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Boulder Brook Blog - Estes Park, Colorado. Latest news and event info
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Boulder Brook Blog

Backyard Wildlife Watching

8:55am: Pressed into the fresh snow, the hoof-tracks lead from Fall River Road around the drive and down onto the property. 10:00am: One of our guests stops by the office to thank us for sending the Elk to keep them company for breakfast.  I put in a special order just for you! So glad you enjoyed their company!

 

At this time of year, Wildlife graces town and local roadways with their presence, often in the most unexpected ways.

 

6:45am: Eight Elk Cows are browsing the little park and riverbank on the west end of the Riverwalk.  My dog and I are spotted. One of the cows makes eye contact with me. Good Morning Girls! We’re just going to walk around you.  There seems to be an acknowledgment - I see or imagine a look of understanding and she and the others go back to their breakfast.

 

4:oopm:  One gorgeous Ram with a large, thick spiral of antler leads his harem from Fall River Road up the hill across the street from our office. They graze by digging up the snow and stop traffic for a couple of hours. Big horn sheep are amazing to see close up–their legs and hooves appear incredibly delicate but they are swift, agile, and very strong. The group heralds a dozen females, a couple of young bucks (who head-butt for fun and produce a unique percussive sound) and one really amazing, gawky-legged brown baby whose grace on four legs most two-legged creatures would envy.

 

Here at Boulder Brook we enjoy many wonderful visitors – some, like the owls, fox, and occasional small group of coyote only come at night. Some, like the Bobcat, just leave tracks. And some, like the Elk, stay for breakfast.  It is pretty awesome that viewing wildlife in their natural habitat can be as easy as looking out the window or, if the timing is right, wrapping up and admiring them from your deck.

 

There’s lots of snow. The roads are clear and the Park is open. Come on by and set a spell. We’ll put in a special order for you.  No promises, but we’ll do our best!

 

 

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Fresh Art

Each January, the Art Center of Estes Park begins the new year by featuring the artist members who joined the Art Center the previous year.  The first Art Center Show of 2014 opens on Friday, January 10 and runs through February 16, 2014 and features Tom Blaue (Colorado), Kate Cox (UK), Deedee Hampton (Louisiana), Anne Phillips (Colorado) and Fi Rust (UK).  These five artists demonstrate their passion and express their life experiences with brilliant color, shape, and in photography, paint, textiles, fabric, and more.

 

A true Rocky Mountain resource, the Art Center of Estes Park is a nonprofit organization providing a facility to support the work of local and regional artists striving to promote fine art excellence, exhibition, and education in the visual arts. Sale proceeds benefit the artists and contribute to the Art Center’s education and community outreach programs.  The Art Center is open daily from 10am to 5pm.  For more information call 970-586-5882, visit www.artcenterofestes.com or drop in and see the wonder at 517 Big Thompson Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517 in Middle Stanley Village.

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Visit a breathtaking hidden waterfall –

Right across the street from Boulder Brook is one of our best local resources — the Rocky Mountain Nature Association, official partner of Rocky Mountain National Park.

 

RMNA offers a daily Winter Wonders Bus tour and several guided snow shoe and cross-country ski tours that are customizable, perfect for visitors and groups of all sizes and ages and are great fun for anyone seeking adventure, education and beauty in our winter wonderland.

 

Snowshoe tour dates are: January 25; February 8 & 15; and March 8 & 22.  Cross-country ski dates are February 1 and 22; and March 15.  Bus tours are available daily through March.

 

For more information, pricing and registration please visit www.rmna.org or call 970-586-3262 to customize your RMNP adventure.

 

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Come out and play!

There is nothing as beautiful and the crisp blue sky and warm sun over the snow kissed mountains of Rocky Mountain National Park.

 

Explore the heights on snowshoes or cross-country skis, and at lower elevations – even in hiking boots!  Elk, coyote, deer, snowshoe hares, raptors and other wildlife remain active through the winter.  Breathtaking scenery, amazing snow-enhanced vistas and clean fresh air await the prepared winter visitor.

 

Adventurers don’t have to go it alone.  There are several Ranger-led programs available – all included in the regular park entrance fee.

 

For beginners, Ranger-led snowshoe ecology walks are available on the east side of the park, and for beginners and intermediates as well as cross-country skiers on the west side.

 

The beginner snowshoe program is a two-hour exploration of the natural world of the subalpine forest. No previous snowshoe experience is required. On the east side, this walk is held on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 12:30 p.m. through March 23. The beginner snowshoe tour on the west side is held on Saturdays at 1:00 p.m. through March 8.   The intermediate snowshoe program is a two-hour snowshoe walk offered on the west side of the park on Sundays at 1:00 p.m. through March 9. Previous snowshoeing experience is recommended because of the elevation gain, mileage, pace and terrain covered in this program.

 

Ranger-led cross-country ski tours are offered on the west side of the park on Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. through January 25. Participants ski a snow-draped landscape and learn about the Kawuneeche Valley.

 

For a romantic outing, Full Moon Walks are offered on the east side of the park on January 15, February 14 and March 16. Times and locations will vary each month. Reservations are necessary and may be made up to seven days in advance by calling (970) 586-1206.

 

Reservations are required for all Ranger-led snowshoe walks and ski tours. Reservations can be made up to seven days prior to the desired program. Participants must be at least 8 years old and must furnish their own equipment, including poles with baskets. To make reservations for east side snowshoe walks, call the RMNP  Information Office at (970) 586-1206. To make reservations for west side snowshoe walks and ski tours, call the Kawuneeche Visitor Center at (970) 627-3471. Please call between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. daily.  Equipment rentals are available at Estes Park Mountain Shop   http://www.estesparkmountainshop.com/ and The Warming House http://www.warminghouse.com/ 

   

Sledding and sliding activities can be enjoyed at the Hidden Valley area. Hidden Valley slopes have been contoured to enhance sledding and snow-play safety. Facilities at Hidden Valley include a warming hut, which is open weekends, and heated restrooms which are open daily. This area is also a good base location for those interested in backcountry skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing in the undeveloped areas in and around Hidden Valley.  

 

Winter camping is available at the Moraine Park Campground which is open all winter at $14 per site per night. Water and dump stations are not available in winter. Self-registration permits for backcountry camping in winter zones are also available. There is no charge in the winter for backcountry camping.  Backcountry users should be aware of avalanche conditions. Always check the Colorado Avalanche Information Center website at http://avalanche.state.co.us before an adventure.

 

Podcasts on Winter Recreation and Introduction to Snowshoeing can be found on the park website at http://www.nps.gov/romo/photosmultimedia/roaming_rocky.htm 

 

Remember – be prepared and be safe. Whenever visiting Rocky Mountain National Park to snowshoe, ski, hike, or camp stop by a park visitor center or call (970) 586-1206 for current road and snow conditions.

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Holiday Art Walk – Now through January 4th

An art lovers delight – the self-guided Holiday Art Walk through 11 unique galleries and locations is sue to fill your need for beauty and art appreciation –  maybe even add something to your personal collection!  Maps are available at the Estes Park CAC Fine Art Gallery at 423 W. Elkhorn or at the Estes Park Visitor Center at 500 Big Thompson Ave. (Hwy. 34). Want to celebrate, too? Come to the CAC Fine Art Gallery on December 20th from 5 to 7:30pm for A Colorado Christmas III, with live music and a festive time for all!

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RMNP – A Winter Wonderland of Activities

Winter is wonderful in Rocky Mountain National Park. Outdoor activities include nature and wildlife viewing and photography and recreational activities like sledding, snow-shoeing, winter hiking, and cross-country skiing.

 

Indoors, RMNP Park Rangers lead several activities that are fun for everyone.

 

Read with a Ranger!  – 10:30am Daily: December 21 through January 5 at the Fall River Visitor Center (just up the road from Boulder Brook!) 30 minute story presentation focused on the wonders of the winter season. 

 

Animals in Winter – Meet Rocky’s Wildlife!  – 1:30pm Daily: December 26 through January 1 at Beaver Meadows Visitor Center (located on Highway 36). A 30 minute,  hands-on experience.

 

Snowshoe Ecology Walks – December 23, 27, 30 and January 1 at 12:30 p.m.   Jump in to your snow shoes and join a ranger for a beginner level tour exploring the natural beauty of a subalpine forest.  Suitable for ages 8 years old and above. Reservations required – call (970) 586-1223 beginning December 16.

 

Spirit of the Mountains – Park film – shown by request daily.   See the stunning 23 minute park film at Beaver Meadows Visitor Center (located on Highway 36).

 

For more information about Rocky Mountain National Park please call the Information Office at (970) 586-1206.  All park visitor centers and the Information Office will be closed on December 25th.

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Plenty to do in Winter!

One of the most common questions we get is, “What is there for us to do?”  It really does depend on what you like!

  

Rocky Mountain National Park is open and welcomes visitors and presents fun and interesting programs all year.  You can snowshoe and cross-country ski on your own or with ranger-led tours available on both the east and west side of the park. Sleds, saucers and tubes are welcome on the fenced hill at Hidden Valley Snow Play area.   Call 970-586-1206 for the National Park’s information line or access the RMNP Newspaper http://www.nps.gov/romo/parknews/newspaper.htm for details.  If you are not bringing equipment, Estes Park Mountain Shop http://www.estesparkmountainshop.com/winter-sports.htm is a great resource for outdoor gear rental, guidance, and guided tours.

 

Let Rocky Mountain Rush take you through RMNP in on of their amazing jeep tours. Their guides are knowledgeable and entertaining and with several to choose from you are bound to find the tour that’s just right for you. http://www.rockymountainrush.com/

 

If you like ice fishing, you may do so anywhere in RMNP except Bear Lake. A Colorado fishing license is required as may be show shoes and/or cross country skis. In designated wilderness, no mechanical means are allowed so hand augurs only. If you prefer a guide, please check out the local experts at Kirks Flyshop http://www.kirksflyshop.com/estes-park-flood-2013/

 

Wildlife Watching in Estes Park is like nowhere else – in the winter our Elk own the town. You are just as likely to see a gorgeous group of Bulls grazing in front of Town Hall (or browsing at Boulder Brook!) as you are crowds of cows and yearlings moving through town.  Both Elk and Deer are often seen along roadsides as they wisely take advantage of plowed paths.  Coyotes are also active at this time. Boulder Brook enjoys visits from Elk, Deer, Coyotes, Wild Turkeys, Raptors and Owls. Remember, winter is stressful for wildlife. Please watch quietly from a safe distance.

  

Indoor sport offerings include rock climbing at the Epic Climbing Gym http://www.estesparkmountainshop.com/climbing-gym.htm or bowling at Chipper’s http://www.chipperslanes.com/

 

A casual walk through town might include a visit one or more of the Town’s beautiful galleries.  Some of our Guest favorites include the Cultural Arts Council (a great resource http://www.estesarts.com/Galleries.asp), Earthwood Artisans, and Aspen & Evergreen. View the full list and plan your art-walk at http://www.visitestespark.com/things-to-do/shopping/art-galleries/ or take a historic tour through our museum http://estesparkmuseumfriends.org/ or the historic Stanley Hotel http://www.stanleyhotel.com/tours

  

Whatever you choose to do outside, you’ll enjoy the warm, cozy luxury of your Suite at Boulder Brook, and we are happy to greet you and assist in your endeavors should you stop by the office to say hi.

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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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