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Rocky Mountain National Park Series - December 3rd Full Moon Hike

by Cory Dudley

Bask in the light of the full moon in Rocky Mountain National Park this Sunday 12/3.

What better a way to get into the holiday spirit! 

Photo Credit: NPS/Russell Smith

The Rocky Mountain Rangers lead Full Moon Walks in the winter months, the first one this coming Sunday. Groups leave from Beaver Meadows at 5 pm. Reservations are required and can be made in person or you can call the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center at 970-586-1223. Maybe there will even be a little fresh snow from the system that passes through Sunday - fingers crossed!

...when you drive into this park, you forget about everything else. You hear the water, hear the birds, you hear the wind ruffling through the aspens. Everything else disappears and all you have are the sounds and your thoughts." Blake Crossland

Image Credit PARK CHAMPIONS // 02 // Rocky Mountain National Park from Compass Coalition on Vimeo

Blake Crossland grew up in the Rocky Mountains, through which he developed a deep appreciation for exploration and adventure in the outdoors. Now, he is dedicating his life to returning the favor by becoming a trail crew leader for the Rocky Mountain Conservation Corps.

Image Credit PARK CHAMPIONS // 02 // Rocky Mountain National Park from Compass Coalition on Vimeo​

Blake's crew is responsible for trail construction and maintenance. They focus on making trails more sustainable, so they last longer and are more enjoyable for the public.

Image Credit PARK CHAMPIONS // 02 // Rocky Mountain National Park from Compass Coalition on Vimeo​

The main goal of the Conservation Corp is to get kids involved in conservation work. Younger people will determine our National Parks' futures. We need to connect young people to the public lands and parks and continue to protect these treasured places!

Thank you Blake! 

PARK CHAMPIONS // 02 // Rocky Mountain National Park from Compass Coalition on Vimeo.


Rocky Mountain National Park Series - ROCKY MOUNTAIN 8K - Enjoy:)

by Christa Marsh

Rocky Mountain 8K is part of the More Than Just Parks project founded to share the wonders of the National Parks with as many people as possible in order to continue their protection and enjoyment for all for years to come.

Learn more about the More Than Just Parks project at!

Sit back and enjoy this visually stunning journey through Colorado's own Rocky Mountain National Park.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN 8K from More Than Just Parks on Vimeo.

Rocky Mountain National Park Series - Weekend RMNP Events

by Cory Dudley



Need to make plans for the upcoming weekend? Look no further than Rocky Mountain National Park! There's always plenty going on to entertain those venturing alone, with friends or with the family...


Friday, July 28th 


Lily Ridge Hike (2 miles) - 9:30 to 11:00 am - Lily Lake 

Join in on this guided hike to Lily Lake and find how trails connect various rocky ridges, forests, meadows, Longs Peak and Lily Lake. 

The Great American Solar Eclipse - 10:00 am to 12:00 pm - Kawuneeche Visitor Center 

Are you traveling somewhere to view the Solar Eclipse in August? Come by the park and learn how a solar eclipse happens, what you might see and how to view this natural occurrence safely. 

All About Lightning - 2:30 to 3:00 pm - Alpine Visitor Center 

Learn all about why lightning is so important to know about, and how you can minimize your risk of being struck by lightning. 

Exploring With a Camera - 1:30 to 3:00 pm - Timber Lake Trailhead

Whether you have lots of experience with photographing in nature or are just beginning to dive in, this is your chance to learn some valuable tips and improve your skills on a guided photography walk. 



Bighorn Basics - 10:30 to 11:00 am - Sheep Lakes Information Station 

Did you know that the Bighorn Sheep is the symbol of the Rocky Mountains themselves? Learn about this beautiful animal near Sheep Lakes; a popular place to view them. 

Glacier Basic Campground Evening Program - 8:30 to 9:15 pm - Glacier Basin Campground Amphitheater

Various topics are discussed, both informative and fun! Dress warmly. 

Holzwarth Historic Site - 10:30 am to 4:30 pm - Holzwarth Historic Site Parking Area 

Help the park join Holzwarth Historic Site's 100th Birthday! While you're at it, take a tour of the 1920's-era dude ranch and get a taste of early homesteading. 

Astronomy in the Park - 8:15 pm - Upper Beaver Meadows Trailhead

Join a park ranger and the expert team of volunteer astronomers to observe and identify different elements and constellations in the night sky. Make sure to dress warmly and bring binoculars and a flashlight. A 30 minute program will be followed by viewing. 



Old Ranch Campfire - 7:00 to 9:00 pm - Holzwarth Historic Site Parking Area

Bring the family or friends and roast marshmallows by the campfire. It does require a 1 mile walk to get to the campfire site, so dress warmly! Bring your own marshmallows and come equipped with campfire stories and songs. 


Saturday, July 29th 


Hike through History (3 miles) - 9:30 am to 12:30 pm - Colorado River Trailhead - FREE 

Make your way along Colorado River on this calm 3-mile hike where you'll discover remnants of mining and ranching history. Bring anything you'd need to be well prepared for a hike of this length. 

Sprague Lake Stroll (1 mile) - 9:30 to 11:00 am - Sprague Lake Picnic Area

Managing wild places within Rocky Mountain National Park is the topic of discussion on this guided hike. Enjoy the conversation of a ranger as you make your way around Sprague Lake. 

Twilight Walk - 7:45 to 9:15 pm - Sprague Lake

If you love that magical twilight hour just before night settles in, don't miss this guided walk! You'll learn all about what the natural world is going as day transitions into night. Dress warmly and bring a flashlight. 


Sunday, July 30th 


Beyond the Falls (1 mile) - 2:15 to 3:45 pm - East Inlet Trailhead

Even been to Adams Falls? You'll enjoy this pleasant hike to Adams Falls and soak in the amazing view that lies just beyond it. 



Mountain Wildflowers - 9:00 to 11:00 am - Kawuneeche Visitor Center Flagpole

A ranger will lead you & your caravan to see the best flowers that are currently blossoming and teach you all the reasons why they're so special. 




Wouldn't it be nice to have a place where people can come together and commit to learning about the world around them in thoughtful, sincere way? Sitting on 180 acres near Ward, Colorado, the Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center welcomes participants from near and far to do just that!


“For me in this dark time, Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center will be a shining beacon I can trust. I see it offering what we most need: the inspired leadership of committed teachers, a wild mountain setting to awaken our own power and beauty, the ripening of a Sangha to grow a guiding vision for our people, and the strength to make it real.”  

- Joanna Macy, Ph.D Engaged Buddhist teacher 


(Video Credit: Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center)


The land is composed of a private river, meadows and woodlands adjacent to the Arapahoe National Forest and mere miles from the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Their mission is to provide a space for low-cost meditation retreats and workshops, surrounded by and focused on nature. The scheduled programs that the group is most excited about are:


Open House Activity Day - July 16th - Join in for a full day filled with community, mindfulness and the beautiful nature that the center sits on. Families are welcome and the event is free, though donations are always appreciated.

Ecodharma Retreat with David Loy & Johann Robbins - August 4th through 13th - This meditation retreat encourages exploration into social consciousness and promoting caring, wisdom and compassion rather than anxiety and anger. 



The center has no paid staff and runs solely with the help of many volunteers, giving their time and expertise to the cause. Click HERE to learn more about the team, their volunteers, and how you can become involved.  



There's a brand new bluegrass festival in town! If you're looking for something fun to do this weekend, head up to Estes Park for their inaugural Mountain Music Festival on Saturday, May 13th from 12 - 9pm. Held in the Estes Park Events Complex, this festival will feature both national and local bands, and promises to be a great time for everyone. 



The event is a fundraising effort for the Estes Park School District's various music programs, which include the state champion marching bands, middle and high school bands, middle and high school choirs, and elementary music programs. It is truly a grass-roots effort, organized for and by the community of Estes Park. Community sponsors include The Rock Inn, Snowy Peaks Winery, Twin Owls Steakhouse, Rock Creek Tavern & Pizzeria, Inwell & Brew, Estes Park News, and many more. The festival's aim is to combat low funding in music programs and get ahead of the ever-increasing costs of such programs. 


"There is a large body of evidence showing that a quality music program raises test scores, (and supports) higher level thinking and performance in many other core areas, as well as social inclusion," says Cynda Basch, Estes Park High School secretary. 


Estes Park's Mountain Music Festival lineup is below...


Front Country  - Headliner, Americana


Rapidgrass - High-Energy Bluegrass 


Bonnie and the Clydes - Rocky Mountain Country Soul 


Chain Station - High-Energy String Band 


Monocle Band - Bluegrass Fusion 


Bella Betts and Will Thomas - Bluegrass Prodigies 


Tickets are available for purchase HERE online. Want to make it into a weekend getaway? Click HERE to check out local lodging options that allow you to soak up the Estes sun all weekend long.




Estes Park is thought to be the 'Gateway to the Rockies'; the ideal base camp for someone who enjoys exploring Rocky Mountain National Park, but wants to end the day in civilization with a cold local brew and a delicious meal. And spring is a beautiful time of year to visit! Forget about the headache of planning a weekend getaway - we've got you covered..



3:00 pm - Check into the historic Stanley Hotel, Castle Mountain Lodge or the River Stone Suites for the weekend.



5:30 pm - Visit Rock Cut Brewing 

Check out one of Estes' beloved craft beer additions and see what all the fuss is about. Their brews will cool you down and when paired with the delicious bites from the Two Chicks food truck, you can't go wrong! 



6:30 am - Yellow Wood Guiding in RMNP 

Yellow Wood Guiding offers many different tour options in the park, depending on the time of day and type of tour you'd like to embark on. Options include: wildlife, sunrise, flowers and waterfalls. The Estes organization takes you above and beyond the typical 'point and shoot' type of tour, so be sure you bring along your top-notch camera! 


10:30 am - Brunch at Claire's Restaurant 


Claire's is considered a must-do by locals and visitors alike, thanks to their high quality and fresh menu items, and the beautiful views. Give their Signature Bacon Bloody Mary a try, which we've been told pairs nicely with the Cuban Benedict... Yum.


1:00 pm - Downtown Shopping Spree



All along Elkhorn Drive is considered to be the heart of Estes Park, AKA Downtown. There you'll find many locally owned restaurants and shops, which feel as though they may have been frozen in time. While you can find saltwater taffy, there is also an emerging, cool vibe in the area. For a classy cup o' joe, visit Inkwell & Brew; a shop that combines their love for handmade fountain pens and stationary with cappucino and pour-overs. 

Once you've got your drink in hand, head over to the Macdonald Book Shop. It's 1928 historically bones fit right into the downtown scenery, but their collection is anything but stale - they specialize in hiking and nature guides, and a wide variety of general fiction and non fiction.

Earthwood Artisans should have the perfect item to take home and remind you of your weekend getaway. Works created by 120 American artists are available for sale, and each are unique all in their own. Shop for jewelry, metal art, paintings, photography, pottery and woodworking pieces.


6:30 pm - Dinner at Dunraven Inn

Whether you live in Estes Park or you're just visiting from somewhere else, Dunraven offers a romantic environment and a great meal. Their wine list is extensive, and their staff is happy to suggest pairings and recommendations to anyone and everyone. Entrees are homemade and prepared with fresh ingredients. Be sure you check out the dollar bills on the wall - patrons have been signing and placing them there for years, and when one falls off, the Dunraven's owner donates it to charity! 




7:00 am - Donut Haus 

Donut Haus has been happily serving Estes Park for over 30 years now. Handmade pastries are made fresh daily, and when they're sold out - that's all for today! Whether you're in the mood for one of Katy's Mountain Muffins or a Pinecone (the Estes Park spin on a bearclaw), Donut Haus has just what you're craving. 


8:00 am - Snowshoeing at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is among the park's most iconic destinations, and the perfect place for taking in snowy views from your snowshoes. Before you head out into the wilderness, check out The Warming House. The adventure outfitting shop offers gear rentals, advice on where to go and what to see, and even guided tours if you'd prefer that.



1:00 pm - Moon Kats Tea Shoppe

Warm up before your drive back home with a little something from Moon Kats Tea Shoppe! Enjoy chai, fine teas, housemade pastries, soups and pastries. The perfect way to recharge after your hike and before the trek back to reality.



(Glacier National Park, Montana)


The National Park Service Centennial Act was approved by Congress in December of 2016. In short, the legislation raises entry fees to all 417 national parks and over 2,000 recreational sites that are managed by the federal government. It's not all about jacking up prices needlessly, though; an endowment will be established and the funds used to improve the experience of visitors to such locations, and support opportunities for volunteering in parks all over the U.S. 

In an attempt to remain transparent and ever-honest, park services have announced that the lifetime pass for citizens 62 years and older will jump from $10 to $80 very soon. They're encouraging anyone who wants to enjoy the national parks and public space to act within the next few months or risk losing out on the lower price!


(Denali National Park, Alaska)


How to Get a Senior Pass

You must be 62 at the time of purchase to qualify for the Senior Pass. You'll need an ID in order to prove your age and residency, too. The most economic option is to purchase the pass in person - find the ideal location by clicking HERE. If you'd rather not make the trip, you may also apply online HERE, but it will cost you an additional $10 for processing. 

Don't wait too long - take advantage of the heads up today! Use the images below of U.S. National Parks as inspiration to take action...


(Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming)


(Yosemite National Park, California)


(Zion National Park, Utah)



Attention, everyone! Trail Ridge Road is officially open to cyclists, though travel on it at your own risk; park officials are warning that conditions may still be a bit tricky to navigate. 



Trail Ridge Road connects Estes Park to the west and Grand Lake to the west, and is the highest continues paved road in the United States. The scenic route reaches elevations of 12,183 feet and provides beautiful views for anyone traveling it - and if you decide to adventure out on that great road...

Be prepared for strong winds and weather that could change at a moment's notice, especially at this time of year.  Officials close it down during the winter months due to snow and dangerous conditions. If you want to check in on current conditions, call 970-586-1222 for the most up-to-date information. 



Not interested in making the journey yourself? Live vicariously through others and check out this first-hand account of what cycling Trail Ridge Road is like.




Composer Stephen Lias,like many others in all walks of life, draws inspiration from the great outdoors to create beautiful art in the form of musical masterpieces. The only difference is that his gaze is a bit more specific and focused - on national parks, to be specific!



Included in his dozens of compositions are pieces created thanks to our very own Rocky Mountain and Mesa Verde national parks, alongside many more from around the United States.

This Saturday, March 25th at 7:30pm, the Boulder Philharmonic will debut the composer's newest piece, fondly dubbed "All the Songs That Nature Sings", after writings by Enos Mills, who's considered to be the father of the Rocky Mountain National Park by many. Though there are a very limited number of seats still available for the premier, you can buy tickets HERE. And if you'd prefer to listen to the full concert from the comfort of your home, take advantage of CPR's (Colorado Public Radio) live broadcast!



After the concert, the Boulder Philharmonic travels to Washington, D.C. to perform the complete program at the Kennedy Center's SHIFT event; a festival that showcases innovate American orchestras.

We're inspired and in awe of the beauty all over this state, but we must agree with composer Lias - Rocky Mountain National Park is quite special...



Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 23




Contact Information

Cory Dudley
The Winning Team Real Estate Group
522 Kimbark St
Longmont CO 80501
Mobile: (303) 641-8597
Office: (303) 776-4004
Fax: (303) 776-4661