Things to Do in Estes Park
Known for its stunning scenery and eclectic atmosphere, Estes Park has plenty to entertain and delight you. Here are some of the highlights of this scenic and historic city.
The annual Elk Fest is one of the most popular events in the Estes Park area. Held in Bond Park in late September, the festival celebrates the rutting period for the local elk and the big horn sheep. You will find wildlife exhibits, educational activities and conferences, entertainment of all kinds, food vendors, novelty vendors, guided tours of the wildlife, bugling competitions, and exhibitions of Native American culture.
Fall River Road
If you like sightseeing, you will love a drive up the Fall River Road, which is a one-lane dirt road that is also one of the highest mountain roads in the United States. It offers an incredible view of the Rocky Mountains. It’s even better if you rent a Hummer and take in the scenery in this open vehicle. This is a perfect spring or summer outing in Estes Park, when the weather is seasonable and pleasant, and the road is clear.
The river walk and the arial tramway to the top of nearby Prospect Mountain are both also excellent ways to see the town in all its glory, as well as enjoy all the wonderful natural scenery in the area from different vantage points.
Of course, you need to see the historic Stanley Hotel. It opened in 1909 and was originally owned by F.O. Stanley, the founder of the Stanley Steamer company. The movie The Shining was filmed at this hotel. It’s a gorgeous place to stay, though the owners are very protective of its historic value and integrity, so guests are not allowed to freely wander the halls. If you want to see more of the hotel than your room, the bar, the gift shop, and the lobby, you can take a ghost tour for $15. You can take the ghost tour even if you aren’t staying at the hotel.
Estes Park Museum
The Estes Park Museum offers a look at the history of the town. It is a small museum, but has much to show you. You will learn about Joel Estes, the founder of the town, as well as its first non-native residents and the Native tribes who lived there for thousands of years before, such as the Ute and Arapaho communities. There is also an exhibit showing the development of the town from its founding to modern times.
The Riverpoint Spa offers hot rock massages using local river rocks, couples massages, Thai yoga massages, and more. Slippers and robes are provided, and the scene is set for relaxation from the moment you walk in. It’s a superb way to relax and pamper yourself (and maybe your friend or significant other, too) during your trip to Estes Park.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about things to do in Estes Park.