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Boulder Brook Blog

Every day is Earth Day

On a perfect Spring day like today when the sky is crystalline blue, the sun is warm, the crisp mountain breeze ruffles last year’s abandoned leaves and melting snow reveals the first, fresh, green signs of returning life, it is easy to get lost in beauty and forget that our wildlife population is just returning, waking and/or recovering from a very stressful winter.


Everything is hungry! The birds empty our rather large feeder about every 36 hours. We’ll have to take it down shortly so as not to attract our waking and very hungry bears.  Our BB fox is beautiful, but quite slender. With their winter coats all shaggy and long and their antler buds looking a little like giant dog bones, our Elk seem to have “bed head” all over their bodies. The Elk, Mule Deer, and Big Horn Sheep have literally been eating their way up and down Fall River Road and hardly look up – even to have their picture taken.


As nature warms and awakens, so our visitor population increases, as does the human impact on our beautiful environment.  With just a little planning and conscientious attention to detail, we can appreciate, enjoy and live peacefully and respectfully with our world and all its inhabitants.


Gather to learn and appreciate all nature has to offer as Rocky Mountain National Park Celebrates Earth Day and National Park Week with a fun filled day of activities. Park admission is free on both Saturday, April 19 and Sunday, April 20. From 10am to 3pm on Saturday, April 19, visitors to the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center (US Highway 36) will learn about the importance of evironmental service and becoming better, more aware stewards of our beautiful country and all of its inhabitants.


Saturday, April 19, Schedule:


10a – 1p Biodiversity Olympics (Family friendly activities to get moving)
10:30a – 11:30a Volunteer Trash Pick-Up (Remember to dress for our high altitude, mountain spring weather. Equipment will be provided.)
10:30a Bear Necessities Program
11:30a Storytime with a Ranger
2p Skins and Skulls Program
1p – 3p Nature Walks
1p – 4p Tour the Park Greenhouse
There will also be an Arts & Crafts station to create cool Earth Day artwork. You can pick up a special Earth Day Scavenger Hunt acitity sheet and/or a Junior Ranger Activity Book.


Throughout the day, Park staff, Rangers, and Scientists will be available to share their wealth of knowledge and experience. For more information about Rocky Mountain National Park please visit or call the Park Information Office at 970-586-1206.

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Easter Brunch in Estes Park —

Celebrate Easter in fine dining style. With several venues to choose from, you are bound to find “just right” for you!  Reservations required or highly recommended so book now!


Easter Brunch

The Other Side—9am – 3pm

Sunday, April 20th, 9am – 3pm
Traditional Champagne Easter Brunch Buffet
Adults, $29.95, Children ages 10-14, $12.95, ages 9 and under $2/year
Reservations Required, 970-586-2171


The Stanley – 11am – 4pm

333 E Wonderview Ave

Traditional Easter Brunch Buffet
Adults, $52, Children ages 5-12, $26, ages 5 and under eat free
Reservations Required, 970-577-4001


YMCA of the Rockies – 11am – 3pm
2515 Tunnel Rd

Traditional Easter Brunch Buffet
Adults, $32, Children $11, ages 5 and under eat free
Reservations Required, 970-586-3341 x1378


Waterfront Grille at Estes Park Resort – 10am – 4pm

1700 Big Thompson Ave
Traditional Easter Brunch Buffet
Adults, $40, Children ages 5 – 12, $12, ages 5 and under free
Reservations Recommended, 970-577-6416


Longz Mountain Grill at Rocky Mountain Park Inn — 7am – 2pm
101 S St Vrain Ave

Traditional Easter Brunch Buffet –

Adults, $18.95, Children $9.95
Reservations Recommended, 970-586-2332 x358


Rock Inn Mountain Tavern  – 10am
1675 Colorado 66

Easter Sunday Brunch Menu with live music by acoustic extraordinaire, Jon Pickett, 10am
Dinner will be served alongside live music by the talented, Arthur Lee Land, 7:30pm – 10:30pm


Nicky’s Steak House  – 12n – 4pm
1350 Fall River Rd

Traditional Champagne Easter Brunch Buffet
Adults, $29.00
Reservations Recommended, 970-586-5376


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Springtime in the Rockies – Bears are waking up and they’re hungry!

From the Front Range to the Western Slope, our cherished Black Bears are waking from their winter hibernation.  Left to their own devices, bears will naturally gravitate to the areas with the best food. They can smell a promising food source from miles away. It is up to us as friends of nature to ensure that the best food is not leftover pizza or pizza boxes, pet food, bird food, food wrappers, deli, grill or kitchen scraps.


Working with nature takes just a little extra effort. Remember:


  • Thoroughly clean picnic areas – leave no scent, leave no trace.
  • Never intentionally feed bears or other wildlife. It is illegal and potentially dangerous for both you and the animals.
  • When camping, be sure to hang food high in trees and/or lock down food and trash in vehicles.
  • Diligently use Bear Safe dumpsters.


We welcome and appreciate ALL of our visitors – two and four-legged alike. It is up to us to be respectful of nature and to remember we are nature’s caretakers and guardians. Love the outdoors and all life in it – Be safe. Be conscientious. Be Bear Aware.


For more information on living with wildlife, please visit


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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 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 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 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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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