15 Best Places and Things To Do in Estes Park, Colorado

Estes Park, Colorado is a charming mountain town situated at the eastern entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park. It offers a stunning natural environment and a variety of activities that make it a popular destination for visitors from around the world. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Estes Park:

1. Rocky Mountain National Park

File:Rocky Mountain National Park in September 2011 - Glacier Gorge from Bear Lake.JPG

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This is undoubtedly the main attraction of Estes Park. The park offers over 300 miles of hiking trails, scenic drives, wildlife watching, and breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains. Visitors can also enjoy camping, fishing, horseback riding, and rock climbing in the park.

2. Downtown Estes Park

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The downtown area is lined with charming shops, galleries, and restaurants. Visitors can explore local crafts, jewelry, clothing, and souvenirs, or relax at one of the many outdoor cafes or breweries.

3. Estes Park Aerial Tramway

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The tramway offers stunning views of the town and surrounding mountains. Visitors can ride to the top of Prospect Mountain and enjoy panoramic views of the Rockies.

4. Lake Estes Marina

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This marina offers boat rentals, paddleboarding, fishing, and other water activities. Visitors can enjoy a picnic on the lakeshore or take a leisurely walk around the lake.

5. Estes Park Museum

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This museum offers exhibits on the town’s history, wildlife, and culture. Visitors can learn about the early settlers, the Stanley Hotel, and the local wildlife.

6. Riverwalk in Downtown Estes Park

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The Riverwalk is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, with plenty of benches and picnic tables to sit and enjoy the scenery. The walkway is paved and flat, making it easily accessible for people of all ages and abilities.

6. Mustang Mountain Coaster

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The Mustang Mountain Coaster is suitable for riders of all ages, with a minimum height requirement of 38 inches. Children under the age of 8 must ride with an adult, and riders must be able to control their own speed.

7. MacGregor Ranch Museum

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The coaster features a track that winds through the mountains, offering stunning views of the surrounding area. Visitors can control their speed as they race down the track, giving them the freedom to take it slow and enjoy the scenery or pick up speed for a more thrilling ride.

8. Kruger Rock

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The hike to Kruger Rock is approximately 3.5 miles round trip and takes hikers through a variety of terrain, including forested areas, rocky slopes, and open meadows. The trail is rated as moderate to difficult and has an elevation gain of approximately 1,000 feet.

9. Lily Mountain Trail

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located off of Highway 7, just south of Estes Park, and is easily accessible for hikers. The trail is well-maintained and clearly marked, making it easy for visitors to follow At the summit of Lily Mountain, hikers will be treated to panoramic views of Longs Peak, Mount Meeker, and the Estes Valley. The summit also offers a great vantage point to observe the changing colors of the aspen trees during the fall months.

10. National Park Gateway Stables

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The National Park Gateway Stables offers a variety of guided horseback riding tours for visitors of all ages and skill levels. Visitors can choose from short rides lasting one to two hours, or longer rides lasting three to four hours. The stable also offers overnight pack trips for visitors who want to spend several days exploring the backcountry.

11. Mrs. Walsh’s Garden

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Mrs. Walsh’s Garden is a great place to visit for nature lovers, garden enthusiasts, or anyone looking for a peaceful retreat in the midst of the bustling town. The garden is also a popular spot for photographers who want to capture the beauty of the flowers and the stunning views of the mountains.

12. Kirks Flyshop & Mountain Adventures

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Kirk’s Flyshop is known for its expertise in fly fishing, and offers guided fishing trips to some of the best fishing spots in the Rocky Mountains. These trips are suitable for anglers of all skill levels, from beginners to experienced anglers. The shop also offers fly fishing lessons for visitors who want to learn the basics or improve their technique.

13. Hermit Park Open Space’

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The park features over 12 miles of hiking trails that wind through the park’s rolling hills and scenic vistas. The trails vary in difficulty, from easy strolls to more challenging hikes, and offer visitors the opportunity to explore the park’s diverse ecosystems, including grasslands, forests, and wetlands.

14. Enos Mills Cabin Museum

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The Enos Mills Cabin Museum is a historic cabin located in Estes Park, Colorado. The cabin was originally built by Enos Mills, who is often referred to as the “father of Rocky Mountain National Park.” Mills was a naturalist, conservationist, and writer who played a key role in the creation of Rocky Mountain National Park.

15. Ride-A-Kart

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One of the park’s most popular attractions is its go-kart tracks. Ride-A-Kart has several different tracks to choose from, including a kiddie track for younger children and a more challenging track for adults and older children. The go-karts are electric, so they are quiet and environmentally friendly, and riders can enjoy speeds of up to 20 miles per hour.

Estes Park, Colorado offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages. From hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park to exploring the town’s history and culture, there is something for everyone in this beautiful mountain town.