Getting Here

Accessing Estes Park proves easy, no matter the season. Estes Park is close to neighboring Front Range communities and Denver. From cities east of the Rockies-Loveland, Fort Collins, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder and Denver, there are no mountain passes to cross, and the state and U.S. highways serving the area are well-maintained. Boasting long views of 8,500- to 14,000-foot-high snowcapped peaks, canyon rivers, foraging wildlife and rolling meadows, the drives also are as beautiful as they are convenient.

Equally picturesque, Trail Ridge Road (U.S. Highway 34) provides entry to Estes Park (elevation 7,522) from the west, notably from Granby and Grand Lake. The road usually opens Memorial Day weekend; snow forces its closure by early to mid-October. For mileages and approximate travel times from Colorado cities and other U.S locations, see the chart below.

Directions from Denver International Airport:

Toll Road Bypass:
  • Quickest Route: Exit the airport on Pena Blvd to toll road E-470 northwest to I-25. Travel north until exiting on CO 66 west towards Estes Park. E-470 Toll charges apply for a two-axle vehicle. Possible increased tolls for rental vehicles, please contact your car rental company for additional details. Bypasses most of Denver in-city traffic. From Lyons, CO take Hwy 36 to Estes Park. Estimated 1 hr, & 26 min., 76 miles. Google Map
  • Scenic Route: Follow above directions to Lyons. From downtown Lyons, CO take Hwy 7 south to Estes Park. Estimated 1 hr. & 49 min., 89 miles. Google Map
  • Through Boulder: Exit the airport on Pena Blvd to toll road E-470 northwest past I-25 to US Hwy 36. Take US 36 northwest through Boulder to Lyons. In Lyons, turn left, continuing on US 36 west to downtown where you will turn right to remain on US 36 to Estes Park.  Estimated 1 hr. & 36 min., 79 miles. Google Map
Pena Blvd Route (no tolls): 
  • Through Longmont: Exit the airport onto Pena Blvd., follow until exiting onto I-70 West then quickly exiting onto I-270. Follow I-270 until exiting north on I-25. Travel north until exiting on CO 66 west towards Estes Park. From Lyons, CO take Hwy 36 to Estes Park. Estimated 1 hr. 48 minutes, 86 miles. Google Map
  • Scenic Route: Follow above directions to Lyons. In downtown Lyons, take CO Hwy 7 to Estes Park.  Estimated 2 hrs. & 11 min., 100 miles. Google Map
  • Through Boulder: Exit the airport onto Pena Blvd., follow until exiting onto I-70 West then quickly exiting onto I-270 to US 36 W. Take US 36 northwest through Boulder to Lyons. In Lyons, turn left, continuing on US 36 west to downtown where you will turn right to remain on US 36 to Estes Park. Estimated 1 hr. & 48 min, 81 miles. Google Map

*Note distances & times may vary due to road construction, weather, etc.

Repairs to Upper State Highway 7, Estes Park to Raymond

  • 10-20 min weekday delays are expected through October 2017. 
     
  • Full closures of SH-7 are not expected, but single-lane traffic at culvert crossings that will be managed with temporary signals.
     
  • Signals will alternate traffic during non-construction hours with a maximum 5-minute hold.
     
  • During working hours flaggers will maintain holds shorter than 10 min the exception of days when rock fall mitigation occurs which may require holds up to 30 minutes.
     
  • Working hours will be will be Monday – Friday from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. with any traffic disruptions ending by noon on Friday.  
     
  • Sign up for project updates here.

County Road 43 (Devil's Gulch Road) 

  • This road, that runs from Glen Haven to Drake and Estes Park, is undergoing reconstruction from the 2013 flood. Current construction conditions and updates can be found here: http://lcr43.com/ 

 

U.S. Highway 34 Construction Updates (Loveland to Estes Park)

Summer 2016: July to Early October
  • US Highway 34, between Loveland and Estes Park, will remain open until October 17th, 2016 and normally takes 47 minutes to drive 31 miles (Google Map)

  • Some preliminary construction efforts will begin in July of 2016, just east of Drake, and will cause some short-term delays. Visit the CDOT website for weekly updates on the construction schedule and travel impacts 

Fall to Spring: October 17, 2016 to Early June 2017
  • US 34 in the Big Thompson Canyon – between the Dam Store and Estes Park – will be closed to general public travel during this time period as the road is reconstructed from damage caused by the 2013 flood.

  • The alternate routes for those coming from the north and northeast are easy detours south to Longmont and west through Lyons. These detours add less than 15 minutes to the drive to Estes Park.

    • From the center of Loveland, the detour adds 14 miles and only 11 minutes to the drive
    • From I-25 and US-34 in Loveland, the detour adds 17 miles and only 14 minutes to the drive
    • See the maps below for route options and details

Additional construction details and updates can be found on the CDOT website. 

Distance and Travel Times for Alternate Routes:

Loveland to Estes via I-25: 65 minutes, 50.5 miles

 

Central Loveland to Estes via  CO Hwy 287 to US Hwy 36:  59 minutes, 45 miles

 

Driving Distance From Major U.S. Cities

City Miles Hours
Atlanta 1466 22.75
Atlantic City 1855 28.5
Charlotte, NC 1640 25.5
Chicago 1050 16
Columbus, OH 1324 20.25
Dallas 941 14.5
Des Moines 720 11
Detroit 1317 20
Goodland, KS 259 4.5
Houston 1181 18.25
Indianapolis 1146 17.5
Kansas City 664 10.25
Lincoln, NE 531 8.25
Little Rock 1248 15.75
Los Angeles 1067 17.25
Louisville, KY 1172 18
Miami 2130 33.5
Milwaukee 1092 16.5
City Miles Hours
Minneapolis 960 14.75
Nashville 1219 18.75
New Orleans 1460 23
New York, NY 1825 27.75
Oklahoma City 739 11.25
Omaha, NE 585 9.25
Philadelphia 1794 27.5
Phoenix 982 15
Pittsburgh 1495 22.75
Richmond, VA 1732 27
San Diego 1129 18.25
San Francisco 1257 19.25
Seattle, WA 1321 20.25
Springfield, IL 1101 15.5
St. Louis 913 14
Tampa 1922 30.25
Topeka 602 9.25
     

Driving Distance From Colorado Cities

City Miles Hours
Boulder 39 1
Colorado Springs 140 2.75
Denver 70 1.6
Granby 62  1.5
Grand Lake 47 1.25
City Miles Hours
Greeley 49 1.25
Fort Collins 42 1.25
Longmont 34 1
Loveland  31     53 min. 
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