Seasonal Activities

The Best Colorado Cross-Country Skiing Spots near Estes Park

Cross-Country Skiing Colorado: A woman cross-country skiing amid the backcountry near Estes Park, Colorado.

If you ask any winter sports enthusiast, there’s a good chance they’ll tell you cross-country skiing is among the most immersive things to do to enjoy the great outdoors. Although downhill skiing usually takes center stage in the Centennial State, Colorado offers excellent cross-country skiing opportunities, including around Estes Park. The best part is that most of our skiing areas are beginner to intermediate level, so you don’t have to worry about being an expert. To help you find the best spots, the Fall River Village Resort team put together a list of nearby places that won’t disappoint.

Trail Ridge Road

It’s no secret that Trail Ridge Road is closed to automobiles in the winter, but some people may not know that you can still explore it amid a beautiful blanket of snow. And because cars aren’t allowed, you can safely navigate this iconic road from over 10,000 feet. Patrons will enjoy the alpine vantage points along the road, which offer outstanding winter views of Hidden Valley and Horseshoe Park.

Sprague Lake Loop

The Sprague Lake Loop is another excellent Estes Park cross-country skiing trail for beginners. This three-mile loop is the primary route, but you can also go around the lake. With minimal incline, a distinct pathway, and beautiful scenery, it’s no surprise that the Sprague Lake Loop is popular among newbies and families with children.

Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a beloved summer hike that transforms into a winter wonderland for those eager to experience Colorado cross-country skiing. The flat trail circling the lake is an excellent starting point, branching out to other scenic backcountry lakes like Nymph Lake, Emerald Lake, and Dream Lake.

Glacier Gorge

Explore the Glacier Gorge trails accessed through Bear Lake and the Glacier Gorge Trailhead for more rugged cross-country skiing. The journey to Mills Lake via Glacier Gorge is spectacular and moderately easy in terms of elevation gain.

Premier Lodging in Estes Park, Colorado

Now that you have a few places in mind to create a memorable Colorado cross-country skiing experience, we invite you to make yourself at home at Fall River Village Resort. We have a wide selection of vacation rentals offering easy access to all the popular outdoor winter adventure spots and Downtown Estes Park, so you’ll never have to worry about missing out on anything. From condos to vacation homes, we have it all! To find out more or make reservations, please visit us online today!

Winter Photography Tips from Fall River Village Resort

Winter Photography: A photographer looks for the perfect shot near Estes Park.

Well before social media and digital cameras, taking pictures has been a significant part of the vacation experience. As we make our way through fall, many visitors to Fall River Village Resort are gearing up for winter getaways in Estes Park, meaning there will be plenty of winter photography opportunities. It goes without saying that smartphones and advanced point-and-shoot cameras make taking pictures more manageable than ever. Still, winter can present a new set of challenges because of how snow, cold weather, and prominent cloud cover can affect lighting and the overall appearance of imagery. To help ensure your time isn’t wasted on blurry pictures or foggy lenses, we put together five tips for a better winter photography experience.

Winter Photography Opportunities | Estes Park, Colorado

Some perceive winter photography as challenging due to prior unsuccessful attempts. The often-overlooked charm lies in the new perspective created by snow-covered forests, icicles, and frozen lakes. The colder months offer a unique canvas for photography, showcasing a pristine white landscape. While winter poses challenges with its limited color palette and sunlight, amateur and professional photographers can capture enchanting and surreal moments by investing effort and creativity into their shots. Embracing the cold opens up magical photographic opportunities to portray your winter getaway in a captivating light.

5 Winter Photography Tips

Whether at Rocky Mountain National Park or Downtown Estes Park, our idyllic area offers a wealth of winter photography possibilities. Here are a few tips to help you capture beautiful memories.

  • Embrace all weather conditions, including snowstorms and blizzards, for unique photographic opportunities. Just make sure you put safety at the forefront.
  • To capture captivating images, utilize every hour of the day, not just the “golden hours” around sunrise and sunset.
  • Minimize tracks and footprints in your shots to maintain the pristine and surreal quality of a winter setting.
  • Carry spare batteries to counter the cold temperatures that can drain your camera’s power, especially if using electronic screens for framing shots.
  • Adjust the white balance to a cold setting before editing to bring out vibrant snow and pronounced shadows in your photos.

Vacation Rental Condos near Downtown Estes Park

Fall River Village in Winter

It doesn’t take long to realize that the greater Estes Park area has many excellent places for winter photography. From snowcapped mountains to bustling streets, you can let your imagination and creativity run wild. Fall River Village is your go-to lodging option with a sizable collection of accommodations near all the action. To start planning your Estes Park winter getaway, check out our vacation rentals today!

What to Expect: An Estes Park ATV Rental Guide

Estes Park ATV Rental: An power sports enthusiast rides an ATV on a mountain road near Estes Park.

When it comes to outdoor adventure, fall is an excellent time to make memories. The crisp mountain air and fewer crowds make for a seamless recreational experience. One of the services we get many questions about at Fall River Village Resort is the nearby ATV rentals around Estes Park. Although there is only one primary rental company, you may wonder what to expect. To make things easier, we put together a quick guide to give you a better understanding.

ATV Rental Safety Considerations

ATV riding offers outdoor excitement, but safety is paramount—especially around mountainous places like Estes Park. Ensure your well-being by wearing appropriate safety gear, including a DOT-approved helmet. It’s also wise to consider enrolling in an ATV safety course, which imparts vital skills and knowledge about local regulations. Your rental service regularly inspects their ATVs, but you should always be mindful and proactive.

Compliance with local laws is essential, as is staying on designated trails and maintaining a safe speed, especially when tackling unfamiliar terrain. Be mindful of weather conditions; they can significantly impact your ride. Keep alcohol and drugs out of the equation when operating an ATV, and equip yourself with essentials like a map and first-aid kit. If you’re supervising young riders, ensure they’re on ATVs suitable for their age. Respect the environment by following ethical practices and be prepared for emergencies with the necessary tools and knowledge. These precautions allow you to fully enjoy the excitement of ATV riding while staying safe.

Backbone Adventures

Recently acquiring Estes Park ATV Rentals and a longstanding regional leader, Backbone Adventures is one of the best in Colorado. Although they offer traditional single-rider ATV rentals, they also provide two, four, and six-person UTVs for those who don’t want to ride solo. In addition to UTV and ATV rentals, they also feature a collection of Jeeps to take wherever you’d like for the day. And if you happen to be visiting this winter, they have a collection of snow machines. Their knowledgeable and attentive staff will give you a rundown of all the best trails, safety precautions, and the best places to grab a bite to eat along the way.

How it Works

According to the Backbone Adventures website, you’ll want to show up 30 minutes early to sign paperwork, go over safety procedures, grab your gear, and choose your trail. ATV and UTV rentals are possible for mornings, afternoons, or full days. Jeeps are rentable all day. You’ll need to have experience pulling a trailer behind the truck they provide. All renters must be at least 23 years old, and drivers must be at least 16 years old.

Rocky Mountain Lodging: Where to Stay in Estes Park

An interior view of an Estes Park Condo.

With one of the Centennial State’s top-rated companies, we’re confident you’ll have an incredible Estes Park ATV rental experience. And to add to the allure of adventure, our condo-style vacation rentals are the perfect place to rest and relax after an exciting day on the trail. To find out more or book your stay, please visit us online or call 970-325-6864 today!

Novice Colorado Rock Climbing near Estes Park

A female outdoor enthusiast tries her hand at rock climbing in Colorado.

With its breathtaking landscapes and diverse geologic formations, it’s no secret that Estes Park is a hotbed for Colorado rock climbing. From beginners to experienced climbers, the area boasts a wide assortment of climbing routes and experiences. Not to mention, many outfitters, guides, and rental services are available to help you get a leg up if you’re new to the sport. The charming region surrounding Fall River Village Resort offers a playground for adventurers seeking to “get vertical.” Here, we’ll delve into the exhilarating world of rock climbing and some reliable resources around Estes Park.

The Yosemite Decimal System

Since many people reading this are probably new to the sport, it’s worth glossing over the Yosemite Decimal System (YDS). The YDS comprises classes, grades, and modifiers to assess the challenges of different routes comprehensively. The Yosemite Decimal System provides climbers and outdoor enthusiasts with a standardized way to communicate different routes’ challenges and technical requirements. However, because grading systems can be subjective, combining YDS ratings with additional research, route descriptions, and local advice when planning outdoor adventures is recommended.

Safety and Planning

Safety is paramount in Colorado rock climbing. It’s imperative to use proper climbing gear, including a helmet, harness, and shoes. Following recommended safety practices minimizes risks and ensures a rewarding experience. If you’re a novice, enrolling in a climbing course or hiring a local guide can offer valuable insight and skill-building opportunities.

The Estes Park area has several climbing shops and gear rental facilities, making it convenient for climbers to acquire the necessary equipment. Whether you need climbing shoes, harnesses, or ropes, these local resources cater to beginners and experienced climbers.

Estes Park Rocking Climbing Outfitters

Although several reputable rock climbing outfitters exist throughout the great Estes Park area, three primary services stand out above the rest. 

Kent Mountain Adventure Center, with decades of experience, stands as one of Estes Park’s premier climbing schools, offering guided climbing trips within Rocky Mountain National Park. Their expert guides provide a range of climbing experiences suitable for all skill levels. Based in downtown Estes Park, Colorado Mountain School is renowned for its diverse climbing courses, guided climbs, and private instruction. Their experienced team caters to climbers seeking tailored experiences, from introductory climbs to more advanced challenges. Finally, while primarily an outdoor gear store, Estes Park Mountain Shop occasionally provides guided climbing trips and instruction, making it a valuable resource for climbers exploring the area’s rock climbing opportunities.

Condo Lodging in Estes Park, Colorado

Interior view

The thrill of Colorado rock climbing awaits those looking for “extreme” outdoor things to do in Estes Park. Still, the region’s diverse climbing opportunities, from the iconic Lumpy Ridge to guided climbing tours, ensure that adventurers of all levels can find their perfect challenge. Regardless of your skill level, there’s nothing quite like returning to the comfort of a well-appointed condo or suite at Fall River Village Resort to rest up for your next adventure.
 To find out more or book your stay, please visit us online or call 970-325-6864 today!

Beautiful Colorado Fall Foliage near Estes Park

Colorado fall foliage near Estes Park.

Although summer will soon bid us farewell in the Rocky Mountains, a magnificent transformation will begin—Colorado fall foliage season! The air becomes crisper, and nature’s paintbrush works its magic, drenching the landscape in a breathtaking red, orange, and gold tapestry. From late September to early October, the picturesque town of Estes Park comes alive with vibrant hues, drawing in leaf peepers from all over to witness the mesmerizing display. Let’s delve into the best spots to experience the captivating Colorado fall foliage near Fall River Village and immerse ourselves in the wonders of this enchanting season.

Rocky Mountain National Park: A Kaleidoscope of Colors

When it comes to Colorado fall foliage, Rocky Mountain National Park reigns supreme. This iconic national park is a haven for aspen groves, which burst into brilliant shades of gold and yellow during the fall. Stroll along the meandering trails, and witness various tree stands creating a kaleidoscope of colors against the majestic backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. 

Whether you venture to Bear Lake, Moraine Park, or the Bierstadt Lake Trail, each turn offers a new vista of nature’s grandeur. Capture the beauty with your camera or simply stand in awe of the breathtaking landscape surrounding you. There’s no better place to experience the magic of autumn than within the embrace of Rocky Mountain National Park’s fall foliage extravaganza.

Trail Ridge Road

Within Rocky Mountain National Park, soak in the full splendor of Colorado fall foliage and embark on a scenic drive along Trail Ridge Road. As the highest continuous paved road in the United States, this iconic byway offers unparalleled views of the surrounding valleys, canyons, and peaks draped in fall colors. The journey takes you through evergreen forests and past aspen groves, treating you to a symphony of amber and crimson hues. 

Be sure to stop at the various viewpoints along the way, where you can savor the panoramic views and capture the essence of fall in the Rockies. The drive along Trail Ridge Road is an unforgettable experience that should not be missed during autumn.

Local Parks and Open Spaces near Downtown Estes Park

While the grandeur of Rocky Mountain National Park is awe-inspiring, be sure to notice the beauty in the local parks and open spaces of Estes Park. Stanley Park and Bond Park, among others, offer peaceful settings where you can revel in the warm colors of fall without venturing too far from town. Walk along the tree-lined paths and breathe in the crisp mountain air as you witness the changing leaves. These hidden gems provide intimate encounters with Colorado fall foliage, allowing you to bask in the natural wonders of autumn in the heart of Estes Park.

Hiking the Lily Mountain Trail

For those who wish to hike during their Colorado fall foliage tour, the Lily Mountain Trail is an excellent option, about a 15-minute drive from Fall River Village. This moderate out-and-back corridor winds through dense alpine groves and open meadows, offering intimate connections with nature’s masterpiece. As you hike toward the summit, the golden leaves form a glowing canopy overhead, creating a dreamlike ambiance. Once there, you’ll find a panoramic view of the surrounding hillsides and distant mountains adorned with captivating autumn hues. The Lily Mountain Trail promises a rewarding experience for hikers looking to immerse themselves in vibrant fall colors.

Lily Lake

Just south of the Lily Mountain Trailhead, Lily Lake presents another picture-perfect setting for observing the Colorado fall foliage. The serene waterbody beautifully reflects the shimmering views adding a delightful bonus to this charming recreational area. Stroll along the lake’s edge and embrace the tranquility of your surroundings as the iconic evergreens play a complementary role in this picturesque display. Whether you’re a professional photographer or a casual sightseer, Lily Lake offers a captivating backdrop for capturing the essence of Colorado’s autumnal offerings.

Estes Park Condo Lodging near Rocky Mountain National Park

An aerial view of a condo-style vacation rental at Fall River Village Resort in Estes Park, Colorado.

It doesn’t take long to realize that the Colorado fall foliage paints a stunning portrait that captivates the senses. From the iconic byways in Rocky Mountain National Park to the quaint parks surrounding downtown, every nook and cranny around Estes Park seemingly reveals an awe-inspiring natural masterpiece. This autumn, Fall River Village Resort invites you to embrace the season’s beauty and witness the northern wonders of the Centennial State. 

To book your stay or learn more about our condo-style vacation rentals, please visit us online or call 970-325-6864 today!