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Old 04-01-2013, 10:49 PM
 
17 posts, read 46,890 times
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My fiance and I are going to be honeymooning in and around Rocky Mountain National Park. Looks like we will be most likely staying for 7 days. We are in our mid 20's and are avid outdoors people who enjoy hard hikes and good scenery. Also we would really like to whitewater raft. Can someone point me in the direction of a rafting company that is near the area.

Also we are going in Sept. so was wondering what we should expect for weather.

If you have any suggestions as to good places to hike and must see's, please post them here!
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:14 AM
 
Location: Littleton, CO
2,394 posts, read 4,312,355 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sibley18 View Post
My fiance and I are going to be honeymooning in and around Rocky Mountain National Park. Looks like we will be most likely staying for 7 days. We are in our mid 20's and are avid outdoors people who enjoy hard hikes and good scenery. Also we would really like to whitewater raft. Can someone point me in the direction of a rafting company that is near the area.

Also we are going in Sept. so was wondering what we should expect for weather.

If you have any suggestions as to good places to hike and must see's, please post them here!
I might be wrong, but I don't believe there is any rafting near RMNP. September is also really late in the rafting season since the water will be pretty low by then. The most popular rafting in the state is going to be on the Colorado or Arkansas rivers.

As far as weather, it depends on early September or late, but that's a swing season in the mountains. It could be 60-70 and sunny or 20 with a blizzard.
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Cole neighborhood, Denver, CO
1,123 posts, read 2,456,728 times
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Yes, there is rafting on the Big Thompson river. Estes park whitewater rafting-kayak-outfitters-guides
But, like others have said, September may be too late.

As for hikes, definitely make the hike up to Sky Pond. It is one of the most beautiful alpine cirques in Colorado.
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Ned CO @ 8300'
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September is not the time for whitewater rafting, maybe floating would still be available. You'll have to check with the rafting companies.
Most go to the Poudre River near Ft. Collins or Clear Creek Canyon.
A1 Wildwater Rafting - Whitewater Rafting in Northern Colorado
Rafting in Colorado on the Poudre River with A Wanderlust Adventure - Colorado Rafting Trips near Estes Park, Fort Collins, Denver and Boulder Colorado
Estes Park Rafting, Rafting Vacations, White Water rafting, Rafting Trips, Estes Park, Colorado
Clear Creek Colorado Whitewater Rafting Vacations and Adventure on the Arkansas River and Clear Creek River

Last edited by Neditate; 04-02-2013 at 09:25 AM..
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:43 PM
 
2,253 posts, read 6,036,813 times
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Wink RMNP as honeymoon

Particularly this dry year, the best rafting will be in the spring: say, May or June. As others have suggested, check with the rafting companies, if figuring September. The best option near RMNP is on the Cache la Poudre River, being the next major river north of the Big Thompson, as accessed from Fort Collins. Elsewhere in the state, one of the most popular venues is on the Arkansas River, as accessed from Buena Vista.

Other than rafting, September is perhaps the best month to visit Rocky Mountain National Park. The weather is still moderate, and generally only somewhat cooler than in August; any storms that do come in will be short lived. Basically the best weather month in all of Colorado in many respects.

RMNP receives just over 3m visitors annually. Most of them in the summer and autumn, and bulk between Memorial and Labor Day. In hiking and so forth you are better off avoiding most of that. It does not really quiet down until November, but an appreciable drop in visitation after Labor Day. In this you have excellent timing.

In lodging, plan on staying in Estes Park, and/or Grand Lake on the west side of the park. You'll have an easier time of it securing lodging, and at a somewhat reasonable price, in September. Or if preferring to camp in RMNP for some or all of that time, then as well a better chance of securing a campsite. The ones accessed by auto are all the more limited this year due the likely closure of the Glacier Basin Campground. But remember that you have the option of backcountry camping, and in these hiked to, particularly in September, more or less your choice to choose from. You'll need to obtain a backcountry permit from the park, and towards parking your car at the trailhead overnight, but aside from the small fee a good option. And, versus the other standard campgrounds, allowing for some semblance of real camping.

If wishing something more upscale in lodging for at least some of the trip, then perhaps consider the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park. There is nothing in Estes Park which can match the elegance and value of that found in Denver, but the Stanley and a couple others are the only real hotels in a market principally of ordinary motels. The Stanley, by the way, is also where Steven King wrote The Shining, and envisaged it. For something the same on the west side of the park, try the Grand Lake Lodge, residing high above that town with a grand view. If, unfortunately, their season may end at close of August.

There are 355 miles of formal hiking trails in RMNP. It is a GREAT place for hiking. So your choices will devolve more to what you can and would like to do in the time available. Some basic suggestions would be from the Fern Lake Trailhead at Moraine Park, in hiking up along the Big Thompson River, and also some of the fine hikes to be had from the trailhead of Bear Lake.

Do know that by last account there is still a wildfire smoldering west of Moraine Park. One that almost ran into Estes Park last autumn, closed this trail for some time, and could pose a major problem this summer. Or in combination with other wildfires to be; this most unfortunately shaping up to be a perfect year for them. But in checking closer to September you'll have a good idea of the present conditions.

Otherwise, from the popular Fern Lake Trailhead you can soon leave most of the hikers behind in traveling beyond to any number of more remote areas.

Bear Lake sits at an elevation of 9,450 feet. A quite lovely lake which is very easily accessed from the parking area. The trails branching out from there are all basically up. You'll have to contend with the park's nonsensical and entirely unwarranted Bear Lake Road construction project, and likely their mandatory shuttle to reach Bear Lake—but otherwise worth venturing as far. Quite scenic, and some truly great hikes to be had from there.

Even if not camping, it would be worthwhile as well to drive across the park on Trail Ridge Road, as far as Grand Lake. A spectacular drive. And while at it, include in some manner the drive from the far end of the Endo Valley up the Old Fall River Road to its terminus with Trail Ridge Road at the Alpine Visitor's Center. It is a narrow dirt road—one way uphill only—but possible to traverse in any auto. In September, and particularly at certain times of the day, it should be possible to make the drive without being in a long line of SUVs doing as much. This route can be used as well to reach the trailheads for various hikes.

The entire region is marvelously beautiful. With just a little looking you can easily find your own private place under a towering ponderosa pine, next an ever so lovely mountain river. A fine place for a honeymoon.
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Old 04-05-2013, 01:52 PM
 
83 posts, read 125,741 times
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September is a good time of year as the crowds will hopefully have thinned out some. RMNP is crazy busy in the summer. Plus, you have the aspens changing and still are likely to have nice, summer weather. Although it is possible it is not probable you will have snow in September as it is one of the driest months (if I recall) in Colorado.

There are some beautiful spots in the park, but don't be discouraged by all the beetle-kill. There are some very dead spots in the park. Hopefully you will be there for the aspens changing and that will help make up for it some. Plus, you might be able to hear some elk bugling if it is later in September.

Agree on rafting, September is low-flow for rivers and streams. I would think many rafting companies might have packed it up already for the year.
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Corona the I.E.
10,075 posts, read 14,010,287 times
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With the lack of snow and rainfall you have to go rafting in June or nada this year.
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