As summer fades into autumn in Estes Park, the days still have a hint of warmth, while the night provide just enough chill to enjoy a campfire. During late September, the aspen leaves begin to change into vibrant yellows and oranges, creating a brilliant contrast next to the green pines. The echoes of elk bugling carry throughout the valley while elk herds of hundreds can be seen in prime viewing locations. Watch this annual ritual as male elk display their dominance, sparring  their large antlers  against rival males, all while keeping watch over their herd.

Estes Park celebrates the changing of the seasons with an abundance of festivals, events, elk watching expeditions and more. Join in the fun, and experience something that truly is like no other place on earth.


Labor Day Arts & Crafts Sale

September 3- 5, 2016

More than 100 booths feature a variety of hand-crafted goods during the Labor Day Arts & Crafts Show, a traditional Labor Day weekend event in Bond Park. Exhibits include paintings and drawings, jewelry, metal work, clothing and tapestry bags, gourmet pantry items, home decor, wood carvings, doll clothes and toys, pottery, glass and more.

Autumn Gold Festival

September 24-25, 2016

It's a perfect season for one of Estes Park's late-autumn traditions when a series of bands herald Autumn Gold - a Festival of Bands, Brats & Beer, scheduled for Sept. 21 and 22, 2013. Cold beer, soft drinks, hot cider, bratwursts and hot dogs and all the accompaniments are served throughout both days beginning at 10 am. The bands rev up at 11 am and the bluegrass, folk, rock and jazz sounds continue until 5 pm each day.

Elk Fest

October 1-2, 2016

To celebrate the annual elk rut, Estes Park hosts the 15th Annual Elk Fest in Bond Park and the surrounding area.The festival features bugling contests, educational areas, exhibits, the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program, elk seminars, a Mountain Man Rendezvous, Native American music, dancing and storytelling and elk-viewing bus tours. The aptly named music group Elk Tones will perform on Saturday. Vendors will display artwork, handmade elk-ivory jewelry, and will offer distinctive elk cuisine. Mountain men from around the country will gather at the Mountain Man Rendezvous to sell their wares and demonstrate their skills.

Daily elk seminars explain the elk breeding season, or "rut," and describe elk biology and management. On Sunday, amateurs and professionals compete to see who can sound most like an elk bugling at the Elk Bugling Contest.

Afternoon bus tours take people to the best places to view and hear the elk. Each bus will have an expert guide on board and tours depart Bond Park from Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and from Noon to 4 pm on Sunday. Fees are $5 for those over three years of age.

Elk Expeditions

Rocky Mountain Conservancy 
September 8- October 15, 2016. 5-7:30pm (dusk)

This widely attended and extraordinary event will be available for viewing from the comfort of a 14-passenger mini-bus staffed by a professional educational guide who will discuss elk ecology, interpret activity and answer questions pertaining to elk. Elk artifacts such as antlers, skulls, and fur will be available for participants to see and touch. Tickets: $50 per adult, $25 per child age 12 and under. Visit the RMC website for more details and to purchase tickets.

The Ultimate 'Tail'Gate Getaway Package

Experience autumn in Estes Park with this unique getaway package. Developed to showcase the best in-season activities and events. This three-night, four-day experience includes tours, a week pass to Rocky Mountain National Park, a W"elk"ome amenity gift with local elk-themed products, a night of dining  and bluegrass at the historic Rock Inn Mountain Tavern, off-road tour tickets and much more.   

For more events in Estes Park visit: