Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Top 10 Places to See Colorado's Awesome Fall Colors

In the fall, Colorado is transformed into an arena of shimmering colors. Byways, passes, trails, railways and parks all offer ways to soak in fall foliage that peaks between mid-September and mid-October. Here are some of Colorado.com's favorite places for viewing the amazing fall colors of Colorado:

Rocky Mountain High. Trail Ridge Road, North America's highest paved road, winds from Estes Park to Grand Lake through Rocky Mountain National Park offering unrivaled vantage points. Inn-to-inn hiking offers a unique leaf-peeping experience in this area.

Photographer's Favorite. Gunnison is home to Kebler Pass, a favorite of photographer John Fielder, which boasts the largest aspen grove in North America.

Tires, Tracks and Trees. The San Juan Skyway, a 236-mile loop through the San Juan Mountains, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, and Soaring® Tree Top Adventures, all offer amazing arrays of fall colors in southwest Colorado.

Iconic Views Outside of Aspen. The iconic Maroon Bells, located in the White River National Forest, provide access to hiking trails that offer unbeatable views of aspens, pines and alpine lakes.

Classic Western Colors. Colorado's Western Slope is home to the Grand Mesa, the world's largest flat top mountain, where vibrant scrub oaks contrast with shimmering aspens along the Grand Mesa Scenic and Historic Byway. A bird's eye view is offered via chairlifts during Fall Fest at Powderhorn.

Into the Wild. Buffalo Pass near Steamboat Springs is lined with rows of glowing aspens and winds eight miles to the Continental Divide and Summit Lake. Locals recommend the moderate hike to Zirkel Wilderness Area - the Gilpin Lake Loop is an outstanding hike.

Scenic Southern Colorado. La Veta Pass on U.S. Route 160 is one of the most scenic drives in the state during the fall. The Rio Grande Scenic Railroad is another way to explore fall foliage in southern Colorado.

Gondola. The Free Telluride Gondola and the three-mile Jud Wiebe Trail both offer unmatched opportunities to view Telluride's colorful foliage.

Vroom with a View. Colorado Highway 62 over the Dallas Divide offers epic views of Mount Sneffels. The route connects with Highway 145 and Lizard Head Pass, showing off Wilson Peak. Be sure to take the side trip on Dallas Creek Road to the Blue Lakes Trailhead. The hike up to Blue Lakes is one of the best hikes in the state.

Front Range Foliage. Begin a road trip in downtown Boulder and head up through Boulder Canyon to the small town of Nederland and along Highway 72, which connects to The Peak-to-Peak Scenic and Historic Byway.

You can click here for more information on Colorado's best places to see fall colors.

If you do plan on visiting Rocky Mountain National Park this fall, please note that our hiking website offers a wide variety of accommodation listings for both Estes Park and Grand Lake to help with all your vacation planning.


Saturday, August 23, 2014

One Man's Perspective on Solitude and Wilderness

Every couple of months 68-year-old Ed Zevely rides into the Colorado high country to camp for weeks at a time, and does it completely alone. Through thunderstorms, open meadows and treacherous passes, he finds his own patch of serenity. Ed provides an interesting perspective, perhaps one that all of us should consider as we go through life.

Open Door to Solitude from Filson on Vimeo.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Rocky Mountain's 100th Anniversary Approaches: Celebrate With Hikes and Other Events

On September 4, 1915, hundreds of people gathered in Horseshoe Park to celebrate the dedication of America’s newest playground, Rocky Mountain National Park. Signed into law on January 26th of that same year by President Woodrow Wilson, Rocky Mountain National Park would forever protect the incredible resources found within its boundaries so that future generations might also benefit from its beauty and wildness.

As the 100th year anniversary of its creation rapidly approaches, Rocky Mountain National Park will be offering several events in conjunction with park partners and surrounding communities to commemorate this historic event. In order to accommodate the greatest variety of events possible, celebration of the Rocky Mountain National Park 100th Anniversary will begin on September 4, 2014, and will continue through September 4, 2015.

Included on the list of anniversary events are several guided hikes. The Colorado Mountain Club will be offering hikes, climbs, and wildflower walks throughout the anniversary year. The YMCA of the Rockies will also lead hikes throughout the year as well.

Also, on September 5th, the Rocky Mountain Nature Association (now the Rocky Mountain Conservancy) will offer a naturalist-guided hike along the Ute Trail (please call 970-586-3262 for details).

The park itself will be offering a guided hike along the Lily Lake Trail on September 6th. This hike is known as the "Wilderness Act 50th Anniversary Wilderness Walk".

For a complete list of events scheduled for the year-long celebration, please click here. You should note that additional events mat still be added as we approach the anniversary.

Rocky Mountain enthusiasts may also want to note that award-winning author Mary Taylor Young has recently published a new book that celebrates the park's centennial. In addition to telling the story of the park, Rocky Mountain National Park: The First 100 Years is illustrated with more than 250 historical and landscape images. Mary will be giving a presentation on her new book at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center Auditorium on September 27th as part of the Centennial Speaker Series.

If you do plan to visit Rocky Mountain National Park during the centennial celebration, or anytime for that matter, please note that our website offers a wide variety of accommodation listings in both Estes Park and Grand Lake. Also, don't forget to check out our Things To Do page to help with all your trip planning.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Some Flood-damaged areas on Canyon Lakes Ranger District Reopen

Some areas of the Canyon Lakes Ranger District impacted by the September 2013 Flood have re-opened as repairs have been completed.

Storm Mountain and Cedar Park Roads are now open, along with the Crosier Mountain Trail system. These are all located west of Loveland. It is important to note these areas and others damaged by the flood may not be the in the same condition as they were pre-flood. The Storm Mountain roads had to be improved more than they are historically maintained in order to accommodate the heavy equipment needed to make repairs.

The Forest continues to focus on many flood recovery efforts; however, additional rains this summer have delayed some repair work. Crews are actively working on additional road and trail repairs. As these repairs are completed more areas are anticipated to open before the field season is halted by snow.

For additional information about flood closures and recovery efforts, check the FS website.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Tonahutu Fire is 100% Contained

Rocky Mountain National Park announced this afternoon that the Tonahutu Fire is now one hundred percent contained. Due to more accurate mapping, the new acreage for the fire is 1.6 acres. Crews are currently mopping up any remaining hot spots. Some resources will be released by the end of today. Minor trail closures on the west side of the park related to this fire may be modified by Friday.

No further information will be released today.


Update On Tonahutu Fire

Late yesterday, weather conditions (calm winds and higher humidity) assisted firefighters in their efforts on the Tonahutu Fire in Rocky Mountain National Park. The fire is estimated to be 7 acres.

This morning twenty-five firefighters, including personnel from Rocky Mountain National Park, Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest and Grand Lake Fire Protection District are fighting the fire. Two Type 2 crews are traveling to the park.

Yesterday, six firefighters, from the three agencies listed above, were part of the initial attack. They were assisted by a Type III helicopter that dropped water on the fire. The fire is located roughly 1 mile north of Grand Lake. There are some area closures on the west side of the park including the lower Tonahutu Trail from the junction of Green Mountain south to the trailhead and the spur trail from the Kawuneeche Visitor Center.

The fire is believed to be lightning caused.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Small Fire On West Side Of Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park announced earlier today that there is a small fire, approximately 5 acres in size, on the west side of the park. The Tonahutu Fire is located roughly 1 mile north of Grand Lake. There are six firefighters including personnel from Rocky Mountain National Park, Arapaho National Forest and Grand Lake Fire Protection District who have been part of the initial attack plus a Type III helicopter is on scene. Two Type 2 crews and a ten person fire module have been ordered.

There are some area closures on the west side of the park including the lower Tonahutu Trail from the junction of Green Mountain south to the trailhead and the spur trail from the Kawuneeche Visitor Center.

The fire is believed to be lightning caused.