Friday, November 18, 2016

Winter finally arrives!

We have had an unusually long autumn with warm, almost summer-like days, and little to no wind. But yesterday our winter weather finally arrived, even if it was about a month behind schedule. We awoke to cool temps and an overcast sky. The air just smelled of moisture. Late morning was when the snow started falling here at the Lodge and in Rocky Mountain National Park. The day before had seen temps around 70F so the snow started by sticking to the rooftops and the trees, but just making the roads wet. When the temps dipped form 35 into the mid 20's is when the roads started to get a bit icy and the winter wonderland really took over!

Sven enjoying the nice chilly morning.

We went to sleep yesterday with light flurries falling and a fire crackling in the living room. This morning was truly spectacular! Some low clouds but otherwise bright blue skies greeted us as the sun rose higher int he east. Everything was coated in a nice 3"+ thick blanket of fresh white stuff, and the wildlife was moving around thick! Just one of the perfect winter like mornings here at McGregor!

It looks like it will warm up a bit for the next few days then another chance of snow early next week... we'll keep the camera handy! Enjoy the pics...

The large outcropping just above the lodge on the slopes of McGregor Mountain.
Deer Mountain
The chimney of the Old Caretakers Cottage and Deer Mountain

A busy woodpecker

Looking west from the Columbine Cottages at Sundance Mountain.

Trail Ridge Road as seen from the lodge.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Autumn, the First Snow, and BRAT!!

Seasons are Changing!

This is always a special time of year as the seasons really begin to transition from warm summer-like temps to chilly winter weather. The trees have been putting on quite the show this Autumn and the high country has already had a few small snowstorms rip through bringing the winter chill back to the tundra. 

Here at the lodge, the aspen start to turn in mid/late September and the ground covers displays brilliant reds and yellows to add to the fall atmosphere. The mornings become crisp and we all pull our jackets out of the closet for our morning rounds. Smoke starts rising from the chimneys as a crackling fire certainly adds to the ambiance as guests enjoy their morning coffee and the spectacular views from their cabins. 

On the slopes of Deer Mountain, across the Fall River Valley, the aspen put on one last display before their winter dormancy. We know that the first snow is only days away and our winter preparations get going. We get the plow ready, we order or sand for sanding the driveway, we stock up on firewood, and get jackets/hats/gloves ordered for staff to make sure they are warm enough out and about during the winter months. 

The wildlife also starts behaving a bit differently. Bears are frantically downing as many calories as possible. The mule deer are constantly foraging as their winter coats start coming in and the elk begin take part in the annual rut which, if you've never witnessed it, is a truly magical thing to witness. The bull's bugles fill our valley with enchanting sounds that help to welcome winter once again. 

First Snow

And then the first snow comes! The pics above were taken yesterday (October 5, 2016). It was a bluebird day, sunny, mild, and beautiful! We awoke to snow falling and an inch or so on the rooftops, trees, and grass. The low storms clouds were hanging below the visible summits  revealing only the occasional ridge lines and outcroppings. We are certainly looking forward to the beautiful winter ahead!

Brat is Back!!!

He's back! Your favorite elk is now back "home!" He showed up this morning, gave us a few bugles, raked some bushes with his antlers, then settled in to chew his cud in front of our Knotty Pine Rooms! As always, it is so good to have him back with us! He has called McGregor his winter home since the autumn of 2008, and has been back every year since! At that point, he was already a large and mature bull, probably 7 or 8 years old. So we guess that he's 15 or 16 at this point. Be on the lookout for a lot more Brat pics on our Facebook and Instagram pages and here on the blog!

Thanks for reading and we hope to see you soon!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Rooftop Rodeo Parade

July 6, 2016
10:30 AM


90 years ago, the Rooftop Rodeo was established here in Estes Park and has been a beloved fixture in the town ever since. It boasts world class, professional competition while retaining a great small town rodeo feel. Truly a wonderful time for families who have never been to a rodeo or seasoned veterans!

It always kicks off with the Rooftop Rodeo Parade that winds down Elkhorn Ave in the heart of Estes Park. Spectators line the streets and enjoy all the fun floats, local clubs and organizations, and impressive equestrian displays.

The parade lasts about 30 minutes and a great place to watch is on the south edge of Bond Park right downtown. You can grab some coffee beforehand, enjoy some shopping after the parade, and then grab lunch at one of the many places nearby.

Here are a few pics from the parade...

And here is a short video from this years parade:

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Summer at McGregor Mountain Lodge!

Poppies exploding next to the Old Caretakers Cottage.

It's finally here! With the summer solstice, and the longest day of the year, yesterday, we are in full summer mode! The Spring season was one to remember with early snows, ample rain, and a literal explosion of wildflowers! The animals have been enjoying the greening of the flora and we've seen everything from elk, to deer, to bobcats, to moose, and now all of the babies joining the herds... This time of year is truly incredible! 

As summer gets underway, the snow continues to melt in the high country 'opening' the higher trails in and around Rocky Mountain National Park. World class hiking is right out your door! The tundra is coming alive for its brief appearance, and the small alpine wildflowers are already in bloom!

Around the lodge, our flowers are the centerpiece for the grand scenes all around us. We have such a huge variety of flowers blooming right now so figured I'd snap a few pics from my rounds of the property this morning. 

Many of the early spring bloomers have already gone to seed, but the summer blooms are kicking in and our landscape it dotted with beautiful and intense colors!

Enjoy the photos and subscribe to McGregor Mountain Blog... a lot more content coming soon!

Chalet Suites in the morning sun!

Wildflowers and a little fly

Old Caretakers Cottage

Bees on a Poppy

Annnnd, more Poppies!