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Top 10 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Estes Park

Best Places to Visit in Estes Park

In the Colorado Highlands, Estes Park is the south gate of Rocky Mountain National Park and a charming mountain town with lots to do. Estes Park is a year-round tourist destination. While most tourists come during the summer months, locals will tell you that visiting in the winter is a special experience: it’s less crowded, the mountains are covered with a beautiful blanket of snow, and there are plenty of winter-focused outdoor activities to keep you occupied.

Whether you’re challenging yourself with outdoor activities from fly fishing to horseback riding, or you prefer to explore natural trails from mountain to peak from the comfort of your car, we have activities for all types of travelers. Check out our list of the best things to do in Estes Park.

Have a look at our list of the Best Places to Visit in Estes Park and make your trip enjoyable.

10 Best Places to Visit in Estes Park

Let’s explore the top 10 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Estes Park:

1. Rocky Mountain National Park

The gateway to the south, Estes Park, is just a few minutes drive from the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park, one of the most popular national parks in the United States. The views here are truly exhilarating, with rugged soaring peaks, azure lakes, velvety meadows, and meandering rivers that set a wild backdrop.

Rocky Mountain National Park is also home to Trail Ridge Road (closed in winter), the longest continuously paved road in the United States at 12,183 feet. When opened, it connects Estes Park on one side of the park with the town of Great Lakes on the other.

For a quick hike on crowded gravel trails suitable for families, seniors, and wheelchair visitors, check out the Easy Sprague Lake Trail. It’s a 0.8-mile loop around the lake of the same name, offering stunning mountain views and the chance to spot beavers and deer in the water. You can also fish for trout in the lake.

However, the park itself is not closed for the winter, and you can still hike the 300 miles of trails. There are also opportunities for cross country and alpine skiing.

Official website: https://www.nps.gov/romo/index.htm

2. Stanley Hotel

If you’re a Stephen King fan, you can’t miss the Stanley Hotel. After spending a night at the hotel, the author was inspired to write his iconic novel The Shining. While the movie version of the book was not filmed at the historic Colorado hotel, the TV adaptation was.

The Stanley Hotel, which recently celebrated its 100th birthday, is a landmark in itself. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is located on a hill overlooking Estes Park city centre. You can stay overnight if you want, but you don’t need to be a guest to visit. If you’re interested in the paranormal, sign up for the hotel’s Eidolon tour.

Today, the hotel is an excellent choice for day trips due to its historical and cultural significance.

Address: 333 E. Wonderview Ave, Estes Park, Colorado

Accommodation: www.stanleyhotel.com

3. Estes Park Aerial Tramway

Open from Memorial Day to Labour Day, the Estes Park Aerial Tramway is another popular seasonal event in the city. Trams running since 1955 take you to the top of Prospect Mountain. It is designed after the European “free span” tram model, with cables running from top to bottom without any towers in between, allowing you to have unobstructed views and tower-free photos.

From the summit, you can enjoy stunning views of Langs Peak and the Continental Divide at 14,259 feet. There are also several hiking trails and a cafe at the top of the mountain.

Address: 420 E. Riverside Drive, Estes Park, Colorado

Official website: https://www.estestra.com/

4. Lake Estes

Located on the main road to Estes Downtown Park, Lake Estes offers activities throughout the year but is especially popular during the summer months. During the warmer months, you can row and canoe on the lake. Equipment can be rented from Estes Lake Marina and even pontoon boats can be rented. Trout fishing is also done in the lake.

If you want to enjoy the water from the edge, the lake is surrounded by a 3.75-mile loop trail called the Estes Lake Trail. You can hike or bike, and the Continental Divide and other Rocky Mountain views (hello Longs Peak) are spectacular. You can also spot some of the local wildlife, from deer to bighorn sheep and possibly bears.

Address: Estes Lake Pier, 1770 Great Thompson Avenue, Estes Park, Colorado

5. Beaver Meadows Visitor Center

Designed in the Frank Lloyd Wright style, the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center is the headquarters of Rocky Mountain National Park, which first opened in 1967. The visitor center is open year-round, with slightly shorter opening hours during the winter months.

Inside the visitor center, you can watch a short park trailer and learn about the park itself, from ranger-recommended hikes to maps. Before leaving, be sure to walk towards the west end of the parking lot. From here you will have unobstructed views of Dragon Peak and other soaring peaks.

Address: 1000 US-36 Estes Park, Colorado

Official website: https://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/visitorcenters.htm

6. Estes Park Museum

Estes Park Museum recently celebrated its 50th birthday. It is located off Highway 36 and is open Wednesday-Saturday from 10:00 to 16:00. Entrance is free.

The museum documents the history of Estes Park. It started with the first Native Americans, continued with the emergence of ranchers in the 1860s and then with the incorporation of the town in 1917. Modern history has been largely shaped by a series of floods, the last of which occurred in 1982.

The museum also has an interpretive center at the historic Falls River Hydroelectric Power Station. The factory was originally built in 1909 to power the Stanley Hotel. It is open by appointment only.

Address: 200 Fourth Avenue, Estes Park, Colorado

Official website: http://estesparkmuseumfriends.org/our-museum/

7. Open Air Adventure Park

Wanna pump adrenaline? Go to the outdoor adventure park. It includes a track with 32 different elements, including rope bridges, swinging logs, wire ropes in trees, and moving platforms. You will always be securely fastened to the seat belt so there is no fear of injury. The elements rise up to 21 feet above the ground and there are plenty of opportunities to swing and jump along the ropes.

The course is self-directed so you can go at your own pace. However, the staff here will help and encourage you along the way. The Outdoor Adventure Park is the only place in the city where you can try axe throwing. The 30-minute lesson costs $25, and you and three other people aged 16 and over will throw axes at targets in a private lane. Staff can offer ax advice and help you improve your throwing skills.

Address: 490 Prospect Village Drive, Estes Park, Colorado

Official website: www.openairadventurepark.com

8. Jackson Stables

Exploring Rocky Mountain National Park on horseback is another popular activity near Estes Park. Head to the Jackson Stables to meet your mount, then head to the trails to the park. The Stables offer excursions ranging from hour-long activities to full-day adventures that allow you to cover more land, traverse flower-filled meadows across the land, and enter glacial basins.

In addition to off-road driving, Jackson Stables also offers activities for kids. In the autumn they would ride ponies and hay and eat morels by the fire.

Address: 2515 Tunnel Road, Estes Park, Colorado

Official website: www.jacksonstables.com

9. Peak to Peak Scenic Byway

Colorado’s oldest scenic byway just celebrated its 100th birthday, and the classic drive down the 55-mile Peak to Peak Scenic Byway is still the best around. The drive begins in Estes Park and then winds its way to Central City, a Victorian-era mining town.

This drive is not only stunning, with views of aplenty of towering peaks, but it is also a way to experience the mountain scenery at its best in summer without the crowds you’ll encounter driving Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park. There are also a number of worthwhile quirky small towns to pause at along the drive.

10. Fun City

Also celebrating 50 years of fun in Estes Park, the aptly named Fun City is a landmark family favourite for everything from go-karts and bumper boats to mini-golf, gemstone panning, water walking balls, and a bungee trampoline. There are even carnival games and prizes.

And just because Fun City has been in business for half a century, don’t think it is outdated. The activities were recently upgraded for this century, including the go-karts and some state-of-the-art arcade games.

You can come for a few hours or all day. Purchase the All-Day Fun Pass if your kids want to try everything – it offers unlimited rides and activities.

Address: 455 Prospect Village Drive, Estes Park, Colorado

Official site: www.funcityofestes.com

Conclusion:

Hope you like our choice of the best places to visit in Estes Park. If you think there are some more beautiful places to visit in Estes Park, we should cover them. Write us below in the comment box.

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