Boulder Brook Blog

Awake and Hungry!

Your actions can save the life on an Estes Valley Bear.  Each Spring, hungry Black Bears wake from winter hibernation in need if quality food in quantity and their quest for calories is limitless!  It’s up to us to help Bears focus their efforts on finding good, naturally available Bear food, instead of allowing them to eat leftover human food and waste products.


Here’s what you need to know:


Black bears have big appetites!  They are mostly vegetarian but they aren’t picky. Hungry Bears will eat just about anything.  Sadly – Our trash is their food so Pack it in! Lock It Down! and Pack it out! and  Leave no trace!  Make it your rule to protect and save wildlife. Use only Bear and Wildlife-Safe trash containers.


Black bears are nosey! They are curious and have an amazing sense of smell.  A Black Bear can smell food from five miles away!


Black bears are busybodies!  They can be active anytime, anywhere, day or night.


Black bears are really smart! They quickly learn to identify food, packaging, and containers. (When there’s food in your car, it becomes a container!) Once bears find an easy meal, you can be assured they’ll be back for more.


Black bears are naturally shy. They usually avoid people but once conditioned to human food, they can and may become aggressive.


Human actions can and often do alter “good bear” behavior. Bears conditioned to human food and trash are drawn closer to homes and businesses than is good for them or us.


Do Your Part to Keep Bears Wild: Store any and all trash in a secure place or use a bear-resistant container. NEVER leave food, food wrappers, packed coolers, pet food or pet food packaging, dirty diapers, or anything left-over from any kind of food or human waste in your car or in an unsecured area or container. Burn off grills, remove soiled foil, and be sure to safely dispose of waste.


Stop a bear from getting a food/trash reward: Set off your car alarm, let loose with an air horn, make big noise with a wooden spoon and a metal cooking pot, or just get really big and really loud. A bear will run from the noise and hopefully remember the negative consequence of “bad bear” behavior.


REMEMBER: Because of us humans, Bears that have developed “nuisance” behaviors or that are repeat offenders cannot be relocated and are killed. We are the keepers and it is up to us to honor, respect, protect and preserve our wonderful park and all of its inhabitants.  Be aware: Save a Bear!  Mother Nature and all of the local residents thank you.


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Become a Junior Ranger Today!

Have fun discovering the natural world while learning about conservation, wildlife, flora fauna.  Anyone can be a Junior Ranger!  Pick up a free activity booklet at any visitor contact station, discover the park, and submit your completed project to a Ranger to earn your Badge.


Junior Ranger Headquarters, located at Moraine Park Discovery Center off Bear Lake Road, welcomes kids of all ages.  Throughout the the summer, thirty minute Ranger-led programs focused on kids age 6-12, are offered four times each day, every day at 10am, 11:30am, 1pm, and 2:30pm.   Participation is free and a parent or adult must be present with children at all times. During the winter and spring months, Junior Rangers can connect with the park and the Rangers at Beaver Meadows Visitor Center.


For more information please visit Be a Junior Ranger


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Rites of Spring

The first delicate blades of grass have begun to show green through the winter chaff. The mornings are filled with birdsong and the shaggy looking bull Elk are shedding last year’s antlers.  Happy to be eating fresh greens, the cows and calves forage front lawns and delicately pick their way through residential neighborhoods. Squirrels and bunnies poke out their noses to gather fresh cones and nibble on greens while we enjoy the lovely spring snow – lacy, thick and wet – it falls like white rain to nourish and waken the wildflowers.


Like Bears emerging from hibernation, we drop a layer or two of outerwear and chase the chill from the inside out at one of our happy Spring traditions – the annual Whiskey Warm Up.


On Saturday, March 12, 2016, from 1p to 4p, sixteen craft distillers set up booths throughout George Hix Riverside Plaza to showcase and offer tastes of bourbon, gin, rye, whiskey, rum and vodka produced in distilleries from Denver, Colorado Springs, Parker, Fort Collins, Lyons, Buena Vista, Greeley, Breckenridge, Golden and Palisade.


During Whiskey Snap Shot Seminars, you can learn about the history of bourbon, how to decipher what’s on a label and the anatomy of a punch. One producer uses an old moonshine recipe; another has mastered a blend of corn, malted rye and barley mash; and still another mills the grains before cooking them into a complex sour mash and completing the distilling process.  Attendance to hourly seminars at 1:30p, 2:30p and 3:30p is included with tickets.


If you enjoy a stogie with your spirits, visit the outdoor cigar shop between 1:30p and 3:30p where an authentic cigar roller will teach the art of rolling a perfect cigar. Festival guests can take home a handmade cigar with its own special Whiskey Warm Up band.


Enjoy one of two special food pairing sessions matching spirits with BBQ, chocolate and donuts. A first-come-first-served event, sign up for the 2:15p or the 3:15p pairing when you check in at the festival.


The popular Front Range folk duo, Pandas & People, will perform on the plaza from 1:30p to 3:30p.


After the official close of the Whiskey Warm Up, guests are invited to extend their experience with craft beverages at one of a number of whiskey inspired events taking place throughout Estes Park.


Festival tickets are $50 per ticket/$90/couple. Tickets, only available to those 21 and older, can be purchased on line at or at the plaza on the day of the festival.


Shed your heavy winter coat and warm up from the inside out. It’s Spring in the mountains, and we’re only just getting started.

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Hale A Pedicab…

The first bicycle driven zero emissions transport service in Estes Park opens for their first season on May 20, 2016!  The locally owned, family business will cover downtown, the Fairgrounds, Big Thompson (motel row) and Fall River Road.


Pedicabs are locally manufactured, comfortably spring loaded (good suspension), seat up to four, and come equipped with step-ups and grab bars for easy loading and unloading and USB chargers for passengers to use on the go!  Riders can cruise open air, with a sun canopy or with a full weather-proof enclosure as weather dictates.


Safety first!  Local owners share 24 years of combined experience in emergency medicine and law enforcement.  Pedicabs have seat belts, use turn signals, headlamps and tail lights.  They are fully insured and drivers have clean records and exemplary training.


Guests can Hale A Pedicab by appointment or just wave one down. They will be running during peak times on weekends, afternoons, and evenings and can be engaged to transport groups to and from activities and events throughout Estes Park and the immediately surrounding area.


Pedicab is an up and coming new local business with a fresh approach to getting from here to there.  Leave the car parked, and Hale A Pedicab!  For more information, questions, or to Hale your Pedicab, please contact Ryan and Paula Hale at 970-215-4030 or visit Hale A Pedicab

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Just Take A Walk!


 DD JAN 30 034 After hiking and snowshoeing and running and riding and climbing and adventuring in the park, it’s nice to slow down, relax, and appreciate the forest for the trees.
For a lovely, panoramic view of the valley and wonderful wide angle photo ops as well as close-ups, take a leisurely meander along Lumpy Ridge Trail.  DD JAN 30 030
 DD JAN 30 046  

Remember to look up! The rock formations are a wonderful expression of nature as art. How many critters and creatures can you find?




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Winter fun in the mountain sun!

RMNP is open every day of the year and offers many opportunities for outdoor adventure, sport and play, photography, wonder and wildlife watching.


Snowshoeing is simply winter hiking with appropriate shoes and outerwear. Family friendly with no training necessary, most park trails are navigable with snowshoes. Generally, if you can hike, you can snowshoe.  At the very least, you’ll need a pair of waterproof boots and snowshoes.  Poles are helpful for maintaining balance, but are considered optional. Waterproof pants or gaiters help keep you warm and dry. Layers help keep you comfortable while sunscreen, sun glasses, gloves, a hat, a scarf, snacks and water make the outing more enjoyable for everyone.


If it’s your first visit to the Park in the winter or if you’d like the added fun and security of a guide, make your reservation to Snowshoe with a  Ranger.  On the East side of the park Free Beginning Snowshoe walks are offered each Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday from January through March, depending on conditions.  Visit for details and reservation information.


Sledding, sliding and beginner boarding in Hidden Valley – the one place in Rocky where “good ol’ fashioned” sledding is allowed. No tows are provided; you walk your sled, saucer, or tube up the hill and slide down the somewhat gentle slope which is the bunny slope of the former Hidden Valley Ski Area. Skiers, snow boarders, and snowshoers may pass with caution and must slow down to yield the right-of-way to sleds. A restroom is at the bottom of the hill by the parking lot. On most weekends when there’s an attendant, a warming room is also available. Winter winds can scour the area, causing conditions to vary sometimes throughout the day.  Before you go, call the Park information Office at 970-586-1206 for the latest weather, sledding conditions, and relevant general information.


Cross-country Skiing through a sun-warmed silent forest blanketed in fresh, white snow is invigorating and rejuvenating in that it pairs physical exercise with the beauty of nature. You will need skis and poles with large baskets, and waterproof pants or gaiters (or both) to help keep you warm and dry. In general, terrain and deeper snows on the west side of the park make for better for cross-country skiing, but you are welcome to strap on your skis throughout the park.  The park info line 970-586-1206 is a great resource for trail information and daily weather and wind conditions.


Wildlife Watching, photography, awe and wonderMany park roads are open in winter to provide access to the wintry world park wildlife call home. Winter is an especially good time to look for elk, mule deer, moose, and other large mammals. Elk and mule deer are most active at dusk and dawn, and are usually seen in meadow areas. Look for bighorn sheep along the Highway 34/Fall River corridor on the park’s east side. Coyotes may be seen any time of day. Members of the Jay family, including Steller’s jays, with their striking blue bodies and crested heads, gray jays, Clark’s nutcrackers, and the iridescent, long-tailed black-billed magpies are commonly seen in the park. Moose tend to live more on the park’s west side along the Colorado River.


If you’re not packing a sled, snowshoes, poles, or skis, it’s easy and convenient to rent what’s needed. Several shops in town offer winter equipment rental including snowshoes, cross-country skis, poles, boots, sleds, tubes, saucers, gaiters, and even stabilizers can be rented or purchased. Please ask at our Front Desk for equipment rental coupons and information.


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Was he the model for your sign?

Nov 24 Elk 001

No, he wasn’t the original model. Striking resemblance though, wouldn’t you say?


Whether or not the flowers are in bloom, Elk enjoy our garden and front lawn.  Winter is very challenging for wildlife as food is harder to find and is not as rich and nutritious as the ripe spring, summer and early fall forage.


Remember to view and photograph Elk from a safe distance.  Elk are wild animals. We live in their backyard so they can live in ours.

It’s always a happy day when our guests arrive to a greeting party of impressive young bulls. This handsome guy is part of a group of three that spent the afternoon grazing in the sun and entertaining our visitors with their presence. 


Nov24 Elk2

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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