Top Reasons to Stay at Murphy’s River Lodge
- The property is located 4 miles from the west entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park, which contains more than 400 square miles of lakes, meadows, and peaks.
- The hotel, which was awarded a TripAdvisor certificate of excellence in 2013, is made up of mountain lodges and guest rooms—many have been recently renovated.
- A river runs through the property, and you can often see elk grazing.
- You can sidle up next to the hotel’s outdoor fire pit with a bottle of wine (included in options 2 and 3).
- The property’s heated swimming pool and hot tub are housed in a window-lined lodge so you can see the scenery.
- Options 2 and 3 include one margarita per person for up to four guests at one of three local restaurants. You’ll also get a two-for-one wine tasting at Snowy Peaks Winery and a framed personal photo.
- It’s just a two- to three-minute walk to downtown Estes Park. <p>
Estes Park, Colorado: Gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park
At an elevation of 7,522 feet, Estes Park is a small mountain town known as the eastern gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. Along Elkhorn Avenue, the main drag of downtown Estes Park, you’ll find the usual souvenir, taffy, and ice-cream shops—but also local breweries and independent restaurants. The resort town also has a popular outdoor ice rink, open on the weekends in the winter months.
Each year, more than three million people head into Rocky Mountain National Park to access 300 miles of hiking trails and admire stunning mountain vistas. The park’s most popular hike is the half-mile loop around the flat terrain of Bear Lake, but the crowd thins out somewhat if you continue onto Nymph, Dream, and Emerald Lakes. Park trails are often covered with snow, but you can strap on a pair of snowshoes and make the trek to the alpine lake at The Loch or the summit of Deer Mountain.
Weather permitting, consider taking one of region’s spectacular scenic drives. Trail Ridge Road bisects the national park east to west, bringing travelers up to a maximum elevation of 12,000 feet above the tree line. Trail Ridge Road offers a somewhat direct route to the western half of the park, where you’re most likely to see elk. Another option is the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway, which wends past the Continental Divide, offering views of Longs Peak—the park’s highest summit, at 14,259 feet. Before you embark on any drive, be sure to check the road status report.