Things to do in Estes Park CO

Things to do in Estes Park CO
Sights to see in Colorado
Estes Park is undoubtedly, one of the top weekend getaways in the US and one of the most popular places to visit in Colorado for families and romantic couples, though if you’re looking for things to do in Estes Park CO outdoors, you’ll love a vacation in Estes Park any time of the year!

Estes Park is nestled within the stunning Rocky Mountain National Park and Roosevelt and National Forest, so opportunities for adventurous activities like hiking, biking and skiing are plentiful.

Having said this, you’ll be glad to know that there are other things to do in Estes Park than outdoor pursuits, but it all depends what time of the year you’re traveling.

So, to give you an idea on what to do in Estes Park CO throughout the year, we’ve listed some of the popular things to do during the warm, summer and winter months in Estes Park.

Warm Months

If you’re planning a vacation in Estes Park Colorado during the summer, spring or fall months, there are a ton of outdoor pursuits and recreational activities that you can enjoy.

Water Activities

Fishing, boating, hiking, biking, canoeing and whitewater rafting are some of the popular things to do in Estes Park CO during the summer months.
water activities to do in Estes Park CO

One of the most popular places in Estes Park for water activities is Lake Estes, which is a 10 minute drive east of Estes Park.

Lake Estes is an excellent spot to enjoy a boating trip, though you can also enjoy speed boating, water skiing and board-sailing. Another great thing about the Lake Este it's that it also boasts a marina where you can rent paddle-boats, kayaks, etc.

Lake Estes is also a popular spot for hiking and biking since Lake Estes boasts a lovely trail that goes around the lake.

Besides Lake Estes, there are dozens of lakes within the Rocky Mountain Park such as Grand Lake, Bear Lake and Mary's Lake. The latter one is located nearby Estes Park and it's a great spot for fishing.
fishing in Estes Park CO

However, if you’re looking for faster currents for kayaking and rafting, Cache la Poudre River which flows through Fort Collins Colorado is the nearest place for this.

Mountain biking & hiking

Mountain biking, rock climbing and hiking are some other popular things to do in Estes Park CO, so if you’re an avid outdoors person you’ll be glad to know that both Rocky Mountain Park and Roosevelt Forest offer great opportunities for these.
biking in Estes Park CO

Having said this, Rocky Mountain Park in particular, is a hikers and bikers’ paradise as it boasts all kinds of trails and terrain to suit everyone.

Two of the easiest trails from Estes Park are Bear Lake Trail and Sprague Lake Trail, which are easy accessible by car through Bear Lake Road.

If you’re looking for more challenging and strenuous trails from Estes Park, head to either Deer Mountain (off Deer Ridge Junction), or Sundance Mountain (off Trail Ridge Rd).

Rock Climbing

Rock climbing is another of the popular things to do in Estes Park CO, and the good news is that you don’t have to be experienced climber to enjoy climbing trips.

If you’re looking to improve your climbing skills, or want to enjoy a guided climb for the day, there are a few outfitters in Estes Park such as Colorado Mountain School and Estes Park Mountain Shop which offer everything from half-day trips to climbing rental gear.

Fall Foliage & Wildlife

Experiencing the fall colors and watching wildlife are undoubtedly, two of the best things to do in Estes Park CO.

Estes Park is one of the best places to see the fall foliage in the US, and early October is one of the best times to enjoy a leaf-peeping walk.

If you’re a wildlife and bird enthusiast, you’ll also be glad to know that the fall foliage is also the mating season of the elk, so if you’ve always wanted to experience the rutting call of the bull elk, be sure to visit in late September or early October!

Scenic Drives

Taking a scenic drive during your vacation in Este Park is probably one of the top things to do in Estes Park CO since you’ll get a chance to explore the area nearby Estes Park.

There are many opportunities from Este Park to enjoy a scenic drive, though one of the best drives is to Grand Lake along the scenic Trail Ridge Road.
scenic drives in Estes Park CO

Trail Ridge Road runs through the heart of the Rocky Mountain Park and offers amazing mountain scenery views, and plenty of opportunities for stopping along the way and soak in the views.

Another drive worth doing is to Bear Lake along Bear Lake Road. This route is easily one of the nicest and easiest drives you can take from Estes Park since you get plenty of opportunities to stop for a picnic and enjoy easy hikes.

Winter Months

If you’re planning a winter getaway to Estes Park, one of the most popular things to do in Estes Park CO during the winter is skiing.

You can enjoy anything from downhill skiing to cross country skiing and snowshoeing in the area nearby Estes Park, though if you’re looking for a ski area you’ll have to drive out of Estes Park.
skiing in Estes Park CO

Two of the nearest ski resorts from Estes Park are Winter Park and Eldora Mountain, which are about 20 miles south of Estes Park.

Besides these two ski resorts, you have another option for skiing at Grand Lake Recreation District in the town of Grand Lake.

Grand Lake Recreation District is one of the best places near Estes Park where you can enjoy skiing. The district boasts a Nordic Center during the winter months which offers skiing lessons and ski rentals.

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