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:
- Memorial Day Art Market and Collectibles Show
- Wool Market at the Fairgrounds, 2nd weekend in June
- Scandinavian Midsummer Festival, last weekend in June
- Heritage Festival, 3rd weekend in August
- Autumn Gold: A Festival of Bands, Brats, and Beer, 4th weekend in September
- 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.