Estes Park Colorado is a popular summer resort, with its warm days, low-humidity, clear skies, plenty of outdoor activities, lovely scenery, and location in the Rocky Mountains. In the mid-1800s, the Arapaho Indians always used to come to the area of Estes Park, and camped around Mary’s Lake. The Arapahoes weren’t alone in the area however, and had fights with both the Apaches and Utes. In 1959, Joel Estes came and founded a community. Eight years later, Griff Evans arrived, and became caretaker of the Estes Ranch, and began to build cabins for travelers, recognizing the potential for tourism. The Estes Ranch became the first dude ranch in the area, with mountaineering, hunting, and fishing, with the aid of guides. With further publicizing and the advent of better roads, Estes Park became a fantastic and popular tourist destination.
Whether you’re in the area for a day or a month, Estes Park has dozens of great things to do, places to see, and events to entertain you. Food and lodging are great things, but they’re generally not the reason you travel, so we’ll start off with the many great activities and events in Estes Park—no matter whether you’re the adventuresome type, or would rather go shopping downtown, Estes Park has got you covered.
Estes Park and the Rocky Mountains are all about the great outdoors, so spend some time taking it all in, with a hike on more than 300 miles of trails, bicycling, or a horseback ride. If you’re in the mood for something a little less strenuous, consider a scenic walk, wildlife watching, golfing, or fishing. Boating and kayaking are popular activities, especially on a hot summer day—for the adventurous, whitewater rafting is something you won’t want to miss. From the end of May through early September, you can ride an aerial tram to the summit of Prospect Mountain, and take in the breathtaking view from far above the treetops.
During the winter months, you’ll have a ton of fun sledding with the kids, ice skating, snowshoeing, and skiing.
The Rocky Mountains are one of the best places to go rock climbing, and Estes Park is in a prime location. There are a number of climbing businesses to help you out, and give you training. If you’re an experienced climber, or this is your first time, you won’t be disappointed. For those who aren’t sure whether climbing for them, there’s a climbing wall in town, where you can give it a try for cheaper.
Estes Park is a good place for the whole family, with places like the Fun City amusement park! Join in water wars, race go-karts, jump on trampolines, play miniature golf, and more. For a list of great family activities, click here.
While Estes Park does have a lot of great outdoor activities, they’re not limited to those. The town has a number of museums, theaters, art events, and evening entertainment. A full calendar of events can be found here.
In the downtown you’ll find live music, art galleries, and all sorts of different shops—more than 300, in fact! If you’re getting hungry, choose from dozens of great restaurants, or pick up some fudge, taffy, or fresh cookies!
When you go to Estes Park, you can’t just go for one day. Spend a weekend, or a full week if you can, and take in all the town and surrounding country has to offer. Stay over in a cozy cabin, a hotel, a guest ranch, or just go camping. All told, you’ve got more than a hundred lodging options to choose from.
Enjoy your stay, and leave us a comment below about your favorite part of Estes Park.