Snowy Twin Sisters From Moraine Park In RMNP



It was a pretty view of snowy Twin Sisters in Rocky Mountain National Park. I took this photograph from Moraine Park.

Have you ever hiked or snowshoed Twin Sisters? Did you know it’s called Twin Sisters because of its two peaks on the top?

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Enjoy Estes Park Audio Podcast Network Has Been Launched For Estes Park And RMNP!



Enjoy Estes Park recently launched “The Estes Park & Rocky Mountain National Park Audio Podcast Network.”  The Audio Podcast Network currently has 45 Channels (growing each day) and 13,000+ listeners.  Over 400+ shows have been scheduled for production. You can listen to the Podcast Network with your computer, cell phone and tablet. There are many great Estes Park & RMNP experiences available that you don’t know about or will miss and the Podcast Network brings that information directly to you.  All podcasts and music are professionally produced in a recording studio.

Podcast Topics include (this is a small sampling):
• Rocky Mountain National Park: wildlife, fishing, hiking, wildflowers, butterflies, birds, photography, trails, camping, gear, driving tours & more.
• Estes Park Business Tours on-site: Retail, Dining, Health, Lodging & Service.
• Art Tours: Visual & Literary Arts interviews with art galleries, artists (painters, sculptors, potters, etc.), authors & more.
• Museum Tours: Art collections, exhibits & more.
• Rocky Mountain National Park: Outdoor Adventure & Adventure Guides.
• Podcast Cafe’ Music: Interviews and live performances with Estes Park musicians (Cowboy Brad, etc.).
• Estes Park History: Historical tours, talks from the past, interviews, on-site historical topics, etc.
• Business: How to get ahead in business. Business advice & help.
• Rocky Mountain National Park 100th Year: Interviews with people associated with RMNP regarding the celebration.
• Inspirational, Health & Wellness: Professionals talk about subjects that will help you enjoy life to its fullness.
• Beat On The Street: Live audio & video interviews.
• The Week Ahead: Every Friday, you can listen to “The Week Ahead” to learn about what is going on for the week ahead in Estes Park & RMNP.
• Share Podcasts: You can share all the podcasts on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.
• And a whole lot more!

Sign Up for your free podcast membership as there are many additional podcast benefits available for you.  For a limited time, you will receive a Free Lifetime Membership to listen to all premium channels.

Please visit The Podcast Network at

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A Snowy Hike At Sprague Lake in RMNP




Sprague Lake was just gorgeous the other day in Rocky Mountain National Park! The lake is frozen and there is a lot of snow. The mountain peaks of Hallett and Flattop were just beautiful in the background.

You can hike around the lake with good hiking boots, stabilizers, micro-spikes, snowshoes or cross-country skis. It’s like a winter wonderland. If you’re in the area, maybe you can get outside and enjoy the beautiful winter!

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Recent Snowfall Pano Hiking Photographs Of Bear Lake, Sprague Lake And Storm Pass In Rocky Mountain National Park



We took a short 3 stop ride into Rocky Mountain National Park after the recent snow storm.  This is a photograph of Bear Lake.  It is an easy and wonderful hike during the winter months as it is a short, flat hike.  I will be adding numerous other photographs of these 3 places during the winter. Hallet Peak and a bit of Flattop can be seen in all 3 photographs with snow rising off the top of Tyndall Glacier.


Sprague Lake is also a wonderful, short and flat hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. There is so much snow in RMNP at this time that you can snowshoe around Sprague Lake.  Sadness does prevail as some of the wonderful trees that we remember are unfortunately not there any more due to the recent beetle kill of those trees.


Storm Pass is a place that most people drive by as it only has 3-4 parking spaces.  It is a wonderful backcountry hike, but it is long and steep (not for the average hiker).  But the beauty does show itself in the first 50 feet after you’ve parked your car.

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Showshoeing Hidden Valley Ski Slopes In Rocky Mountain National Park


I had to bring back an old time movie that we made of us snowshoeing Hidden Valley in Rocky Mountain National Park in honor of the recent snow fall that has fallen in the past week. We filmed this video with our Leica Cameras (our older Leica Cameras) and edited the videos into an old-time super 8 type film. We will be snowshoeing and AT skiing Hidden Valley again soon as there is possibly enough snow fall available now as the river has to freeze over and fill with snow.

The video starts off with us snowshoeing up the main t-bar slope which is extremely steep and very tiring to arrive at the top.  Then we head down Trail Ridge Road for about 1 mile and end up at the bowls (bowl skiing for AT skiers).  Then it is down Columbine (which we have skied down)  and through the back country trees.

Hidden Valley Ski Resort in Rocky Mountain National Park used to be a very popular ski resort from 1955 until 1991 when it was closed by the national park to try to get it back to its natural beauty. Reading and listening to stories about the old ski area is like going back in time to the old T-Bars and chair lifts. It was a hopping place back then.

Today it is used as a sledding and tubing hill in the winter. If you feel adventurous you can hike up and ski down one of the many old trails or try some snowshoeing. We’ve done both of them a few times. It’s lots of fun but what a workout!

In the summer you can hike the many trails or or ski slopes up to Trail Ridge Road. It’s a beautiful place for a hike, whether it be long or short. Near the bottom there are many picnic tables to eat at while you enjoy the spectacular views. It’s a great place to visit either in summer and winter.

Hope you enjoy the video as much as I do!

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We Were Taking Our Last Bite Of Lunch When We Received The Email. All Trails & Area Closures In RMNP Have Been Lifted. We Are Off To Hike The Cub Lake Trail.


As we were getting ready to figure out what we would be doing after lunch, an email came from Kyle Patterson (as she is our dependable source of all breaking news in Rocky Mountain National Park). “All trail and area closures related to the Fern Lake Fire in Rocky Mountain National Park have been lifted.”  WOW! We both said at the same time.

It is not the best time (around 1:00pm) to start a hike on the Cub Lake Trail, especially on the first day of winter, which is the shortest amount of daylight of the year.  It is because the sun is in the lowest part of the sky and at about 2:00pm, the sun goes behind the ridge and the Cub Lake Trail becomes mighty dark really early.

It was 12:30pm and by the time we went home and put on our gear and drove to the Cub Lake Trail, the soonest we would arrive would be 1:00pm and that is being really optimistic at best.

So off we went, got our gear and start driving into Rocky Mountain National Park.  First problem, a really slow car in front of us on the way to RMNP (probably didn’t know where they were going?). Finally, they pulled into a road while another car pulled right in front of us. The new car was definitely driving into RMNP… and they were not going to miss any of the sights.  Oh well, another slow car.  Finally they pulled into the area, which we call chippy rock (overlooking Horseshoe Park).  But ahead of us were another 5 cars that were from out of state and they didn’t have any experience driving on the icy roads.  Slow but steady. We were never going to start at 1:00pm today and that is why we always start out really early in the AM to hike. No traffic on the roads.

Finally, we arrived at the Cub Lake Trail head, parked the car and noticed all the soot in the snow in the parking area.  But the entrance to the trail head looked the same. It was a familiar beginning.


As we started walking, we were anticipating being the first footsteps on the trail. Disappointment! We were the second set of footprints! Oh Well. We knew that the conditions on the trail would probably be very deep drifting snow as well as barren trail. That is why we just wore our gators and didn’t bother putting on our snowshoes as there probably would a lot of places that you would have to take the snowshoes off. And we were right. As we went down the last drop to the floor of Moraine Park, low and behold!  The first set of footprints had just turned around and returned.  The snow was way too deep for that hiker!  I guess now we can say we were the first to go this far on the Cub Lake Trail!  Hooray.  We had driven down the road toward the Cub Lake Trail and photographed that section of Moraine Park during the Fern Lake Fire, so what we saw from the Cub Lake Trail didn’t surprise us until we turned the corner and headed up toward where the Marmots sun themselves on the rocks.  The fire had come directly down the Cub Lake Trail for sure.  Were the Marmots in hibernation even aware that the fire burned right over their homes?



It was as far as our eyes could see (and we are not certain how far the fire burnt but the main trail was absolutely fine as the fire had stayed to the left of the trail).  At that moment, the sun went down in back of the ridge and all the land in front of us turned dark. We could only proceed another 30 minutes or so. How far did the fire come down the Cub Lake Trail?  We are not sure and that is to be discovered at another time and on another hike.



We had seen an old friend that had faced troubling circumstances and we didn’t know how we would react.  The friend was the same and had the same feelings as before. It will just take a bit while to heal from this troubling circumstance. But we are sure that our old friend will be the same real soon.  It’s good to see our friend return. Welcome back.

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Outdoor Photography Ecards By Mel Launched With Over 350+ Ecards



Ecards By Mel (  has been launched with over 350+ photographs in 11 categories to custom-design your own Ecards! The categories are Butterflies, Wildflowers, Sunrise / Sunset, Wildlife, Mountains, Birds, Happy Birthday, Happy Anniversary, Get Well, Love and On Life. Many of the photographs are from Rocky Mountain National Park.

With so many of my friends telling me that I should make prints or cards with my outdoor photographs, I decided this would be a perfect way to share my photographs with everyone.

Ecards By Mel is quick and easy to use. You can select a photograph, write a message and send it out to friends or family within a minute. Businesses can even use these Ecards as Thank You cards for their clients, guests or customers.

I will be constantly adding new photographs as I take them. In this initial release, I have selected my favorite photographs. A sample of a Butterfly Ecard is shown above.

Have some fun and pass the Ecards By Mel link forward to all your friends and family!  If you have any ideas or suggestions, please let me know!

Click Here To Visit Ecards By Mel.



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Old Hidden Valley Poster, Photographs And Display At The Estes Park Museum



The Estes Park Museum is a great play to wander around. Their exhibits are constantly changing and are always very informative.

Right now they have a display on what Estes Park used to look like when Hidden Valley was open and the people were having a ball! Here is an excerpt from their poster:

By 1933, old logging cuts had been developed into ski runs at Hidden Valley, which is located in Rocky Mountain National Park. Between 1935 and 1937, ski runs were constructed and with the addition of warming shelters, Hidden Valley became a destination for competition and recreation for locals and visitors. The area went through many changes and faced many problems trying to accommodate the growing number of visitors, providing a sufficient tow-lift, and dealing with strong winds blowing snow off of the trails. Rocky Mountain National Park decided to officially close the ski area in 1991. There is now a play-area at the base of Hidden Valley.

This top photograph is one of the early ones of skiing at Hidden Valley. The lower photograph shows skiers up on Trail Ridge Road near the tunnel. Skiers would ski the bowls way up at the top and then over the tunnel to trails below. This way, the road could remain open for buses bringing skiers up the mountain.

I took both of the photographs at the Estes Park Museum. Their Hidden Valley display is really informative and a must for anyone coming into Estes Park! It is very interesting!


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Bear Lake Road Reconstruction Begins In Rocky Mountain National Park On March 5th



Rocky Mountain National Park News Release: Bear Lake Road is one of the most popular scenic roads in Rocky Mountain National Park and provides year-round visitor access to a variety of wonderful recreational opportunities.  More than 2 million visitors a year are estimated to drive on Bear Lake Road and last year over 440,000 riders took advantage of the shuttle buses along the corridor.
Beginning on March 5, visitors should expect major construction work on the lower section of the road for the next two years.

The construction will take place on Bear Lake Road from the junction of Trail Ridge Road/Highway 36 to the Park & Ride – Glacier Basin Campground intersection, covering 5.1 miles.  The work will be similar in scope and impacts as the first phase of reconstruction on Bear Lake Road which was completed in 2004, and took place on the upper 4.3 mile section of road.  This major project will involve construction of significant retaining walls to improve safety and drainage.  In addition, a 0.9 mile section will be rerouted away from Glacier Creek, in order to prevent impacts to wetlands and riparian habitat and reduce costs.  Repairs will be made on the Big Thompson Bridge to improve safety.  Structural deficiencies will be corrected in the roadway and inadequate parking and pullout design will be improved.  This project will widen the road and improve the road surface to better accommodate park shuttle buses.  Safety associated with winter snow removal will be enhanced by the wider road.

Beginning on March 5, park visitors should expect at least one 30 minute delay, Monday through Friday, on the lower section of Bear Lake Road.  As the construction proceeds, visitors should expect rough road conditions.

From May 29, through October 9, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Bear Lake Road, approximately one mile west of Moraine Park Visitor Center to Bear Lake, will be accessible by free shuttle bus only, seven days a week. Private vehicles will be allowed both directions prior to 9:00 a.m. and after 4:00 p.m.  Visitors in private vehicles, who make the 9:00 a.m. cutoff time, will be allowed to travel eastbound throughout the day. All visitors, in private vehicles or shuttle buses, should expect at east two 20-minute delays both west and eastbound through the construction area. There will be no construction delays between Park & Ride and Bear Lake. There may be night closures during the construction.  Night closures will be announced at least two weeks prior to occurring.
The park’s three shuttle routes will be modified during the construction.  The Bear Lake Route will run between Moraine Park Visitor Center and Bear Lake with stops at Hollowell Park, Park & Ride,
Bierstadt Bus Stop, Glacier Gorge Trailhead and Bear Lake.  The Moraine Park Route will run between the Moraine Park Visitor Center and the Fern Lake bus stop with stops at Moraine Park Campground, Cub Lake Trailhead and Fern Lake bus stop.  The first bus will depart from the Moraine Park Visitor Center at 7:00 a.m. and the last bus will leave at 7:00 p.m.  The last bus of the day
will leave Bear Lake and Fern Lake Trailheads at 7:30 p.m.  Bear Lake Route buses will run every 15 minutes but may be delayed during periods of road construction.  Moraine Park Route buses will run every 20 minutes.

The Hiker Shuttle Route will make stops at the Estes Park Fairgrounds Parking Lot, the Estes Park Visitor Center, the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center, and the Moraine Park Visitor Center where passengers will transfer to either the Bear Lake Route or the Moraine Park Route.  The first bus will leave the Town of Estes Park Visitor Center at 6:30 a.m. and the last bus will leave the Moraine Park Visitor Center bound for Estes Park at 8:00 p.m.  The Hiker Shuttle will run on an hourly schedule early and late in the day; switching to a half hour schedule from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Most facilities along Bear Lake Road will be available to the public during the reconstruction project.  However, Glacier Basin Campground and the Tuxedo Park picnic area and shuttle stop will be closed.  Numerous pull-off areas may be closed at times during the construction.  Moraine Park Visitor Center will be open, however visitors should expect congestion and very limited parking. Visitors should also expect congestion andlimited parking at the popular picnic and angler area in lower Moraine Park, north of the Big Thompson River.

During the next two years, visitors who plan to go to the Bear Lake area will have easier access if they plan ahead, hike early or hike late, and carpool.  All trailheads along the Bear Lake Corridor, the Park & Ride, Moraine Park Visitor Center and Beaver Meadows Visitor Center have limited parking spaces available.  For those visitors who want to access the Bear Lake area between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., the best option will be to park in Estes Park at the parking lot near the Fairgrounds or the Estes Park Visitor Center and take the Hiker Shuttle in to Rocky Mountain National

Rocky Mountain National Park is approaching its Centennial anniversary in 2015.  Bear Lake Road was completed in 1928 and until 2003, no significant improvements were made.  No major road work has taken place on the lower section for more than 80 years.  When this project is complete, just prior to the park’s hundredth anniversary, it will conclude over 47 miles of critical improvements on park roads since 2003.

The Federal Highway Administration awarded a $28 million contract t0 American Civil Constructors and is administering this project on behalf of the National Park Service.   American Civil Constructors is based in Littleton, Colorado.

This project involves 5.1 miles of road and access to another 4.3 miles. There are 110 miles of road in the park.  This project does not include Trail Ridge Road.  Information on the Bear Lake Road
Reconstruction Project will be available at, the park’s recorded road status line (970) 586-1222 or through the park’s Information Office at (970) 586-1206.


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Pile Burning Will Temporarily Close Bear Lake Road in Rocky Mountain National Park On Tuesday, February 28th


On Tuesday, February 28, weather permitting, Bear Lake Road, from the Park & Ride to Bear Lake, will be temporarily closed from 6:00 a.m. to approximately 11:00 a.m. for pile burning operations.  The road will be closed for visitor safety, due to the location of the piles and the intense heat from the burning operations.  If the burning operations are not completed, temporary closures may also occur on Wednesday, February 29, and possibly Thursday, March 1 during the same times and location.

Once the road reopens, there will still be actively burning piles but the intensity will be less. Smoke may be present. These piles consist of beetle-killed trees, dead and down material, and hazard trees along the road corridor.

For more information about Rocky Mountain National Park please contact the park’s Information Office at (970) 586-1206.


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