Estes Park, Colorado is the base camp for Rocky Mountain National Park, which is celebrating a century of mountain exploration, outdoor adventures and fun getaways. Whether you are looking for an alpine adrenaline rush or an unforgettable family vacation, Estes Park delivers. Enjoy a great variety of lodging, local dining, unique shops and fun activities in the village before heading into nature. There is plenty to do and see, but start with scheduling these top five must dos:
1. Keep Tabs on Tails:
The wonder of Estes Park lies in the natural beauty that surrounds this majestic mountain village. Cradled on three sides by Rocky Mountain National Park and edged by the national forest on the fourth, Estes Park is surrounded by protected lands that offer natural habitat to hundreds of animal species. Frequently spotted wildlife residents include elk, deer, coyotes, bighorn sheep and even the occasional moose. Whether you are backpacking deep into the backcountry or driving through town, you are very likely to encounter some of our wilder residents. Prepare to be awed!
2. Soak in Village Life
For generations, guests have come to Estes Park to revel in scenery few mountain villages can claim. One-of-a kind shops and boutiques line the main downtown shopping district of Elkhorn Ave and restaurants serve up delicious cuisine overlooking the river or next to a warm fireplace. After a day of exploring the village, stop into the local distillery, brewery or winery to relax with a fresh craft beverage or catch live music in a mountain tavern or outdoor venue. When the sun sinks behind the impressive peaks, tuck into one of Estes Park's hospitable accommodations, from tranquil riverside condos to classic mountain cabins, luxurious suites and legendary hotels. You'll get a good night's sleep not matter what, leaving you resorted and ready to explore again in the morning.
3. Expand your horizons in Rocky Mountain National Park
This year is extra special, as we celebrate 100 years of Rocky Mountain National Park! The park's 415 square miles encompass and protects one of the most spectacular mountain environments in the world. Enjoy driving up Trail Ridge Road, which crests over 12,000 feet and offers many overlooks to experience the subalpine and alpine worlds. Outside of the car, there are over 300 miles of hiking trails, wildflowers, alpine lakes, wildlife, starry nights, and educational Ranger-led programs.
4. Go to the Pros
If you are looking to try something new, consider consulting or hiring a local professional. Guides in Estes Park specialize in everything from climbing to backcountry skiing, off-roadingto fly fishing, and photography. Not only can a local guide teach you something new and ensure your safety, but they also can help you perfect your skill, form or pace. From first timers looking to test the waters of a new adventure to seasoned pros wanting to take it to the next level, there is a guide available to show you the ropes.