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Boulder Brook Blog

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 and The Warming House 


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 before an adventure.


Podcasts on Winter Recreation and Introduction to Snowshoeing can be found on the park website at 


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 for details.  If you are not bringing equipment, Estes Park Mountain Shop 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.


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


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 or bowling at Chipper’s


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, Earthwood Artisans, and Aspen & Evergreen. View the full list and plan your art-walk at or take a historic tour through our museum or the historic Stanley Hotel


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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Catch The Glow – Holiday Parade

On Friday, November 29th, the annual Catch the Glow Parade will light up downtown Estes Park. The parade route will begin at the West Park Center and travel east on Elkhorn Avenue. At 4 p.m. the Estes Park Police Department will close Elkhorn Avenue between Far View Drive and Spruce Drive. At 5:15 p.m. the remainder of the route along Elkhorn Avenue will be closed. The parade will turn right at the U.S. 36/U.S. 34 intersection, traveling to Colorado Hwy. 7 and ending at the Rocky Mountain Park Inn. At that point the floats will continue to the Fourth Street entrance of the Fairgrounds at Stanley Park.


The Elkhorn Express trolley will provide free service from the Fairgrounds Park-n-Ride to the Estes Park Visitor Center to Bond Park on Elkhorn Avenue from 12 p.m. until 8 p.m. This loop takes about 20 minutes during normal traffic. The trolley will suspend service during the parade to join the floats. Guests and local residents are encouraged to use the free parking at the Fairgrounds Park-n-Ride on Manford Avenue or the Estes Park Visitor Center and catch the trolley to avoid parking difficulties downtown during these events. For more information, contact the Estes Park Visitor Center at 970-577-9900.


Side streets along the parade route remain open during the parade, but access to the parade route will be prohibited until the parade passes and pedestrians are clear of the roadway. Motorists will not be able to leave parking lots along the parade route until the parade has passed. To bypass the downtown area, motorists may use alternate routes including the Moccasin bypass, Graves Avenue, Community Drive, U.S. 36 to Mall Road, U.S. 34/Big Thompson Avenue, and Wonderview Avenue. Wonderview Avenue will serve as an alternative to downtown for eastbound traffic on U.S. 34 and westbound traffic from U.S. 36.



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Family Fun Weekend Dec 7-8

Bring the whole family to enjoy Activities, Shopping, and wonderful winter Recreation in Rocky Mountain National Park.  Visit with Santa at the Old Church Shops or meet up with roaming Christmas Characters and Carolers throughout the town.


Take a short break or settle in to enjoy the Christmas Movie Marathon from 11am - 5pm on Saturday and Sunday at Estes Park Town Hall (downtown, across from Bond Park).


Kids will have a blast at the YMCA of the Rockies kids’ winter day camp.  Half day or full-day camp sessions available. Activities, fun and games including gingerbread house decorating, snow fort building and more! Bring snow clothes for outdoor play!


YMCA of the Rockies Winter Day Camp, December 7th -8th, 2013

  • Full Day: $36, 10am – 4pm; this includes lunch and snacks.
  • Half Day: $15, 10am – 12pm or 1pm -4pm, includes snack.
  • Register by contacting Courtney Danis, Youth Programs Director at or call 970-586-3341 x1282.
  • Register soon! Max capacity of 20 children per day.
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Hwy 34 Reopens Thursday, November 21st

Are we ever excited. The opening of U.S. 34 fully restores connectivity on all routes into and out of Estes Park. Along with the restoration of access via Highway 36 from Lyons, our friends who come through Loveland can once again plan an easy mountain getaway. 


Our Buy-One-Get-One-Half-Price November Special and our Buy-Two-Get-One-Free Special make it easy to stay and enjoy the natural wonders, beauty, and serenity of Estes Park an Rocky Mountain National Park while gearing up for the holidays.


This weekend offers something for everyone – creative and exceptional holiday shopping opportunities, the annual Tree Lighting, a Kids Candy Cane Hunt, and live music at several venues.  For a quick overview to help plan ahead, please visit our event calendar


Here are a few highlights:


First Annual Holiday Market, Saturday & Sunday, Nov. 23-24, 2013   9a-6p and 10a-4p Estes Park Resort, 9-6 Sat. & 10-4 Sun.


Estes Park Tree Lighting Ceremony, Saturday, November 23, 2013  4:30p – 6:30p  Riverside Plaza at the intersection of Rockwell Street and Riverside Drive.  Enjoy sweet treats and hot chocolate, radio flyer wagon rides, stocking, ornament decorating and visits with Santa from 4:30p to 5:15p. Tree lighting promptly at 5:30p immediately followed by the Kids Candy Cane Hunt in Bond Park.  Also on November 23rd, visitors can enjoy a traditional English Pasty Luncheon, Holiday Bazaar and Silent Auction and/or a wonderful Holiday Fine Art sale. 


You can start Thanksgiving Day, November 28th, with the family friendly Turkey Trot 5K, cook your own or let someone else do the cooking, Catch the Glow  on Friday at the annual Lighted Christmas Parade, beginning at 5:30p in Downtown Estes Park.


Holiday House Christmas Bazaar, Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013 9a – 3p Estes Park Conference Center


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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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