repairs, we are open for business starting Tuesday, October 15.  The office is open 9 AM to 7 PM to take reservations and our Buy-Two-Get-One-Free Special is available November 1, 2013 through January 31, 2014.


It is beautiful here! Rocky Mountain National Park is open. Fall colors are rich and wildlife viewing is exceptional. Just a couple of days ago, a beautiful bull moose was spotted at Estes Lake – a rare and special treat for everyone.


Downtown Estes Park has been cleaned up and most shops and restaurants are open. Of course, some businesses sustained more damage than others and will take longer to re-open but there are many wonderful restaurants and shops to enjoy and explore. Please check out for details on what’s open around town!


It is easier to get here! Boulder Canyon (119 between Boulder and Nederland) is open and shortens travel time. Highways 34 from Loveland and 36 from Boulder/Lyons are still closed but steady progress is being made. CDOT is hoping to have temporary access via these routes by December 1 (keep your fingers crossed!)  The Peak-to-Peak Highway is a beautiful drive, particularly with all the aspen groves changing color in the fall.  Visit to learn more about the sights and attractions along the Peak-to-Peak Highway on your way to Estes Park! (Updated driving directions are available from Bing or Google maps.)

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Elk Viewing Safety

Each fall, thousands of visitors are drawn to Estes Park to watch herds of elk gather in the valley for their mating season, or “rut.” With this popular activity comes the responsibility for everyone to be safe and respect these majestic animals. During the rut, the male “bull” elk are irritable, aggressive and extremely dangerous to onlookers who get too close.


The two biggest errors made by enthusiastic onlookers are getting too close to the elk and “elk jams,” caused when drivers park their vehicles in the way of traffic in order to watch the elk. Estes Park Police and Park Rangers remind us that “Safety should be first on the minds of elk-viewers, so they can have a great experience.”


The Police Department provides the following tips to visitors for safe elk viewing:


Remember: Elk are wild animals. View from a safe distance to avoid injury or death. If an animal is carefully watching you and/or appears “jumpy” when you move, you are too close.


Keep dogs secured on-leash and do not allow them to bark at, lunge at, or chase wildlife.


Never block traffic. Move your vehicle to a safe place completely off the roadway to watch elk.


Do not imitate an elk call, or bugle which can be misinterpreted by the elk. This can endanger you and the animals.


Elk know no boundaries, but people do. Respect private property when viewing wildlife.


The Estes Park Police Department does enforce wildlife laws including laws against feeding or harassing wildlife or allowing one’s pet to harass wildlife. For more information, please contact the Town of Estes Park Public Information Office at 970-577-3701.

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RMNP – Reopened Trail Update – Excellent!

On Wednesday, September 25, three trails and areas of Rocky Mountain National Park on the east side that were impacted by the flood are reopening for public use.


Hidden Valley nature trail loop, picnic area, parking and restrooms are now open.  This site is located along the lower stretch of Trail Ridge Road just off Highway 34.  For those familiar with the park they will remember that this is the former Hidden Valley Ski Area.  At times, when Trail Ridge Road is closed as low down as Deer Ridge Junction, Hidden Valley will not be accessible.  For a recorded message on the status of Trail Ridge Road, call 970-586-1222.


Most of the Lily Lake Trail and the parking area, vault toilet and picnic area are also open.  The trail around the lake received considerable damage and crews have been able to repair most of the trail.  The trail will remain closed along the south end where trail damage and standing water block safe access.  Visitors will be able to walk around most of the lake and then retrace their steps to the trailhead.  This trail was originally constructed as an accessible trail for wheelchair use, but is not currently considered accessible.  Additional trail improvements will be needed before safe wheelchair use can resume.  The Lily Ridge Trail which connects with the Lily Lake Trail is open.


Deer Mountain Trail has reopened from the trailhead at the junction of highway 34 and 36 at Deer Ridge Junction.  While there are other trailheads that access Deer Mountain, connector trails have not yet been assessed for damages and all access to Deer Mountain should be through the popular Deer Mountain Trailhead.


All backcountry trails on the WEST side of the park are open, but, for day use only at this time.


The National Park Service, Rocky Mountain Regional Type 2 Incident Management Team transitioned the flood incident back to Rocky Mountain National Park’s Type 3 Incident Management Team on Tuesday morning.  The team continues to assess flood damage, manage stabilization operations and incrementally open park roads and trails as conditions allows.

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Boulder Brook is Ready to Open…

But the Town Hasn’t Fixed the Plumbing!


Boulder Brook sustained minimal damage during the recent floods. We’ve removed mud, re-graded the parking lot, and plan to re-open on will be open again for business starting Tuesday, October 15.  We’ll open sooner if the plumbing is fixed! The office is open 9 AM to 7 PM to take reservations. We are excited to welcome guests back to Boulder Brook and Estes Park.


Downtown Estes Park has been cleaned up and most shops and restaurants are back in business. Of course, some businesses sustained more damage than others and will take longer to re-open. Estes Park will be celebrating Elk Fest the weekend of September 28-29. The elk rut is in progress and the aspens are starting to change colors. Please check out for details on what’s open around town!


Rocky Mountain National Park is open to vehicle traffic on Fall River Road and Trail Ridge Road. Bear Lake Road is closed due to damage. Hiking trails on the east side of the park remain closed while they dry out and are inspected, but trails on the west side of the park are open to the public.


The Scenic Peak-to-Peak Highway is open. Highways 34 from Loveland and 36 from Boulder/Lyons are closed due to damage. CDOT is hoping to have temporary access via these routes by December 1 (keep your fingers crossed!)  The Peak-to-Peak Highway is a beautiful drive, particularly with all the aspen groves changing color in the fall.  Visit to learn more about the sights and attractions along the Peak-to-Peak Highway on your way to Estes Park!


The Peak-to-Peak highway is accessible from I-70. Take exit 244 and take US-6 toward Golden. At CO-119, turn left toward Nederland. In Nederland, follow signs toward Estes Park/CO-72 north. When CO-72 ends, turn left onto CO-7 toward Allenspark/Estes Park. You’ve made it!


We apologize again to those guests who were evacuated from Boulder Brook or whose vacations were cancelled as a result of the recent floods. Fall is a beautiful time in Estes Park… if you can get away, we encourage you to come visit!

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Great News!

The town of Estes Park is now open and welcoming visitors!


As of today, September 18th, Rocky Mountain National Park has begun to reopen.  As conditions improve, additional roads, trails and facilities will open.  The following is a summary of the current situation:


Trail Ridge Road is open to both east and west bound visitor traffic.  Since Highway 7 is now open to all traffic, commercial traffic is once again prohibited on Trail Ridge Road.  Entrance stations at Grand Lake, Fall River, and Beaver Meadows will all be open. No entrance fees will be charged at this time. Fall River Road has limited park access.


Visitor Centers: Kawuneeche, Alpine, and Beaver Meadows Visitor Centers will be open.  Fall River Visitor Center is closed for the winter.


On the west side of the park, the majority of trails are open for day use only. Please check trailhead signs for more information. Longer trails that cross the Continental Divide are open only to the Divide.


Closed: Bear Lake Road. Old Fall River Road. Upper Beaver Meadows Road. Longs Peak, Wild Basin, Lily Lake,  Lumpy Ridge, McGraw Ranch/Cow Creek,  and their associated trails.  All trails on the east side of Rocky Mountain National. As weather conditions improve, trails will be assessed for damage and slope stability.  Please help us focus on our recovery efforts by honoring these trail closures. And, remember – large landslides have occurred because of the rain saturated soils.


Everyone in Estes Park, The Intermountain Incident Management Team and the staff of Rocky Mountain National Park thanks you for your support and patience as we continue to assess park conditions.


For Rocky Mountain National Park information, call the park’s Information Office at 970-586-1206.


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Have you ever heard an Elk bugle?

Up until yesterday, I had heard only the odd trumpet-like sound of a matriarch guiding her herd across highway 34. That was in the dead of winter when the Elk pretty much have the run of the town and travel through here in large groups daily.


Yesterday, while working at my desk, enjoying the lovely, fresh air of early autumn, I heard cries the like of which I’d never heard before. At first I thought it was a baby crying. Then I thought it might have been fox since they can also sound like a baby crying. Then I thought maybe a smaller animal had gotten hurt or was in some kind of scrap with another –


After the first couple of ‘honks’ I found I was no longer working. Rather I was listening intently to what seemed a series of shriek-shout-screeches – maybe the combination of a poorly blown saxophone-bugle-trumpet. Each one was a little odd and unique and kind of other-worldly and strangely beautiful. Each was a sound I’d never heard before. I was thrilled.  I was suddenly twelve years old, wide eyed, curious and fascinated.


Not five minutes after I’d oohed and ahhed over a small symphony of these shouts, I saw the harem from the office window. The beautiful, healthy looking Elk cows had browsed their way up Fall River and were grazing the lush greens on the property. There were a dozen or more females accompanied by a couple of incredibly adorable new babes followed by one gorgeous big daddy – sleek and tall and strong with massive antlers. How do they keep their heads up with all that weight on top? And how do they scratch an itch at on top of the head in between?


As the cows crossed the road, seeming to signal to each other in that screechy, baby-cry way, I heard something else – loud and clear and strong –like a clarinet blown with a dry reed only stronger and much louder. I went outside to see and hear the magic. When bugling, the bull’s lips seem to make a big round ‘o’. They poke out, like he’s going to give someone a giant kiss, and out comes this amazing sound that I imagined meant –  ‘Come on girls!  No slacking! There’s fun to be had! We’ve got places to go and grasses to browse and the day and the eating are indeed fine!”


So, if you’ve heard there are some unusual troubles in the area, keep in mind that mother nature is right on track and as a town, we are getting there — making great strides daily.  The weather is gorgeous – clear blue sky, warm sun, cool breeze, crisp nights — the colors just beginning to change from late summer deep green to golden early fall.  The elk are bugling, the eating is fine, and it’s just a little too quiet around here without you.

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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

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