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Boulder Brook Blog

Not the Outdoor Back-country Type?

No worries! There’s plenty to do and see right here in town. In the winter, our Elk, Mule Deer, Big Horn Sheep and beloved wildlife own the town. You are just a likely to see a gorgeous group of Bulls grazing in front of Town Hall (or browsing here at Boulder Brook) wandering Fall River Road or napping on one of the local sunny slopes, as you are a crowd of cows and yearlings crossing Big Thompson Road. You may even get the chance to watch wildlife from your beautiful Boulder Brook Suite as Elk, Mule Deer, Bighorn Sheep, Fox and several varieties of birds are fairly frequent visitors. Remember – winter is stressful or wildlife.  Please watch quietly and photograph from a safe distance.


A casual walk through town might include a visit to one or more of the Town’s beautiful galleries. Some of our Guest favorites include the Cultural Arts Council, Earthwood Artisans, Aspen & Evergreen, Images of RMNP and the Arts Center Pick up gallery/walking tour maps at the Cultural Arts Council.  And while you’re in the neighborhood, stop in to Patterson Glassworks Studio & Gallery to watch expert glass blowers make their magic or perhaps order something blown especially for you!


Along with amazing photography and original arts and crafts, downtown offers both specialty boutique and mountain style shopping – you can find anything from outdoor wear to special socks to that perfect piece of wearable art or new bag you’ll never want to be without.  More than 300 shops in Estes Park offer an unsurpassed variety, and most shops in the community ship purchases to any location within the United States.


In the heart of downtown next to Bond Park, Moon Kats, the new tea shop, offers a cozy respite with delicious teas and delicacies.  Enjoy a slice of fresh baked pie or hot corned beef sammy (or both!) at the 50’s style diner in Lower Stanley Village, You Need Pie! Or stop by Coffee on the Rocks  (Moraine Ave) and sip the morning brew while they prepare a lovely carving board lunch for you to take with you on your day-trip into RMNP for wildlife watching and picture-taking from the cozy warmth of your vehicle.


Check out the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center. It’s a unique building done in the style of Frank Lloyd Wright, and inside is a wealth fun and information.  Become a Junior Ranger or chat with a Park Ranger. Most are happy to talk with you about anything park or wildlife related, and the stunning 23-minute park film, Spirit of the Mountains, is available upon request.  Several free short programs are available each week. RMNP Program Schedule:


If the kids need to stretch their legs, the giant playground next to the Fairgrounds is a great choice, and the paved/plowed walking path will give you all a good workout without getting too far from local conveniences.  Visit the downtown Ice Skating rink, take in a movie or go bowling!  You can skate (110 East Riverside Drive, Downtown) Friday evening through Sunday afternoon for only $4 ($2 skate rental and $2 admission).  Reel Mountain Movie Theater is open daily Chipper’s Lanes www.chipperslanes.comis open seven days a week and features video games, pool tables, music, great burgers—and of course, bowling!


At the end of your wanderings, check out a DVD or music CD at the front desk and return to your warm, comfortable suite for a relaxing afternoon by the river or a romantic evening by the fire. Every season is blissful at Boulder Brook. We look forward to seeing you soon!

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Play Outside! 

Winter is an enchanting time to explore RMNP. Breathe deeply of the fresh, mountain air, marvel at the sunny, crystalline sky as you snowshoe, cross-country ski, and at lower elevations, hike!  With the right gear and clothing, outdoor activities are exhilarating, fun and educational.


Snowshoe in the beautiful backcountry.  Snowshoeing is easy to learn! Beginning or first-time snow shoe adventurers can explore the natural world of the subalpine forest with a Ranger on a two-hour snowshoe ecology walk. No previous snowshoe experience is required. Participants must furnish their own equipment, including poles with baskets, and be at least 8 years old.


From January 1 through March 21 the east side (Beaver Meadows) Ranger-led Snowshoe Ecology Walk is held on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 12:30 p.m.  There is no fee for the snowshoe program. The Park entrance fee applies. Reservations are required and can be made in advance, seven days or less prior to the desired program date.  To make reservations for east side snowshoe walks, call the park’s Information Office at (970) 586-1223. Please call between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. daily.


Sled, board, tube or cross-country ski at Hidden Valley.  Hidden Valley slopes have been contoured to enhance the safety of sledding and other snow-play activities. The gentle sledding hill is especially enjoyed by younger park visitors but don’t let that stop you – everyone can slide down a hill on a sled and have fun!  Facilities at Hidden Valley include a warming hut, which is open weekends, and heated flush 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.


If you don’t plan to pack gear, Estes Park Mountain Shop rents everything you need including snowshoes, sleds, snowboards, cross-country equipment and guides! For more information on guided tours, gear and equipment rental please visit


Wildlife Watching. Elk, coyote, deer, snowshoe hare, fox, raptors and other wildlife remain active through the winter.  Elk and Mule Deer are most active at dusk and dawn and when not cruising downtown, tend towards the meadow areas.  Bighorn Sheep can be found along the Highway 34/Fall River corridor and with fair frequency, here at Boulder Brook!  Birders will enjoy Steller’s jays, gray jays, Clark’s nutcrackers, magpies, woodpeckers,raptors and several other winged species who live here year-round.


Whether cruising by snowshoe, sled, on foot or by car, remember to be prepared and be safe!  Always be prepared for quickly changing winter weather conditions including high winds and sudden drops in temperature.  Remember the days are much shorter and navigating in winter conditions can be a challenge.  A topographic map and compass or a GPS (Global Positioning System) (or both?) are strongly recommended. Keep in mind that many park trails are not marked for winter use.  Both signs and the summer trails can be buried beneath snow and difficult to follow.  Following other people’s tracks could get you lost.  So prior planning is critical!


To help plan your RMNP adventure and wildlife watching day-trip please visit the RMNP road status website at Before going into the park, Backcountry users should always check the Colorado Avalanche Information Center website at Whenever visiting Rocky Mountain National Park to snowshoe, ski or hike, stop by a park visitor center, check in with a Ranger, or call the park’s Information Office at (970) 586-1206 for current road and snow conditions.

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Christmas Dining is lavish and delicious!

Whether you enjoy traditional fare or modern flare, dining out this Christmas will be delicious, delightful, and clean-up free!


Christmas Eve at Twin Owls Steakhouse features a special menu at a special price. For $36, enjoy a four-ounce buffalo filet grilled and topped with cranberries and onions with a four-ounce quail stuffed with mandarins and pecans and topped with a mandarin cream sauce. Served with green chile and white cheddar mashed potatoes.  Reservations Highly Recommended: 970-586-9344


On Christmas day, choose a bountiful buffet:


The Christmas Feast at the Aspen Lodge features organic, locally grown produce and products as well as delicious vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options. Reservations Required: 970-586-8133.  After Brunch festivities include horse-drawn wagon or sleigh rides (weather and snow dependent) holiday drinks and munchies next to the cozy fire and decorated Christmas Tree.  Ride times 12n – 3pm. Reservations recommended $20/adult $10/child (11 & under).


Christmas Brunch at The Stanley Hotel MacGregor Ballroom is always a lavish affair featuring traditional and nouveau holiday fare. Adults $64 Children 6-12 $29  Children 5 and under Free.  Reservations required: 970-577-4001


The Other Side Restaurant welcomes everyone to their annual Traditional Christmas Dinner Buffet. 11am – 7pm, Thursday, Dec. 25, 2014 Adults: $33.50, Kids ages 10-14: $14.95, Kids ages 9 and under:$2 for each year old.  Reservations Recommended: 970-586-2171

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The Best Stop on the 2014 Tinsel Tavern Tour

is here, at Boulder Brook!  Saturday night, December 13, Dress up in your holiday best or wear your cheesiest holiday sweater and hop on board the free trolley from Boulder Brook to and from the holiday festivities.  Enjoy the kick-off party, live entertainment, appetizers and merriment before visiting several favorite Estes Park Taverns.


Tickets include:

  • attendance to the official kick-off party including hoers d’oeuvres, music, door prizes and costume contest at the Estes Park REsort beginning at 6pm
  • 5 drinks – one at each of the tavern stops.
  • A signature Tinsel Tavern souvenir
  • Free shuttle rides from tavern to tavern and to participating lodging properties
  • Elves on Tavern shelves photo scavenger hunt with more prizes!


Single Ticket $30   —   Pair of Tickets $50

Non-alcoholic (DD) Ticket $15 (Includes kick-off party, sodas, souvenir, shuttle rides, and scavenger hunt)


Purchase tickets online at

or day-of at the Kick Off Party, beginning at 6pm


Ticket buyers and attendees must be 21 or older and present valid ID at entrance. By purchasing tickets, buyer certifies that he/she is 21 or older. Refunds will not be granted if attendee cannot present valid state-issued ID at event entrance

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Estes Park Thanksgiving – Amazing & Delicious!

You are most welcome to cook up a feast in one of our beautiful Suites or enjoy a delicious and abundant Thanksgiving Buffet and have more time to get out and play!


Aspen Lodge Resort & Spa features organic, vegan, and gluten-free options along with wonderful,  traditional Thanksgiving fare.  Guests enjoy one complementary draft beer or house wine with each dinner. After brunch, enjoy a horse-drawn wagon ride around the beautiful property.  Relax with homemade spiced cider and cookies in the lobby next to the cozy fire and monumental decorated Christmas tree. Check out the menu: or make your reservation at 970-586-8133


The lavish, bountiful Thanksgiving Buffet at the Stanley Hotel is held in the MacGregor Ballroom from 11am to 4pm.  Website:  Reservations required: 970-577-5000


Everyone will enjoy the traditional, family friendly Thanksgiving buffet feast offered by YMCA of the Rockies featuring turkey, ham, prime rib, lamb, chicken, traditional sides, and stations for soup, seafood, kids and dessert. First seating is at 11a and the last seating is at 2:30p. Bring the whole family. Reservations required. Please call 970-586-3341 Ext. 1378 or visit:


Visit The Other Side for an original take on traditional holiday fare from 11a to 7p with classic oven roasted turkey, hand carved Roast Baron of beef, baked ham, smoked pork loin with braised apples, cod parmesan, shrimp & scallop scampi, and maple pecan glazed wild salmon.   Veggies include all the classics plus butternut squash bisque, sweet corn pudding (a flavor sensation) and a large selection of fresh salads, breads, and desserts.  Make a reservation:  970-586-2171. See the full menu:


Nicky’s Steakhouse features a Champagne Buffet from 12n to 4p featuring prime rib, traditional turkey, roasted duck, honey ham, baked Alaskan Salmon, Veggies, soups, salads, breads, all the trimmings and delicious desserts.  Reservations: 970-586-5376


Whatever you choose, you are sure to enjoy a delicious, kitchen-free feast.


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Nov. 4, 2014 – The official end of summer

“High winds and freezing temperatures with blowing and drifting snow at high altitude make snow clearing operations and driving conditions extremely hazardous.”


Trail Ridge Road is now in “winter trail status” which means:


  • Through travel on Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park is officially over for the 2104 season;


  • Alpine Visitor Center is closed until spring;


  • Weather permitting, Trail Ridge Road is open to Many Parks Curve on the east side of the park which grants access to Hidden Valley for sledding, boarding, and tubing; and


  • Hiking and wildlife watching are still awesome along Bear Lake Road, in Moraine Park and in Horseshoe Park and in the Alluvial Fan area ( Endovalley Road).


Remember: For your safety and that of your pets and wildlife, neither bicycles nor pets are permitted beyond the closed gates.


For current road conditions and other park information, please call the park’s Information Office at (970) 586-1206.      For the daily recorded Trail Ridge Road status update please call (970) 586-1222.

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Tinsel Tavern Tour … light up your holidays

Dress in your holiday best and jump on the Elkhorn Express for the Tinsel Tavern Tour! Starting at the kick-off party, enjoy live entertainment, appetizers and merriment before stepping onto the Elkhorn Express Free Trolley and visit a line-up of favorite Estes Park Taverns.


Tickets include…

•  The official kick-off party including hoer d’oeuvres, music, door prizes and costume contest at the Estes Park Resort beginning at 6pm

• 5 drinks, one at each of the tavern stops. Taverns to be announced soon!

• A signature Tinsel Tavern Tour souvenir

• Free shuttle rides from tavern-to-tavern and to participating lodging properties

• Elves on Tavern Shelves photo scavenger hunt with more prizes!

Single Ticket: $30
Pair of Tickets: $50
Non-alcoholic (DD) Ticket: $15 (Includes kick-off party, sodas, souvenir, shuttle rides and scavenger hunt.) Max capacity 200.

Tickets can be purchased online at or day-of at the Kick Off Party, beginning at 6pm


Ticket buyers and attendees must be 21 or older and present valid ID at entrance. By purchasing tickets, buyer certifies that he/she is 21 or older. Refunds will not be granted if attendee cannot present valid state-issued ID at event entrance.


Tinsel Tavern Tour Lodging Stops:  Stay at an official Tinsel Tavern Tour trolley stop and be picked up at 6:45p for the kick-off party and dropped off at your lodging property at the end of the tour (11p).


Boulder Brook on Fall River

Streamside on Fall River

The Estes Park Resort
Best Western Plus Silver Saddle
River Rock Cottages

Mountain Shadows Resort


Work it off before the party! Stay with us on Friday evening and join the Costume Optional Dasher 5K Run begins at Bond Park and traverses downtown Estes Park on Saturday morning. Day-of registration begins at 10am in the Town Hall Building (right across from Bond Park.) Race starts promptly at 11am.  Everyone is a medal winner at the 400-yard dash fun run for kids 8 and under.


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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