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Boulder Brook Blog

Historic Hydroplant Open for the Season

F.O. Stanley, one of Estes Park’s earliest residents, built the Fall River Hydroplant in 1909 to provide electric power to the Stanley Hotel, which was originally built to house his frequent visitors and “houseguests.”


Now 106 years old and listed in the Historical Register, the Hydroplant was the exclusive source of the Town’s electricity until the 1940s.


Destroyed by the Lawn Lake flood of 1972, all the equipment is still there as are the historical markers of the flood’s passing.


The Hydroplant is located at 1754 Fish Hatchery Road. It is open 1p-4p Daily except Mondays. Free General Admission all season. Private tours available for a small fee.  For more info: 970-577-3762 or visit

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New since your last visit –

Besides Mother Nature’s geographical changes to land and landscape last fall, Estes Park has new and refreshed attractions and eateries ready to welcome and entertain visitors and guests.


Explore your adventurous side at the new Open Air Adventure Park near downtown Estes Park. At 21 feet off the ground, thrill seekers age 7 and up can explore the 640-foot course featuring 32 challenge elements.


Sit back, relax and be entertained aboard the new Fun Tyme Trolley historic tour or Rocky Mountain National Park tour. The 32-seat historic trolleys will take you, and an expert guide, site seeing around Estes or in the national park and teach you all you want to know along the way!


Everyone loves a good cuppa joe. Now open from 7a-7p, Coffee on the Rocks (510 Moraine Ave., on the way to Beaver Meadows Visitor Center) will not only prepare a delicious breakfast or carving board picnic lunch, they’ll fortify you with an awesome brew. Hot or cold, you’ll love the fresh flavors. Stop on your way into or out of the park to relax with a pretty view, free wi-fi, even a little duck pond to entertain the kids.


Right in the middle of town on Riverside Plaza, the new Inkwell offers Colorado Roasted OZO coffee and a wonderful selection of journals, cards, and writing tools. The upstairs loft has cozy seating for two or a large center table big enough for the whole crew.


The Tavern at Mary’s Lake Lodge is now Big Beaver Brewery & Tavern serving Small Bites from 2p-4p and dinner until 10p. Open daily, their wonderfully fresh selection of appetizers and extensive menu includes pub classics and everything from Sweet Potato Fries to Pecan Encrusted Trout and Filet Mignon all complemented by a top notch selection of Hand Crafted Beer and carefully selected wine list. You’ll find the Tavern at 2625 Marys Lake Lodge. Reservations at 970-586-5958 or visit


For the food adventurer, the new Bugling Elk Deli and Café (Lower Stanley Village on 34) serves up Elk Stew, Mountain Man Chili, Wild Game, and a large selection of Deli style sandwiches. Featuring Wild Game Specialty Meat by House of Smoke and Boar’s Head Brand deli meats, they also have a full Soup & Salad Bar, Coffee, Espresso, breakfast sandwiches and Burrito Man Burritos.


Whatever strikes your fancy, try something new and then come ‘home’ to your luxurious suite at Boulder Brook – sit by the river, relax and enjoy. You’re on vacation.


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The Scenic Route…

Make getting here as much fun as being here — take the scenic route and plan fun stops on the way.


You may choose to stop in Boulder, enjoy a meal or wander around Pearl Street then take Boulder Canyon Road (119) to SH7 through Nederland and visit The Carousel of Happiness.  For just $1 a ride, kids of all ages will enjoy the magic of this beautiful, hand-carved musical menagerie. The Carousel is located at 20 Lakeview Drive and is open every day. For more information please visit


If you choose to come through Lyons, you may enjoy a stop for refreshments and a little walk around town for oxygen and sunshine. Take SH7 through the beautiful canyon. As you approach Allen’s Park, you may choose a side trip to the Old Gallery or detour for a stroll through town. You may enjoy a hike at Wild Basin, or visit Longs Peak and/or Meeker point areas.


Just a couple of miles outside of Estes, you’ll find Lily Lake — a beautiful 3/4 mile stroller friendly trail around a fresh water lake surrounded by mountains.  Twin Sisters Trail Head is right across the street. Parking is free and can be a bit of a challenge sometimes, but it’s worth it — fresh air, sunshine, and room for the kids run around before coming into town.


Whether you choose to dine, stroll, wander, sight-see, or just sit and take in the beauty of your surroundings, remember stop, breathe deeply, and smile – half the fun is getting here.

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Elk Awareness During Calving Season

It’s spring! Everything is blooming.  Elk Cows are either heavily pregnant, or recovering from giving birth.  At this tender time, they are hyper-vigilant — irritable, jumpy, and highly protective of their young.


For the first several weeks of their lives, the calves remain hidden while the cows browse and recover much-needed nourishment and strength after birthing.  It is very important to observe from a very safe distance, never get between a cow and her calf, and be respectful of their sensitive condition.


Here are some guidelines for safe wildlife viewing:


Be aware of your surroundings. Remember, Elk will see you long before you see them. Awesome Elk Fact: Elk have evolved the ability to detect the slightest motions.  They can rotate each eye independently and have extreme wide-angle vision so they are able to see to both sides and straight ahead simultaneously. They will detect your presence long before you detect theirs.


Observe trail and detour signs. If a trail or path is closed, choose an alternate.  The bird sanctuary along Lake Estes Trail is a popular “nursery” but Elk can be anywhere.


If an animal is carefully watching you, if her ears are up and her head is down, if she reacts when you move or appears “jumpy”, you are way too close.


Keep dogs leashed. Do not allow them to bark, lunge at or chase wildlife.  Elk frequently cross the roads in and around Lake Estes. Never allow your dog to bark at wildlife from open windows of your vehicle.


Do not block traffic or stop in the middle of the road. “Elk Jams” are dangerous both for the animals and for other drivers. Pull safely to the shoulder or park in designated areas.


Elk know no boundaries, but people do. Remember to respect private property as well as the herd and one another when viewing wildlife.




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Footloose Downtown Walking Tours

Beginning June 15 and lasting throughout the summer, join the first Environmentally Friendly, professionally guided, suited for everyone, tailored to anyone, family friendly, absolutely free Downtown Walking Tour. Free of commercials, pitches, hassles, fees, and even the need to make a reservation, tours depart Bond Park (in the middle of Downtown) daily at 10am and 3pm. Guides are happy to welcome groups of all sizes and ages with tours tailored to your interests and schedule.  For more info please call 970-232-4145.

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Estes Park Duck Race — Family Fun & Silliness for a Great Cause

Hundreds of visitors have learned how simple the Duck Race is. You “adopt” little rubber duckies and select one of nearly 70 different Estes Valley charities to benefit from your adoptions. These charities receive 95% of the money collected from adoptions.


In addition to yummy, homemade treats, book and souvenir sales and a general air of family friendly fun and celebration, Duck Race Day offers activities and entertainment for all.


Race festivities get underway at Nicky’s Resort at 11 a.m. on race day. Ducks go into the water at 1 p.m. and activities continue in Riverside Plaza until the last duck swims past the finish line.


Duck Race Day Schedule


11am – Nicky’s Resort/Steakhouse (1350 Fall River Road) Duck Sales, Duck Adoption Forms, Duck-themed souvenirs

11am-12:45pm Music: Riverside Ramblers

12n – 1p Music: Estes Park Singers

12n – 4p Face-painting for everyone

12:30p – 3p Music: The Jug Band

1p – 2:30p Caricatures by The Local Herd

1p – 2p – Bruiser the Big Dog

1p – 4p – Balloon Art by Bongo

2p – 4p – Music: Dick Orleans


As a bonus for the Duck Race weekend, merchants in downtown Estes Park set up tables outside their businesses for the annual spring sidewalk sale.

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All that Jazz and an Art Walk too!

It is so wonderful to see the fresh, green grass; tiny leaf buds on the trees and flowering shrubs, migrating birds returning, and warm wonderful sunshine coaxing the daffodils from their winter sleep.  Wildlife is waking, returning, eating their way back and forth up and down Fall River Road as we begin to bloom and prepare to welcome visitors in high mountain style to the 24th annual Estes Park Jazz Fest & Art Walk on Saturday and Sunday, May 17 and 18, 2014.


The Estes Park Jazz fest has become one of Colorado’s premier Jazz Festivals, presenting the finest national and regional artists, representing everything from classic to modern and even futuristic Jazz.  Enjoy music from seven bands and enjoy exploring unique galleries exhibiting exceptional art. Art Walk maps are available at the Jazz Festival in Performance Park and at the Cultural Art Council Fine Art Gallery at 423 W. Elkhorn Ave.


Festival Schedule:



12:00pm – 12:45pm – Estes Park Jazz Big Band, Swingin’ Big Band Sounds

1:05pm – 2:10pm – Manuel Lopez & The Latin Jazz Trio w/ Maria Lopez. Latin and Cuban style

2:30pm – 3:40pm – The Max Wagner Quartet, Modern Mainstream Jazz, Jazz Vocals

4:00pm – 5:00pm – United States Air Force Falconaires, Modern Big Band Jazz

All Day – Art Walk, browse the Estes Park Art Galleries. Art Walk maps located at the Jazz Festival and the Cultural Arts Council, 423 W. Elkhorn Ave.

6:30pm – 9:30pm Evening Jazz Downtown at Mama Rose’s Italian Restaurant. The Max Wagner Quartet, Reservations Suggested 970-586-3330



12:00pm – 1:20pm – Myra Warren & The Ellyn Rucker Quartet – Swing Style

1:45pm – 3:15pm – Festival Headliner: SAX APPEAL -New York saxophone Legends: Javon Jackson, Jimmy Heath, Gary Bartz, and Donald Harrison

3:40pm – 5:00pm – Scott Martin – Classics of The Great American Songbook

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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