Aspen - Little Known Facts about Rocky Mountain Gold

Each fall the aspen slowly show the signs of a new winter approaching. The colors: yellow, orange, and red (although this is rare!) paint the hillsides of Rocky Mountain National Park. The brilliant color may quickly fade, but it marches down the mountain side well into mid-October.
Estes Park Aspen in Fall Color

Beyond their dramatic color, aspen play an important role in the ecosystem as food for elk, deer, beavers, and a number of other rodents living under and around their distinctive white trunks. When you see a grove of aspen, it's likely you are actually looking at just one tree with many trunks connected by the root system. Native peoples would sometimes rub the inner bark to use as a form of sun screen. Aspen bark also contains the active ingredient for aspirin, so native peoples and fur trappers collected beaver castor glands which concentrated the chemicals in the aspen bark to be used in teas to reduce fever and headache.

RMNP's aspen have been heavily over-grazed by elk in the past, so many of the lower groves are now protected by fences. Thankfully, with the exclusion fences in place we will enjoy the yearly show of gold for centuries to come. For a great October experience, find a grove that's in full color and take a stroll! You might emerge feeling just a bit richer....

Guest blogger Jared Gricoskie from Yellow Wood Guiding. To book a tour visit or call 303-775-5484.

Spend a fall weekend in the mountains to experience nature's impressive display. To find a cozy cabin in the woods, a luxury suite, or a simple spot to rest your head after a day of hiking don't forget to visit, the original online visitor's guide to Estes Park.

Pet Friendly?


What is the real meaning of "Pet Friendly"? Will a lodging pet policy that essentially means "your dog can sleep overnight in your room, but you can't leave him alone there when you go out" be what you need for your vacation in Estes Park?

Dogs playing in snowRocky Mountain National Park does not allow dogs on any trails in the park, so when you come to Estes Park to explore RMNP, you're going to need a safe place to leave your animal while you hike, shop, and dine. In the summer, it's not advisable to leave your furry friend in the car because of extreme heat buildup. If your pet can't be left in your room, that leaves you only two choices: find a "doggy day care" or limit your activity.

This page offers information on businesses in Estes Park that offer services for animals, as well as offer suggestions of where you can bring your dog while in town:

When you book your room, ask your lodging choice if they can meet your expectations. What are they willing to do to help you keep your dog safe, and you (the customer) happy? You know your pet better than anyone else. Can he be left unattended, or should you crate him when you leave? Can you assure your lodging that your dog will not damage their property?

Visit our Pet Friendly page to see a list of lodging in Estes Park that accepts animals:

Braeside Cabin advertises a unique policy - "Well behaved pets can be left unattended. No charge for pets unless they redecorate."

Pet owners unite! Let your responsible pet ownership and well-behaved dogs prove one pet at a time that pet policies can be amended to everyone's benefit - a true win/win solution for summer vacationers to Estes Park.