About Estes Park
If you’ve never been to Estes Park, there is a lot to learn. The local tourism association has compiled a very nice web site containing plenty of useful information.
Rocky Mountain National Park information, including the status of Trail Ridge Road, can be found on the park’s web site maintained by the National Park Service.
Don’t think of Estes Park as just a summer destination, read on:
There is no doubt summer is a great time to visit, but it is also the busiest time of year. To avoid crowds, think about visiting other times of year. Soon after temperatures start to trend downward as summer wanes and fall approaches, elk mating season begins (called the Rut) in September and can last into early October. This is such a fun time to visit and observe the behavior of territorial bulls defending their harems. At the same time this is going on, aspen leaves start to yellow, beginning first at higher elevations and progressing down the mountains as October approaches. The already gorgeous landscape becomes magical!
Winter in Estes Park is not as brutal as you might think. Because of its location on the dry side of the continental divide, annual snowfall only averages 33” a year, more in the mountains. The average high in January is 39 degrees. Not too extreme for being in such a mountainous location. Estes Park is blessed to see the sun about 300 days a year, so this helps melt snow and brighten moods quicker than other parts of the country where gray skies can last for weeks on end. The biggest drawback of winter: it’s the windiest season of the year. RMNP is open throughout winter and offers opportunities for winter hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and more. Winter hiking in the mountains is a beautiful and unique experience that should be on the bucket list of every passionate hiker. Elk tend to stay at lower elevations in winter and are seen more frequently in and around town.
As winter’s grip loosens and spring has sprung, the air around the valley takes on an essence of rebirth and regrowth. Brown turns to green. Rivers and streams become full with meltwater and mountain trails begin to reveal their earthen treads out from under retreating snow lines. Crowds are still light in the spring season so, along with warming temperatures and lengthening days, this is one of the premier times of year to visit. The big crowds won’t arrive until June, so enjoy a quieter–but no less beautiful–getaway in Estes Park.
As you can see, Estes Park and RMNP are beautiful anytime of year…and we’ve got the perfect place for you to stay right in the middle of it all!