Estes Park is only a 90-minute drive from Denver. And it goes by quickly as you drive alongside rivers, pass through the charming town of Lyons and wind your way up a beautiful canyon. Your trip to Estes Park can start as soon as you get in the car with these road trip tips.
First, choose your route
There are quite a few ways to get to Estes Park and each way winds you through incredible views of the Rocky Mountains. The quickest way is by taking Highway 36 from Denver. But if you have more time on your hands, take the scenic route on highway 7 or up the Big Thompson Canyon on highway 34. But then again, any route you choose will be a scenic route.
Get inspired with our podcast
Climb mountains, traverse alpine lakes, and wonder about the night sky all before you step foot in Estes Park. You’ll hear from the original inhabitants, the Ute and Arapaho tribes, and stories from the people who helped found this town. Listen here.
If driving electric…
Good news, Estes Park is home to several EV charging stations, so you can leave your range anxiety at home. Here’s where to find them. Once you’re charged up, keep driving into the National Park and up Trail Ridge Road, the country’s highest continuous paved highway. Reminder: if planning on visiting Rocky Mountain National Park, make sure to snag a timed-entry permit reservation.
Once you get here, ditch the car.
I’m sure you’ve had enough of driving, now it’s your turn to look out the window and let someone else take the wheel. Estes Park has shuttles that venture all over town and some that even go into the National Park. If home base is the Ridgeline Hotel, take advantage of one of their bikes.
Bring Estes home with you
The good thing about road trips is that there’s no charge for checking an extra bag or penalty for going over the weight limit! You can definitely leave with more than you came with. And trust us, you will after you stroll the stores along the Riverwalk or step into one of Estes Park’s irresistible shops.