A gateway to the Rocky Mountains, Estes Park is a lively town filled with colourful cafes, souvenir stalls and steakhouses. It's a hotspot for nature enthusiasts and anyone else who wants to walk on Colorado's wild side.
Things to do in Estes Park
The Rocky Mountain National Park is laced with scenic hiking trails that take you through alpine peaks, wildflower fields and rumbling rivers. If you'd rather drive, cruise along Trail Ridge Road. Want to spend a few nights camping? Head to Estes Park Mountain Shop, where you can rent tents, cooking stoves and backcountry gear.
The town is set on shimmering Lake Estes. It's fringed by a breezy riverwalk lined with cafes, bars and restaurants. Cool off with an ice-cold drink at Wheel Bar, which features a shaded patio overlooking the lake.
Located just out of town, the MacGregor Ranch Museum recounts the town's pioneer past. It tells the story of Alexander and Clara MacGregor, a pair of settlers who made a living rearing Black Angus cattle. Take a tour of the homestead, check out the working quarters and peer into outbuildings like the smokehouse.
Spend a relaxing night at the Park Theatre, perfect for kicking back after a day of adventure. The historic playhouse was built in 1913 and screens a great selection of movies. There's also a cosy on-site cafe serving espresso and gooey cinnamon buns.
Getting around Estes Park
Estes Park is set at the doorstep of Rocky Mountain National Park. Access is via East Elkhorn Avenue, which leads to both park entrances. Renting a car offers the most flexibility in exploring Rocky Mountain National Park and the rest of Colorado.