Activities

Summer & Fall (May-October)

From mid-May through the end of October, Estes Park is an ideal Rocky Mountain vacation spot, bustling with visitors from around the world.

People of all ages come to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park to enjoy the charm and relaxed, welcoming atmosphere of the town and the unparalleled beauty and outdoor recreation opportunities afforded by the surrounding mountains.

Whether you are a seasoned climber, biker, hiker, or fisher seeking new challenges or a first-time visitor to Colorado just wanting to take in the breathtaking scenery at a leisurely pace, the “gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park” offers plenty of activities to fit your personal interests and abilities.

Explore the Rocky Mountains

  • Fishing – Fly fishing or lure, catch-and-release or for keeps, the many rivers and lakes in and around Estes Park provide the perfect opportunity to soak in the stunning Rocky Mountain while fishing the plentiful trout population.

  • Hiking – Rocky Mountain National Park boasts more than 355 miles of hiking trails. Whether you’re looking for a trek to a scenic overlook, a stroll along a babbling brook, or a rewarding hike to a sparking waterfall, a lifetime’s worth of trails of all difficulty levels and through all types of terrain awaits you on your trip to Estes Park.

  • Horseback Riding – Get a different perspective on the Rocky Mountains from atop an equine companion. Estes Park is home to a number of excellent liveries providing horseback rides ranging from quick half-hour jaunts to all-day and overnight excursions.

  • Water Sports – If you want to experience the adventure of Rocky Mountain river sports, check out the various outfitters in and around Estes Park who offer kayak rentals and lessons, as well as white water rafting trips. Want a water experience that’s a little more serene? Check out the Marina, where you can rent canoes and boats to take out on Lake Estes.

  • Wildlife Viewing and Scenic Drives – Estes Park’s large elk population (a herd of about 1,700) loves to hang around town – on the golf courses, on people’s lawns, along Fall River – so you’re virtually guaranteed to see some when you visit. For both excellent wildlife viewing and some of the most amazing vistas you will ever see, be sure to travel in the summer the Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park, the United States highest continuously paved road. If you want to be able to focus on the scenery and wildlife without worry about driving, check out the companies in town providing sightseeing tours!

  • Rock Climbing – These are the “Rocky” Mountains, after all – no wonder climbing is such a popular activity out here. Whether you’re new to the activity or want an added challenge or someone to show you the best spots, check out the expert guides based here in Estes Park!

Take In Estes Park

Festivals – All year long, but especially in the summer, Estes Park hosts diverse festivals and fairs celebrating the region’s rich history and culture and the talents of its artisans and athletes. In particular, check out these unique events:

Galleries – A vibrant art community in Estes Park provides excellent opportunities to view and purchase new treasures in the many galleries and artisan’s shops around town. Be sure to check out one of the Arts and Crafts Fairs that come to town each year.

Golf – Estes Park features both 9- and 18-hole golf courses. Although you might have to shoot around some lounging elk, it’s hard to beat the views you can enjoy while playing a round of golf in Estes Park.

Shopping – Downtown Estes Park, with its charming storefronts and tempting ice cream and candy shops, offers something for everyone, whether you’re seeking local artisan’s handicrafts, a souvenir t-shirt, or the best gear to outfit your Rocky Mountain adventures.

Live Music – Estes Park features a vibrant live music scene. In the summer and fall, you can find great local and national acts playing at restaurants and outdoor venues. Also, throughout the year, the Estes Park Music Festival presents a series of concerts that our guests always enjoy.

Food – Each day in Estes Park means a chance to try more of the gastronomical offerings available both in town and in the surrounding area. As a community oriented to the casual mountain lifestyle, you’ll find that dining atmospheres are relaxed and informal – in other words, you don’t have to worry about “dressing for dinner” when you’re in Estes Park!

Rodeos and Horse Shows – Hunter Jumper and Dressage shows take place at The Stanley Fairgrounds in Estes Park throughout the summer, and, in June, the Westernaires, an equestrian acrobatic group, will perform as well. Also, Estes Park’s Rooftop Rodeo in July has been recognized time and again by the PRCA as the nation’s best small rodeo; it’s a week-long competition that provides summertime fun for the whole family.

 

 

Winter & Spring (November-April)

A Colorado winter vacation in Estes Park offers spectacular avenues for experiencing the beauty of the Rocky Mountains and the charm of our small mountain town.

The National Park in winter & spring offers hiking (or snowshoeing and cross-country skiing if we have white stuff on the ground!) and scenic drives to view wildlife and the impressive landscape. Various companies in Estes Park offer guided tours (by car, foot, or snowshoe) throughout the year, and that can be a neat way to see all that the area has to offer with the added benefit of an expert’s knowledge.

Guests are sure to love Estes Park, Colorado in the winter. In town, you can stroll through any of the many art galleries and shops that are open year-round downtown. You will also find plentiful opportunities to hear live music, ranging from rock and bluegrass to classical and country. You can check out the various museums that present the unique history and culture of Estes Park, relax at one of the peaceful spas in town, taste Colorado wines at the two wineries in town, or take hay or sleigh rides (and some companies still offer trail rides, depending on the weather).

Explore the Rocky Mountains

  • Fishing – Although the higher elevation streams may be frozen over, the waters of the Big Thompson and Fall River often flow throughout a good portion of the winter and spring. Check-in with one of the many fishing outfitters in town for all the details on cool-weather fishing!

  • Snow shoeing & Hiking – They say if you can walk, you can snowshoe. Our guests say this is a great way to explore the park once the trails start to get covered in snow. However, many trails remain accessible without snowshoes for a good portion of the winter and spring, so there really is something for everyone who wants to enjoy the peacefulness of the park in winter.

  • Cross-Country Skiing – If you are an intermediate or advanced cross-country skier, then this may be the activity for you! Beginners are advised to try snow shoeing, since there are not really any beginner cross-country skiing trails on the east side of the park.

  • Downhill Skiing – A scenic 45-minute drive from Estes Park, Eldora Mountain Resort offers 680 acres of terrain for skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, and show shoeing. Winter sports enthusiasts of all ability levels can enjoy Eldora, including its three freestyle terrain parks.

  • Sleigh Rides – When there is enough snow on the ground, Aspen Lodge Livery (just 4 miles from Taharaa) offers romantic horse-drawn sleigh rides through the forest. If snow is scarce, you can still enjoy a horse-drawn wagon ride bundled up next to your favorite person!

  • Wildlife Viewing and Scenic Drives – Estes Park’s large elk population (a herd of about 3,000) loves to hang around town – on the golf courses, on people’s lawns, along Fall River – so you’re virtually guaranteed to see some when you visit. While Trail Ridge Road is closed in the winter and spring, Rocky Mountain National Park roads to Bear Lake and other areas are accessible year-round, although we do recommend four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive vehicles to ensure ease of travel.

Take In Estes Park

  • Festivals – All year long, Estes Park hosts diverse festivals and fairs celebrating the region’s rich history and culture and the talents of its artisans and athletes.

  • Galleries – A vibrant art community in Estes Park provides excellent opportunities to view and purchase new treasures in the many galleries and artisan’s shops around town. Be sure to check out one of the Arts and Crafts Fairs that come to town each year.

  • Shopping – Downtown Estes Park, with its charming storefronts and tempting ice cream and candy shops, offers something for everyone, whether you’re seeking local artisan’s handicrafts, a souvenir t-shirt, or the best gear to outfit your Rocky Mountain adventures.

  • Live Music – Estes Park feature a vibrant live music scene. In the winter and spring, you can find great local and national acts playing at a variety of restaurants, including The Rock Inn, Marys Lake Lodge, and Ed’s Cantina.

  • Food – Each day in Estes Park means a chance to try more of the regional offerings available both in town and in the surrounding communities. As a community oriented to the casual mountain lifestyle, you’ll find that dining atmospheres are relaxed and informal – in other words, you don’t have to worry about “dressing for dinner” when you’re in Estes Park!