Boulder Brook Blog

Be Aware: Save A Bear!

Your actions can save the life on an Estes Valley Bear.  Each fall, bears enter their pre-hibernation, pile on the fat, eating-fest (Hyperphagia) in which they seek to consume up to 20,000 calories each day so they have enough body fat and vital energy to sleep through the winter and emerge healthy in the spring.  Their quest for calories is limitless so it’s up to us to help them 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. During Hyperphagia, just about anything slightly edible will do. Our trash is their food.


Black bears are nosey! They are curious and follow their noses to food. A Black Bear can smell food 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. 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 business 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 leftover 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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Longs Peak Scottish Irish Highland Festival

Autumn Festival Season kicks off the annual celebration of turning leaves and autumn rut from September 19-13, 2015, with the 39th Annual Longs Peak Scottish Irish Festival. Highlights include US International Championship Jousting and Scottish Athletics, Massed Bands, a Huge Parade, Irish and Highland Dance, Dogs, Seminars, and a 5K race.


Everyone will love the nightly Tattoo – once the evening drum, bugle, or piper signal recalling soldiers to quarters – now a rousing parade ground concert of military bands. New this year, the pipes, drums, bands and drill teams start their performance at twilight with a cannon salute, followed by torch-lighting and the precision, grace and power of massed bands.  Tattoo shows Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings at 7:30p.


Athletics on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday include Dogs of the British Isles competing in speed, agility, skill, and beauty with a Grand March of Dogs on Saturday and Sunday at 1p.  Show your dogs in traditional Black and White please!  Reaglestack Heavy Armour and Light Armour Jousting are featured daily on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10a – 5p.  The festival field will also showcase hammer throws, putting the stone, and caber throwing contests. The Strong Man Contest is held on Friday from 10a -4p followed by Amateur Championships Saturday and Sunday from 10a-4p and Heavy Athletic Professional Championships on Saturday from 10a-4p.


Along with athletics, Scotfest features Live Music and Traditional Highland Dance. Celtic Folk music features Celtic Harp, Fiddle, Tin Whistle, Hammered Dulcimer, and Vocalization.  Enjoy Celtic song each day from 9am.   Highland Fling, Sword Dance, Seann Truibha, Sailors Hornpipe, Scottish Lilt an more featured Highland Dances are ancient in origin, dating back to the 11th and 12th centuries and an be enjoyed beginning on Saturday at 9a and on Sunday at 10a.


Adult (including figures) and Championship Irish Fies Dance (Jigs, reels, hornpipes, and set dances) compete on Saturday and Sunday beginning at 9a.


For the complete Festival Schedule and to purchase tickets please visit




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Night Sky Festival and World Listening Day

Night Sky Festival and World Listening Day – July 16, 17 and 18    Experience the Milky Way in natural darkness in Rocky Mountain National Park with Rangers, educators and guides to help light your way. Three nights of free, family-friendly activities and night sky adventures kick-off this first time festival.  All programs are free and open to the public and everyone (camping in the park or not) is welcome.  Entrance fees apply except for programs held at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center. For more information, please call the park’s Information Office at 970-586-1206.


Milky Way Bear Lake 7.5.14  Courtesy Jake Frank

Jake Frank’s amazing photo of the Milky Way over Bear Lake in July 2014 is just one beautiful example of art inspired by the night sky and natural beauty of RMNP.

 July 16, 17 and 18 from 11a to 3p each day at Moraine Park Discovery Center 11am-3pm: Earn your Night Sky Junior Ranger book and patch at Moraine Park Discovery Center from 11a to 3p Thursday, Friday and Saturday with solar observation, special displays and activities.

Evening Events Thursday, July 16


Beaver Meadows Visitor Center – 7:30p – Protecting Night Sky Resources in National Parks and Beyond Jeremy White discusses the ongoing research of the National Park Service Natural Sounds and Night Sky Division of the National Park Service.


Upper Beaver Meadows – 9p – Wonders of the Night Sky — Observe the night sky and visible constellations with the help of a park ranger and expert volunteer astronomers.  Bring warm clothes, binoculars, and a flashlight.


Moraine Park Campground – 9p – Night Sky Photography —Stan Honda, a photographer and former Artist in Residence in Rocky Mountain National Park shares enthusiasm and inspiration related to his night sky landscape project.


Glacier Basin Campground – 9p – James Webb Space Telescope—Learn how astronomers will get a whole new view of the cosmos with NASA’s next flagship mission, The James Webb Telescope.


Night Sky Events Friday, July 17


Beaver Meadows Visitor Center – 7:30p – New Horizons—See the first clear images of Pluto, courtesy of Ralph, the newest Ball Aerospace camera.


Upper Beaver Meadows – 8:15p – Astronomy in the Park—Observe the night sky with the help of a park ranger and expert volunteer astronomers.  Bring warm clothes, binoculars, and a flashlight.


Harbison Meadow Parking Area – 9p – Celestial Wilderness— Explore Rocky’s night sky astronomy with the assistance of a telescope and a ranger.


Moraine Park Campground – 9p – The Moon: A New Perspective—Join us for a brief history of the Moon and its formation, with images of the lunar surface from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Spacecraft currently orbiting the moon.


Glacier Basin Campground – 9p – Night Sky Photography Workshop—Stan Honda, a night sky photographer, gives a hands-on workshop on how to use an ordinary camera to take great pictures of the sky at night.


Night Sky Events Saturday, July 18


Beaver Meadows Visitor Center – 7:30p – James Webb Space Telescope—Dr. Joel Green of the Space Telescope Institute will discuss the formation of proto-planets and their transformation into exo-planets as well as the upcoming mission of the James Webb Space Telescope.


Upper Beaver Meadows – 8:15p – Astronomy in the Park – Observe the night sky with the help of a park ranger and expert volunteer astronomers.  Bring warm clothes, binoculars, and a flashlight.


Moraine Park Campground – 9p – The Aurora:  More Than Pretty Lights in the Sky—Dr. Frank Eparvier of the University of Colorado at Boulder Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics will discuss the impact of space weather on our lives.


Glacier Basin Campground – 9p – The Moon: A New Perspective – Join us for a brief history of the Moon and its formation, with images of the lunar surface from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Spacecraft currently orbiting the moon.


Saturday, July 18 – World Listening Day and The Sounds Of Silence – A Celebration Of The Ban On Commercial Air Tours Over Rocky


Beaver Meadows Visitor Center Plaza and Auditorium – 10a – 4p – World Listening Day celebrates natural sounds all over the world. Drop in for fun and explore the beauty of natural sound.  There will be crafts, interactive games, and a natural sound scavenger hunt.  Story-time at 1p:  How the Estes Valley League of Women Voters successfully “Banned the Buzz”


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Leave No Trace – Outdoor Ethics

Everything we do, from planning and preparing before we arrive to packing out when we leave, protects and conserves RMNP and has a long-term positive impact just as everything counterintuitive to protection and preservation has long-term negative consequences.   One of the most important concepts of Outdoor Ethics here in Rocky and in all National Parks and Recreation Areas is Leave No Trace.   


The 7 Principles of Leave No Trace are:


1. Plan Ahead and Prepare: Know the regulations and special concerns of the area; Be prepared for extreme changes in weather; Schedule wisely; Smaller groups leave less of a carbon footprint; Repackage food to minimize waste; Use a map and a compass instead of marking, flagging, or building rock cairns.


2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces: established trails, campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses, or snow; camp at least 200 feet from lakes and streams to protect riparian areas; Avoid altering the landscape in any way: Use existing sites and trails; Keep it small and simple; Walk single file in the center of trails; Play in sparsely vegetated areas; Avoid endangered or protected areas.


3. Properly Dispose of Waste: Pack it in, and pack it out. Leave no trash, food, litter, waste, TP or hygiene products behind. Use catholes for solid human waste as needed.  Use only biodegradable soap for washing and keep the water at least 200 feat from streams or lakes. Scatter used wash-water.


4. Leave What You Find Just As You Found It: Observe without touching or taking.   RMNP is an inter-dependent managed eco-system in which every creature and thing has a place and a purpose. Remember: It is illegal to remove antlers and other “earth souvenirs” from RMNP.   Do not build structures or furniture. Do not dig holes or trenches.


5. Minimize Campfire Impact: Many areas in RMNP and Estes Park are campfire and open fire restricted. If you must cook out there, please use the smallest possible camp stove only in approved areas. Where permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans, grills, or mound fires. Keep all fires as small as possible. Use only ground-found or deadfall sticks that can be broken by hand for fuel.  Burn all wood and coals to ash.  Soak the fire pit or fire area to ensure the fire is completely out and scatter cooled ashes before leaving the site.


6. Respect Wildlife: Observe from a distance. Use the Zoom. Never feed, follow or predate wild life.  Secure all food to keep from inadvertently feeding wild life.  Avoid wild life during sensitive times. Never disturb mating, nesting, feeding, or birthing and raising young ones.  When in doubt, leave it alone. When concerned, call a responsible wild life responder. Never approach, touch or handle wild babies! You never know where Mom is and she’s probably a whole lot closer than you think.


7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors: Good manners are always appropriate. Be courteous. Yield to others on the trail; step to the downhill side of a trail when encountering pack stock; take breaks and set up picnics or wildlife viewing stations away from the flow of traffic on the trails, within stated boundaries, and in consideration of items 1-6 above!  Last of all, honor the natural beauty and serenity of the outdoors and all of nature’s creatures by speaking softly and minimizing sound.


For more information and additional resources regarding Leave No Trace please visit

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Old Fall River Road Is Now Open!

Usually open from July 4 – early October, Old Fall River Road, a one-way historic dirt road built between 1913 and 1920, follows the steep slope of Mount Chapin’s south face for 9.4 miles.


Two years after the epic flood of September 2013 washed out the historic dirt road, Senator Cory Gardner, Congressman Jared Polis and Federal Highways Administration Division Director Ric Suarez joined park superintendent Vaughn Baker to open Old Fall River Road for the 2015 season.


The $4 million project was funded by The Federal Highways Administration through the Emergency Relief for Federally Owned Roads (ERFO) program.


For information about Rocky Mountain National Park, please call the park’s Information Office at (970) 586-1363 or visit RMNP


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Flowers for Dessert

BB JUN29 010 This handsome Bull is one of our regular visitors. We noticed he has a taste for flowers as he wandered into the flower bed under our sign and efficiently bit the heads off almost all of the newly planted marigolds.
He then went on to eat the wild roses from the bush in front of the office window and finished off with piles of flowering clover.


Guests enjoyed his company for several hours as he ate his way around the property where the last of the early spring flowers and young Aspen shoots growing on the riverbank proved irresistible.

BB JUN29 013
 BB JUN29 006 Surprisingly, there are several varieties of edible flowers (including marigolds) that add both bright colors and fresh, surprising flavors to a cool summer salad which may be enjoyed riverside, right here at your home away from home.

For a close up of this Beautiful Boy or any of the other wild visitors who frequent our Aspen grove, check out our Last Minute and One Night availabilities. We look forward to welcoming you!


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Rock the Rodeo!

Named the Outstanding Small Rodeo in the nation four years in a row, the Annual Rooftop Rodeo features Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) cowboys competing in saddle bronco riding, steer wrestling, tie-down roping, bareback bronco riding, barrel racing and bull riding nightly. Daily kids events, fun, food, and general excitement fill the week with a one-of-a-kind Rodeo experience.


Everyone loves the popular Behind the Chutes Tour offered daily at 4:30p from Tuesday, July 7 through Sunday July 12. Advance tickets are highly recommended.  Kids can Mutton Bust each evening at 8:30p after the nightly Rooftop Rodeo Performances which begin at 7:30p.  Tuesday night Mutton Bustin’ is dedicated to Rocky’s 100th Celebration.  New this year for kids, at 9pm on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday the Cash Catch features young contestants chasing loose sheep to recover a $5 bill attached to the wool on its back.  Sign up for the same night’s Cash Catch at the Mutton Bustin’ booth  at the spectator gate. Cash Catch is limited to the first 100 visitors to register by 7pm.


Special events include “Dress Like a Rodeo Clown” night on Thursday night from 6p-7p.  This is a non-judged just for fun event for kids 5-11. The first 24 clowns enjoy an arena parade, photo ops, and a dip into the “treasure chest” for a special prize.


Friday, July 10 is Purple Night. The Man Up Crusade chose professional rodeo and the PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association) to help spread the word and prevent domestic and teen dating violence.


On Saturday, July 11 Tough Enough to Wear Pink invites everyone – cowboys and girls alike, volunteers, spectators, and performers to wear pink to Saturday night’s Rooftop Rodeo Performance.


The Country Music Project, with its mix of male and female four-part vocals and instrumentation that includes acoustic, electric, and steel guitars, mandolin and banjo will keep you dancing all night at the Queen’s Dance held on both Saturday and Sunday, July 11 and 12, from 9:30p.


Gates & the Midway open at 5:30 pm; Nightly Rodeo Performance starts at 7:30 pm

Admission: $17 general admission; $25 box seats

Complete Schedule, More Info and Ticket Purchase: Rooftop Rodeo

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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