If you’re doing anything, and not posting it on Instagram, what’s the point of doing it? Kidding--we love good, authentic outdoor experiences and digital detox--but in the "pics or it didn't happen" ethos, we wanted to share some of our favorite places around Estes to induce severe FOMO in your followers. In all actuality, sharing the beauty of what you can experience in nature is the best part of technology, but don’t forget to take a moment to just be there. Your camera still works in airplane mode – then you can stuff that phone in your bag to enjoy after you snap the pics that’ll get all the likes.
- Top of the Parking Garage
- You’ll get some great views of the Estes Valley and surrounding peaks, plus you’ll be able to find a parking spot and hop on a Town of Estes Park shuttle to get you to your next selfie-spot.
- Safeway Parking Lot
- Grab some groceries and some amazing views. The dramatic Continental Divide to towering Longs Peak is all featured prominently in the Safeway Parking Lot.
- Lake Estes Trail
- You can spend a whole day on the lake, but none of that day counts if it doesn’t make the ‘gram.
- Shopping, restaurants, coffee, art galleries, sculptures, and the Big Thompson River. Plus, selfies. The Riverwalk has it all, and here’s our guide to experiencing it.
- Knoll Willows Open Space
- A hike in the heart of town, The Knoll will get you above the buildings downtown, offering an overlook of Downtown Estes and the true skyscrapers (mountains) in the area. A great spot for a family portrait – got that self-timer figured out?
- The "Estes Park" Signs
- Whether you're entering town on Highway 36 or 34, you'll want to get a picture at the "Estes Park" sign. Just to prove you've been here (and share with all your uncultured friends exactly where "here" is). They're not just regular street signs, but large stone signs that are quite beautiful, especially with the mountain backdrops.
Places Not to Selfie
The selfie game must come with a personal sense of responsibility. The Insta-photo is all-important until it gets in the way of leaving no trace. Some places to put the phone or camera away – and not even be in the first place.
- The Tundra
- It’ll have you feeling on top of the world, but the alpine tundra above the treeline in RMNP is a delicate ecosystem. Just walking on it can cause damage that takes years to repair. Stick to the roads and trails – whether you’re in the tundra or not.
- With an Elk
- This goes for all wildlife (even the chipmunks and ground squirrels) but elk seem to be the most approachable. They’re not – especially when around calves or during the rut, they’ll be quite aggressive. When it comes to capturing wildlife, bring the telephoto lens and keep yourself out of the frame. It’s best for everyone.
- In the road
- A shot from the middle of Trail Ridge may seem like the perfect Insta shot, but curvy mountain roads mean drivers can’t see past the turn they’re making, putting you in a precarious spot