Estes Park, CO – East Gateway for Rocky Mountain National Park

Estes Park Aerial Tramway. Photo by Jeff Spackman

Estes Park Aerial Tramway. Photo by Jeff Spackman

Eastern Basecamp for Rocky Mountain National Park

Perched at 7,200 feet and 90 miles away from Denver, Estes Park is a fantastic basecamp for exploring Rocky Mountain National Park’s eastern side. Take a stroll down its lively downtown lined with coffee shops, restaurants and shops. Or sit on a bench along the Riverwalk, which spans the downtown area from the Estes Park Visitor Center to Performance Park on the west end of Elkhorn Avenue.

Thousands of elk call Estes Park home. Courtesy photo

Thousands of elk call Estes Park home. Courtesy photo

Estes Park also has a full, year-round calendar of exciting festivals and events, from an award-winning rodeo to an iconic Celtic festival and live outdoor concerts to elaborate holiday celebrations.

Top 4 Things to Do in Estes Park

Click on images to enlarge

1. Visit the Haunted Stanley Hotel

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO which inspired the Stephen King Book "The Shining"

Stanley Hotel

The Stanley Hotel, a white palatial hotel opened in 1909 and was built by inventor F. O. Stanley who produced steam cars. Author Stephen King’s overnight stay here inspired his best-selling book The Shining. Take a ghost tour, then in the evening, have a drink at the Whiskey Bar, which has Colorado’s largest selection of whiskey. You may even spot the ghost of Stanley checking in on his establishment.

2. Go Family-Style at the YMCA

Cabins at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park Colorado. Photo by Ali Pfenninger

Cabins at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park Colorado. Photo by Ali Pfenninger

Set in a forested compound overlooking Estes Park, the YMCA of the Rockies is a family-oriented camp with rustic wooden lodges and dining halls straight out of a national park postcard. The camp offers numerous activities, including crafts, mini golf, horseback riding, and ziplining.

3. Ride a Horse

Iconic Longs Peak overlooking horseback riders on the edge of Estes Park. Courtesy photo

Iconic Longs Peak overlooking horseback riders on the edge of Estes Park. Courtesy photo

There’s nothing more quintessentially Western than jumping in the saddle for a ride. Several outfitters run guided trips into the park and the surrounding Roosevelt National Forest.

4. Find Your True Nature at Dao House

The Dao House lodge in winter with Longs Peak in the background. Courtesy photo

The Dao House lodge in winter with Longs Peak in the background. Courtesy photo

For a peaceful mountain retreat, head to Dao House, which offers lodge rooms, standalone suites and wellness programs in a beautiful forest setting. Dao House offers holistic treatments like massage and herbal aromatherapy, as well as classic western ranch activities like rides on a horse-drawn carriage, wagon or sleigh, one of which brings you to an outdoor campsite for a cowboy dinner.

Is the altitude giving you a headache? Head to the Oxygen Lodge where you can pay to breathe in 90 percent pure oxygen infused with energizing aromatherapy blends. Choose between a 30-minute or 45-minute treatment.


For more information:
Estes Park Visitor Center
(8oo) 443-7837
500 Big Thompson Avenue, Estes Park, CO 80517
www.visitestespark.com