By Austa Somvichian-Clausen, Communications Intern

Rocky Mountain National Park
Credit: Daniel Mayer via Wikimedia Commons.

Join American Forests this September 18-25, as we take a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Colorado’s breathtaking Rocky Mountain National Park. We’ll have six days and five nights to spend in Estes Park — the entrance community to Rocky Mountain National Park. There, we’ll have the chance to unwind and reconnect with nature during one of the most beautiful times of the year.

We’ll be staying at the famous, historic Lodge of The Stanley Hotel, best known for being the inspiration for Stephen King’s novel, “The Shining.” While at The Lodge, we will have the chance to sit back and enjoy private cocktail receptions and memorable dinners and enjoy the splendor of autumn as the aspen trees reach their peak golden color. Rocky Mountain National Park is renowned for its beautiful mountain landscapes and the vibrant autumnal colors of its trees. Rocky Mountain’s backbone includes some of the highest mountains in the continental United States, and the landscapes on either side of the Continental Divide feature alpine lakes, forested valleys and a cornucopia of plants and animals.

After the U.S. government acquired the National Park through the 1803 Louisiana Purchase, explorers, miners and speculators alike were drawn to the park for its rugged beauty and natural resources. This autumn, we get the chance to experience the same jaw-dropping sights of the park, while partaking in activities such as fly fishing, hiking and downhill biking on the highest paved road in the country. Our chances to view Rocky Mountain’s wildlife will be abundant, including big horn sheep, coyotes, bobcats and elk.

Every morning will begin with a beautiful breakfast prepared by The Lodge’s innkeeper and French pastry chef, Midge, before we head out to explore the park. The Stanley Hotel inspired Stephen King to write “The Shining” after he and his wife Tabitha spent one night as the hotel’s only guests that night in 1974 — in the infamous Room 217. The hotel is also known for its architecture and magnificent setting, as well as being featured as one of America’s most haunted hotels. But, don’t worry, The Lodge, where we will be staying, is a newly-renovated, 40-room boutique hotel adjacent to the main hotel.

The Stanley Hotel
The Stanley Hotel. Credit: Miguel Vieira via Wikimedia Commons.

Our last full day in the park will consist of a fly fishing adventure, where we will have the opportunity to fish for four different species of trout: rainbow, brown, brook and the endemic greenback cutthroat. We’ll end our trip with a private dinner where we can reflect upon the memories and friends we’ve made along the journey, and learn more about American Forests from our CEO and President, Scott Steen.

This is a sure-to-be-unforgettable trip you’re not going to want to miss! Make sure to reserve your spot soon, as spots are filling up quickly.