Visit Estes Park (VEP) is following the rapidly evolving news about Coronavirus (COVID-19) both domestically and internationally. We understand that our community and travelers may be concerned about COVID-19 and how it may affect them. The safety of our travelers and residents is our highest priority and VEP is committed to providing accurate and updated information about public health conditions in Estes Park.
In response to COVID-19, Colorado Governor Jared Polis enacted a statewide "Stay At Home" order effective Thursday, March 26, 2020. The restriction will remain in place until April 11. The Governor's order defers to more protective orders issued by local public health authorities. Larimer County's "Stay At Home" order is effective through April 17. The only exceptions involve essential trips such as grocery shopping or health care appointments.
While we would love to welcome you to our town, now is not the time to vacation in Estes Park. Many of Estes Park’s key tourism attractions are closed including restaurants and bars, arts and cultural facilities, entertainment venues, and Rocky Mountain National Park. Events have been canceled.
While 'escaping' to the great outdoors and Estes Park may seem like a logical idea, our mountain community has limited medical facilities and personnel whose services need to be reserved for our residents. Non-essential travel is discouraged at this time per the State of Colorado and Larimer County.
Thank you for doing your part to keep our community safe. We look forward to welcoming you when it is safe to travel once again.
Estes Park Updates:
Larimer County Department of Health and Environment and the Town of Estes Park have issued public health orders limiting visitors to Estes Park by closing short-term accommodations within the Estes Valley to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The orders take effect March 23 at 12pm. With the same goal in mind, many accommodations throughout the Estes Valley have already voluntarily closed, a commendable step.
A statement from Larimer County and the Town of Estes Park:
The age and health of a significant portion of the population in Estes Park places it at risk of serious health complications from COVID-19. Although most individuals who contract COVID-19 do not become seriously ill, people with mild symptoms and asymptomatic persons with COVID-19 may place other vulnerable members of the public at significant risk.
The Larimer County Department of Health and Environment and the Town of Estes are limiting visitor services in the Town and discouraging visitation. The town's hospital has also urged the Town to shut down hotels, motels, and vacation rentals to limit the number of tourists into the Town. The orders from the Town and Larimer County limit accommodations in the Estes Park area. These orders go into effect on March 23 at 12 p.m. through April 17, 2020. There are exceptions for local workers, long-term residents of short-term facilities, and those who are ill or quarantined.
The complete orders may be viewed at www.estes.org/covid-19 and www.larimer.org/coronavirus. The direct link to the Town's order is https://drive.google.com/open?
Town Administrator Travis Machalek commented, "This is an incredibly difficult decision made with the health of the people in our community in mind - our number one priority. We hope that the sooner we take these measures, the sooner we can celebrate the reopening of our businesses."
"The Estes Valley is a cornerstone of our Larimer County community and as we've seen in other Colorado mountain areas, these actions are essential to protect the health of the people in the area and minimize the impacts of this pandemic locally," says Public Health Director Tom Gonzales.
COVID-19 is spread like the flu. You can help slow the spread of viruses by:
Information about COVID-19 is constantly changing, and the public health response adjusts as more is learned about this virus. While there is plenty of news and media information available, LCDHE is encouraging Larimer County residents to view the latest credible information on COVID-19 at www.larimer.org/coronavirus or www.CDC.gov/coronavirus. Additionally, residents are encouraged to follow LCDHE's Facebook and Twitter accounts at @LarimerHealth."
As of Friday, March 20, 2020 Rocky Mountain National Park is closed to all park visitors until further notice. This closure will be in effect 24-hours a day/7-days a week and there will be no access permitted to Rocky Mountain National Park, at the request of the local health department.
A statement from RMNP:
"Park visitors are encouraged to take advantage of the many digital tools already available to explore Rocky Mountain National Park. Visitors are encouraged to learn about park resources and stories through the many multimedia presentations currently available on the park’s website www.nps.gov/romo and continue to enjoy Rocky Mountain National Park through the park’s webcams. There are many wonderful resources available for all ages to remotely explore Rocky Mountain National Park.
The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners at Rocky Mountain National Park is our number one priority. The National Park Service (NPS) is working with the federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. We will notify the public when we resume full operations and provide updates on our website and social media channels. "
The Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland (ARP) will begin the orderly closure of certain developed recreation sites and campgrounds as early as March 26, 2020, to protect public health and safety and align with state and local measures already in place to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. Closures will be in place through April 30, 2020, at which point they will be reevaluated.
The ARP takes the safety of our personnel, contractors, volunteers, and visitors seriously. COVID-19 poses unique and unprecedented risks to our workforce, visitors, and the communities we live in and support. Crowded conditions in recent days in parking areas, trailheads, and at popular forest and grassland destinations are undermining the country’s critical efforts to contain the spread.
At this time, all restrooms, including those at trailheads, on the Forests and Grassland will be closed. Picnic areas and day use areas that are typically open this time of year will also be closing. The warming huts at both Berthoud Pass and Brainard Lake are already closed. The East Shore Trailhead is also closing.
Campgrounds currently open, Dowdy Lake and Ansel Watrous Campgrounds, will close and those scheduled to open before April 30 will be delayed in opening. The Squaw Mountain Fire Lookout is also closed. Reservation holders will be notified via email and/or cell phone text message of any changes affecting their reservation and they will receive a full refund.
This is a fluid situation and a full up-to-date list of closed areas is available online at www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/arp/
The ARP will continue to coordinate its COVID-19 response in alignment with all federal, state and local guidance. Everyone is urged to take the precautions recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Their most recent guidelines are available at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-
Given the demonstrated risk of exposure to COVID-19 from large, concentrated gatherings of people, USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Region officials are temporarily discouraging continued recreational use on the national forests and grasslands. Safe and responsible use of forests and grasslands will reduce impacts to local communities who may be at risk from COVID-19.
Many Estes Park businesses have taken their operations online. Check the social media or website of a business you are interested in to see if they are shipping product or gift cards.
This is not an all-inclusive list. Call or visit the website/social media for any event not listed here.