Estes-Park.com Blog

It's Time You Stopped!

Rock n' River Cabins on the Pond

A recent visitor to the Rock n’ River Resort said, “I’ve been driving past your covered, wooden bridge on Hwy 36 for years, but never stopped in.  I’m so glad I know this is here!”

Tucked into a canyon of shady cottonwood trees and the rushing sounds of the St Vrain River, Rock n’ River Resort is an ideal spot to get away from it all!  Located just 3.5 miles west of Lyons on the way up to Rocky Mountain National Park and the town of Estes Park, Rock n’ River Resort is a convenient drive for folks coming from the Front Range.  With 18 acres to explore, stocked trout ponds, a winery, and spa on site, you won’t want to leave!  But if you want to explore, just a short drive away you’ll discover the many outdoor delights and activities of spectacular Rocky Mountain National Park. 

Guests will enjoy the comfortable amenities of an authentic, yet updated western style resort.  Accommodating up to 50 guests, the resort would be the perfect spot to host an intimate wedding or a family reunion.  Imagine the joy of watching a young guest catching their first fish, while nearby adults enjoy a sampling of onsite Ciatano Winery’s delightful wines, cheese, and smoked trout, as everyone takes in the stunning views of the canyon. 

After a day of hiking, you can pamper yourself to one of the variety of treatments offered at La Bellezza Day Spa, or turn-in for a quiet evening in your comfortable king sized bed.  All rooms are furnished with king sized beds, a convenient kitchen, and a stylish bathroom, and they even have a few family suites if you want to bring the kids.   We can’t wait to go!

If you want more information on booking a stay at Rock n’ Resort, visit their website here .  And for great planning tips on how to enjoy nearby Rocky Mountain National Park, be sure to visit www.RockyMountainNationalPark.com.

The Surprising Role of Lichen: How RMNP was Made

Colorful Lichen on a Rock

Perhaps one of the most under-appreciated lifeforms in Rocky Mountain National Park are the large variety of lichens growing on the rocks and trees.  Not only are lichen colorful and an important food source for the park's beloved elk, but they actually played an important role in creating RMNP as we know it. 

Lichen are an amazing combination of fungus and algae that take in nutrients from the air, as well as through photosynthesis.  But it is the role lichens played approximately 16,000 years ago that we owe a little respect.  At that time, the glaciers receded from the lower parts of the park.  Lichens were some of the original colonizers on the newly exposed rocks.  Over time, lichens' small threads (called hyphe) that attach them to their rocks grow into the smallest cracks in the rock.  Gradually these cracks get larger and allow water to freeze and thaw thousands of times.  This process is what eventually breaks the largest rocks into tiny pebbles.  Breaking down rocks this way is what allows plants and tress to move into an area that was previously barren rock.

Even though lichens play a vital role in the ecosystem by creating soil and providing a hospitable environment for plants, and essential nutrients to many of the park's fauna, most people won't give them a second glance.  Maybe next time you are out exploring Rocky Mountain National Park, you'll take a moment to appreciate the beauty and power of the humble lichen. 

Blog post and photo provided by Jared Gricoskie of Yellow Wood GuidingFind out how you can book your own guided tour of RMNP by visiting YWGuiding.com