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Author Topic: Rocky Mountain National Park  (Read 2382 times)

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SuckingSow

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Rocky Mountain National Park
« on: April 07, 2012, 09:11:06 am »

Family vacation time and we have decided to go to RMNP in June and have made reservations for a cabin on a river near Estes Park.  The kids want to take a trail ride while we are there, and of course we will do some day hikes.  For anyone who has been there and done a trailride, do you have recommendations for a particular vendor?  Also is there anything you would recommend we should see/do while there?

We are also planning on going to Pike's Peak on the return trip.  Have any of y'all taken the Cog Railway to the peak?  Would you recommend the railway or driving to the top?

Thanks for any info you can provide.
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RazorbackRon

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Re: Rocky Mountain National Park
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2012, 07:20:34 pm »

Family vacation time and we have decided to go to RMNP in June and have made reservations for a cabin on a river near Estes Park.  The kids want to take a trail ride while we are there, and of course we will do some day hikes.  For anyone who has been there and done a trailride, do you have recommendations for a particular vendor?  Also is there anything you would recommend we should see/do while there?

We are also planning on going to Pike's Peak on the return trip.  Have any of y'all taken the Cog Railway to the peak?  Would you recommend the railway or driving to the top?

Thanks for any info you can provide.

We took the Cog Railway to the peak and saw lots of wildife in the ride to the top.  Riding the Railway allows everyone to enjoy the trip to the peak.  Would also recommend the Royal Gorge while you are in the area.
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SuckingSow

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Re: Rocky Mountain National Park
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2012, 08:11:22 pm »

We took the Cog Railway to the peak and saw lots of wildife in the ride to the top.  Riding the Railway allows everyone to enjoy the trip to the peak.  Would also recommend the Royal Gorge while you are in the area.

I looked at the Royal Gorge and would like to see that.  Don't know if time will allow it on this trip.  Did the railway ride allow you plenty of time to explore around on top?  I think the website states there is approximately 30-40 minutes on the peak before the return trip.  Was that enough time to see everything?

 Thanks for the info.
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TaylorMade7Degree

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Re: Rocky Mountain National Park
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2012, 06:19:52 pm »

We flew out there back in 2004, and had a great time.  Had a cabin on the Falls River (I think) in Estes Park.  Great place to stay.  Would wake up and see elk grazing out in front of the cabin.  We, too, did a horse trail deal there, but don't remember who we went went with.  I would suggest that you drive up Pike's Peak, unless that type of driving bothers you. 

The highlight of our trip, and I'm sure it will be yours as well, was our driving into RMNP itself.  We literally spent hours in there driving around and looking at the wildlife.  The drive the back way up to the visitor's center, with all of the switchbacks, was amazingly cool.  I know you guys will have a great time out there.  Try to eat a meal at the Stanley Hotel.  That is where Stephen King stayed when he was writing The Shining.  Awesome food.
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TaylorMade7Degree

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Re: Rocky Mountain National Park
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2012, 08:04:56 pm »

Forgot to mention, do the Estes Park Sky Tram while you are there.  Incredible view of the area and the mountains, and a fun ride up and down.  Just down the road is one of those "trout fishing" places.  You can throw a bare hook in and catch trout.  My kids caught four, we grilled them at the cabin that evening, but by the time they weigh and dress them, it cost about $40 total.  But it was worth it seeing the look on the children's faces.  And they got to eat the fish they caught.  Priceless.
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SuckingSow

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Re: Rocky Mountain National Park
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2012, 10:06:04 am »

I heard about the Stanley Hotel and will look into that, along with the Sky Tram. I have added a few extra days of vacation and will see the Royal Gorge as well.

Thanks for the info.
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TaylorMade7Degree

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Re: Rocky Mountain National Park
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2012, 07:17:39 pm »

When you go to the Royal Gorge, the closest town to it is Canon City.  There is a pizza joint on the main street there that had killer pies.  Some of th ebest pizza I have ever eaten.  The train ride from Canon City up to and through the Royal Gorge is also a great thing to do.  Hope you guys have a great time!
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sooieet

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Re: Rocky Mountain National Park
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2012, 07:51:07 pm »

my kids loved the Railway.  The trip up is fun, but there isn't a lot to see or do once you reach the top, other than get the famous donuts.

You need to make reservations for the CR though.  We didn't know, and ended up on standby, which was ok because we got there early in the day, but others ended up waiting several hours to get a spot. 

We also loved the Estes Park Sky Tram. 
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johnny cash

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Re: Rocky Mountain National Park
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2012, 08:14:31 pm »

All that is mentioned by above threads is worth the time. The park is awesome. Lot of fun to have up there. Go fishing for trout while there you won't be disappointed.
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sooieet

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Re: Rocky Mountain National Park
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2012, 09:25:57 pm »

When passing through Denver you should go to Casa Bonita and have the Deluxe Dinner, just because you can.   

The Alpine Slide at Heritage Square is also a fun place to stop while traveling between Estes Park and Colorado Springs. 
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SuckingSow

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Re: Rocky Mountain National Park
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2012, 12:06:10 pm »

Just got back from RMNP and had a great time.  We spent 2 nights in Colorado Springs, went to Garden of the Gods the day we got there and then went to the Royal Gorge the next.  Had pizza at the place on main street (thanks TaylorMade7Degree, it was good).

When we drove back to Colorado Springs, the Waldo Canyon fire had just broke and that kept us from doing the Cog Railway up Pikes peak the next day.  My son was really upset about that.  We were able to see the smoke from the hotel room.

We drove to Estes Park only to find a fire had raged through a portion of the area where we had rented a cabin on the Big Thompson river.  That fire destroyed about two dozen structures,  It was out, but smoldering when we got there.

Did several hikes that covered around 25 miles and the kids did great.  God that's some beautiful country up there.  The waterfalls, streams, and mountain lakes were really something.  Took a horseback ride through the park and drove the Old Fall River Road up to the Alpine lodge (recommended for anyone going up there.)  Saw some wildlife, but probably not as much as I was expecting from everyone I talked to that went up there.  From one of the hikes, we could see the smoke from the Ft. Collins fire. 

Weather was great.  Nice cool weather in the evenings and while the locals said they were having a heat wave while we were there, it was upper 80s and very tolerable, especially given the low humidity and the fact that ARK was have triple digit heat.

We left Estes Park and drove up through Wyoming (saw a large fire up there--- man the whole area seems to be burning up there!) then into the SD and saw Crazy Horse memorial and Mt. Rushmore.  After a night in Keystone, SD, we got up and went to the Badlands of SD.  This part of the trip was a little rushed and would have like to have had more than a day and a half to see all of this area.  Didn't realize that that part of SD was so beautiful as well.

Just wanted to give an update on the trip and to say "Thanks" for all the advice I got from y'all.  If you haven't been, it's worth a trip.
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PEtrader

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Re: Rocky Mountain National Park
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2012, 06:36:28 pm »

I used to live around there.  Great places, and some good beers to be had at the breweries.
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SteveInArk

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Re: Rocky Mountain National Park
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2012, 08:40:16 am »

We have old friends in those areas.  Absolutely beautiful area.

Your mention of Big Thompson River brought to mind the 1976 flood there.  On trips through Big Thompson Canyon in the late 70's, some remarkable sights from the canyon flooding.  Still considered the biggest natural disaster in Colorado, I think ...

http://www.coloradoan.com/news/thompson/
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ImHogginIt

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Re: Rocky Mountain National Park
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2012, 09:15:12 am »

Just got back from RMNP and had a great time.  We spent 2 nights in Colorado Springs, went to Garden of the Gods the day we got there and then went to the Royal Gorge the next.  Had pizza at the place on main street (thanks TaylorMade7Degree, it was good).

When we drove back to Colorado Springs, the Waldo Canyon fire had just broke and that kept us from doing the Cog Railway up Pikes peak the next day.  My son was really upset about that.  We were able to see the smoke from the hotel room.

We drove to Estes Park only to find a fire had raged through a portion of the area where we had rented a cabin on the Big Thompson river.  That fire destroyed about two dozen structures,  It was out, but smoldering when we got there.

Did several hikes that covered around 25 miles and the kids did great.  God that's some beautiful country up there.  The waterfalls, streams, and mountain lakes were really something.  Took a horseback ride through the park and drove the Old Fall River Road up to the Alpine lodge (recommended for anyone going up there.)  Saw some wildlife, but probably not as much as I was expecting from everyone I talked to that went up there.  From one of the hikes, we could see the smoke from the Ft. Collins fire. 

Weather was great.  Nice cool weather in the evenings and while the locals said they were having a heat wave while we were there, it was upper 80s and very tolerable, especially given the low humidity and the fact that ARK was have triple digit heat.

We left Estes Park and drove up through Wyoming (saw a large fire up there--- man the whole area seems to be burning up there!) then into the SD and saw Crazy Horse memorial and Mt. Rushmore.  After a night in Keystone, SD, we got up and went to the Badlands of SD.  This part of the trip was a little rushed and would have like to have had more than a day and a half to see all of this area.  Didn't realize that that part of SD was so beautiful as well.

Just wanted to give an update on the trip and to say "Thanks" for all the advice I got from y'all.  If you haven't been, it's worth a trip.

Thanks for the report. My wife and I hope to do something similar in the next couple of years. We have a few more places on the bucket list before we get to those areas though
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PEtrader

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Re: Rocky Mountain National Park
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2012, 06:58:10 pm »

We have old friends in those areas.  Absolutely beautiful area.

Your mention of Big Thompson River brought to mind the 1976 flood there.  On trips through Big Thompson Canyon in the late 70's, some remarkable sights from the canyon flooding.  Still considered the biggest natural disaster in Colorado, I think ...

http://www.coloradoan.com/news/thompson/

yea seeing an entire valley of trees washed away was amazing.  It hard to be horrifying to be in that.
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sevenof400

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Re: Rocky Mountain National Park
« Reply #15 on: August 07, 2016, 01:02:52 pm »

Foreword to mods: I know this is an old thread but in trying to keep similar info together for future reference, I thought it would be better to post here.

We just got back from a stay on the western side of Rocky Mountain National Park and it was beyond description incredible.  Our base of operations was in Granby (about 20 miles from the western entrance to the park) and an easy drive.  I'll post more on this as time permits but for now I have to say I have likely picked the state where we will retire to.  This was our third trip to Colorado (the previous two were to Pagosa Springs in SW Colorado) and each time it has become progressively harder to leave and come home.  The mountains (actual mountains) are so soul and mind clearing and attracting that I don't think I've mentally left Colorado since my first visit. 

This vacation has made it clear that if you haven't seen the American West, you have missed the best scenery this country has to offer.  I am definitely looking for future vacation possibilities in Wyoming, Utah, Montana and Idaho.  The Mighty Five (in Utah), Glacier National Park, Yellowstone, and Coeur d'Alene are on my future destination lists.

Simply incredible. 
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HawgWild

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Re: Rocky Mountain National Park
« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2016, 03:43:39 pm »

Did you pick up an "edibles" while you were out there?
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sevenof400

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Re: Rocky Mountain National Park
« Reply #17 on: August 07, 2016, 05:01:18 pm »

Did you pick up an "edibles" while you were out there?

No, I did not.  Now that you mention it, I do recall a couple of signs but I didn't check them out.
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cosmodrum

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Re: Rocky Mountain National Park
« Reply #18 on: August 07, 2016, 05:49:59 pm »

Driving Trail Ridge road was incredible. Herds of running mule deer in valleys, big horned sheep just standing on the side of the road. I need to get back.
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bennyl08

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Re: Rocky Mountain National Park
« Reply #19 on: August 08, 2016, 07:07:07 pm »

Foreword to mods: I know this is an old thread but in trying to keep similar info together for future reference, I thought it would be better to post here.

We just got back from a stay on the western side of Rocky Mountain National Park and it was beyond description incredible.  Our base of operations was in Granby (about 20 miles from the western entrance to the park) and an easy drive.  I'll post more on this as time permits but for now I have to say I have likely picked the state where we will retire to.  This was our third trip to Colorado (the previous two were to Pagosa Springs in SW Colorado) and each time it has become progressively harder to leave and come home.  The mountains (actual mountains) are so soul and mind clearing and attracting that I don't think I've mentally left Colorado since my first visit. 

This vacation has made it clear that if you haven't seen the American West, you have missed the best scenery this country has to offer.  I am definitely looking for future vacation possibilities in Wyoming, Utah, Montana and Idaho.  The Mighty Five (in Utah), Glacier National Park, Yellowstone, and Coeur d'Alene are on my future destination lists.

Simply incredible.

If you have any questions about them, I don't often frequent this board, but have some good experiences in national parks rockies and west.
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Snort and Squeal

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Re: Rocky Mountain National Park
« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2017, 10:37:45 pm »

Planning on going to Colorado Springs and to Estes Park area.  Looking forward to enjoying many of these things mentioned already!!! 

Looking for advice on spinning rod trout fishing in a creek or river?  I've always wanted to trout fish in Colorado! 
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cosmodrum

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Re: Rocky Mountain National Park
« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2017, 11:12:44 pm »

Family vacation time and we have decided to go to RMNP in June and have made reservations for a cabin on a river near Estes Park.  The kids want to take a trail ride while we are there, and of course we will do some day hikes.  For anyone who has been there and done a trailride, do you have recommendations for a particular vendor?  Also is there anything you would recommend we should see/do while there?

We are also planning on going to Pike's Peak on the return trip.  Have any of y'all taken the Cog Railway to the peak?  Would you recommend the railway or driving to the top?

Thanks for any info you can provide.

While down at Pike's Peak, go horseback riding in the Garden of the Gods.

Edit - lol this is 5 years old
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HighcountryHog

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Re: Rocky Mountain National Park
« Reply #22 on: July 13, 2017, 03:50:35 pm »

Planning on going to Colorado Springs and to Estes Park area.  Looking forward to enjoying many of these things mentioned already!!! 

Looking for advice on spinning rod trout fishing in a creek or river?  I've always wanted to trout fish in Colorado!

Fly rods only on moving water out here.  They do stock several lakes but mostly at very crowded places.
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