Highway 34 across Rocky Mountain National Park is somewhat of a harrowing drive as you ascend from about 8,000 feet in Granby, Colorado on the western side of the park to 12,183 feet in elevation at the high point of the 62-mile stretch of road. Highway 34 exits Rocky Mountain National Park in the resort town of Estes Park on the eastern side.

We started our drive in Craig, Colorado – elk hunting capital of the world – and passed through the ski resort town of Steamboat Springs as we continued east on Highway 40. The road east of Steamboat Springs rises from 6,700 feet to peak at 9,426 feet as the highway crosses over Rabbit Ears Pass.

We drove next to and over the Colorado River several times as we traveled 120 miles to Granby, Colorado on U.S. Route 40 east.

Granby, Colorado is the western gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. Grand Lake is a resort area on Highway 34 before entering the park.

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Grand Lake, Colorado.

One of the disturbing aspects of entering the park was the abundance of dead pine trees on the mountains. The Mountain Pine Beetle has resulted in the death of thousands of trees within the park boundaries as seen in my photo of the trees behind the Rocky Mountain National Park entrance sign.

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Our first stop was the Kawuneeche Visitor Center, a few hundred yards before the entrance fee station. The elevation here is 8,720 feet.

July is a great time to see colorful high mountain wildflowers. There were butterflies all over the place. Read More…

Hilton HHonors launched its 2013-Q3 promotion this week for triple points on Friday, Saturday and Sunday or double points for stays on Monday through Thursday nights.

There are about 650 hotels in the USA not participating, so check this Hilton hotel exclusion list carefully. Fewer than 50 hotels in the rest of the world have opted out.

HHonors promotion registration is required at HHonors.com/triple before your first stay.

The average nightly rate for your stay is used to determine points. This can play in your favor if you pay for cheap weekend nights on the same stay as one or two expensive midweek nights since you will get triple points on a higher average rate for weekend nights or it could work against you if you have a cheap weekend night on the same stay as several expensive weekday nights.

Regardless, this is a good bonus points offer when staying at a participating Hilton brand hotel. The exclusion list of 20% of US Hilton brand hotels is the main drawback to the promotion. Check the nonparticipating hotel list carefully before counting your points.

The HHonors promotion FAQ explains how double and triple points are calculated.

Example:
US Net Folio: $1,038.38 x 10 pts per $1 = 10,383 BASE Points
10,383 BASE Points / 7* = 1,483 Average Points Per Night
*(replace 7 with total # of nights of the stay within the Promotion Period)

CALCULATION OF TRIPLE POINTS:

  • Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights (3 nights) will receive Triple Points
  • Triple  Points is always 2 x BASE. Therefore, 2 x (BASE) 1,483 = 2,966  
  • 2,966 (triple points value) x 3 (total nights that are eligible for triple points) = 8,898 (total triple points for 3 nights)

CALCULATION OF DOUBLE POINTS:

  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights (4 nights) will receive Double Points
  • Double Points is always 1X BASE. Therefore, 1 x (BASE) 1,483 = 1,483
  • 1,483 X 4 (total nights eligible for double points) =  5,932 (total double points for 4 nights)

CALCULATION OF TOTAL BONUS POINTS AWARDED:
8,898 (total triple points) + 5,932 (total double points) = 14,830

HHonors promotion FAQ

The main point to understand is triple and double points only apply to 10 base points per dollar.

Double points = 20 points per dollar.

Triple points = 30 points per dollar.

HHonors Points & Points earners receive an additional bonus of 5 points per dollar.

HHonors Points & Miles earners receive 20 or 30 points per dollar and miles based on the regular earning rate for miles.

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Hilton HHonors 2013-Q3 promotion July 9 – September 30, 2013.

Related post: Triple miles with 8 Asian-based airlines July 1-September 30, 2013.

 

Ric Garrido, writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests.

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