River Fishing: With over 500 feet of The Big Thompson River running through the resort, fishing will delight both expert and novice fishermen. The stretch of river between the Idlewild Dam west of the resort and the power plant below has been called the best two miles of fishing in Colorado. Rainbow and German Brown trout are the most common fish caught in these waters and the size varies from little to over 3 lbs.This portion of the river is open to lure and bait fishing.
Other Fishing: For those guests who prefer to lake fish or want to try there luck at other types of fishing, there are many other streams and lakes within a short distance from the resort. The Horseshoe Reservoir, Carter Lake, Lon Hagler Reservoir, Pinewood Lakes, Loveland Lake and Lake Estes are just a few to choose from all within a 30 minute drive. Of course Rocky Mountain National Park also offers a great selection of fishing.
Equipment and Licenses: Guests are encouraged to bring their own poles and equipment but you are welcome to borrow our poles and tackle. Adults and children over 16 will need to purchase fishing licenses at nearby stores.
From the Resort Guests have only to walk out their front doors and up the hill behind the resort to find excellent hiking with breathtaking views. Choose the easy, self-guided Foothills Nature Trail or a challenging climb on the Summit Adventure Trail that can take most of the day. This is an excellent place to take pets since they are not welcome on any trails in RMNP.
Rocky Mountain National Park offers over 350 miles of trails leading to mountain summits, high mountain lakes, and stunning waterfalls. These trails also vary in length and difficulty and guests may want to purchase a trail map or the self-guided tour booklet available at the visitors centers.
Winter Hiking: Snow depth in the Colorado Mountains varies by month and year and so it is difficult to predict if you will be able to hike during your winter vacation.
Hike Safely: Hiking in the Colorado Mountains can be a wonderful experience as long as you are prepared for it. Here are a few safety tips:
- Colorado weather can be very unpredictable at all times of the year. Dress in layers and pack rain gear.Wear comfortable shoes or boots and good outdoor socks.
- Know your limitations and remember that children or bad weather may slow you down. Gear your pace to the slowest hiker and keep your party together.
- Plan your hike and tell someone where you are going so that they will know where to look if you don’t return at a designated time. Sign in at trail heads.
- This is bear country and although black bears are usually shy and avoid people but use caution in places where hearing or visibility is limited. Reduce your chances of surprising a bear by making noise along the way. Make sure children are close to you or within your sight at all times. Keep dogs on a leash! Remember that while it is uncommon to run into one, there are mountain lions throughout the Rocky mountains and running will trigger their predator instinct. (Don’t let kids run ahead or lag behind). Also note that rattlesnakes are common below 9000 feet.
The Big Thompson Canyon is home to many wild animals that you may be lucky enough to see during your visit. A large herd of big horn sheep live across from the property on Palisade mountain and can be seen all year long. Our resident black bears live in the forest directly behind us. They have been know to come down in the evenings looking for an easy meal. Please don’t leave food outdoors or in your cars. Make sure all trash is placed in the dumpster and the bear bar is in place. Mule deer, fox, rabbits and the occasional bobcat also make appearances on the property.
Many of our guests will tell you that one of their favorite things are the surrounding birds. They especially love to watch the Hummingbirds who are very numerous during the spring and summer. We help attract birds to the resort with feeders and flowers. The climate and vegetation seems to draw a huge variety of birds for our guests to enjoy. Besides Hummingbirds we often see Steller’s Jays and Gray Jays, Bullock’s Orioles, Western Bluebirds, Northern Flickers, Downy Woodpeckers, House Finches, Chickadee’s, Tanagers, Grosbeaks and even an occasional Lazuli Bunting.
Guests can spend hours playing horseshoes in our professional size pits, or take up a game of volleyball, badminton, bean bag toss, yard darts or ladder ball. We are also working on a fairy garden and hot wheel racetrack for the wee ones.
This great family activity has been a favorite event at the resort for over 60 years and even though the old fireplace was lost in the flood of 2013, we have replaced it with a fire pit and do intend to carry on with the s’mores and sing-a-longs.
Games and Books
Sometimes guests just want to spend a quiet evening in their cabin. We offer a large selection of board games and books.