Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park

Estes Park

As the eastern gateway city to Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park hosts more than 2 million travelers from around the world each year. Almost all commercial activity takes place in Estes Park because the national park is preserved in its natural state.

Surrounded by snowcapped peaks ranging from 8,500 to more than 14,000 feet high, the town complements the alpine views with downtown mountain gardens and grassy picnic glades, aspen groves, wildflowers and river walks. 

As the eastern gateway city to Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park hosts more than 2 million travelers from around the world each year. Almost all commercial activity takes place in Estes Park because the national park is preserved in its natural state.

Surrounded by snowcapped peaks ranging from 8,500 to more than 14,000 feet high, the town complements the alpine views with downtown mountain gardens and grassy picnic glades, aspen groves, wildflowers and river walks. 

Activities abound in Estes Park all year long. Jazz, country and western bands, and chamber orchestras are among the cultural offerings. More than two dozen art galleries feature artistic talent ranging from oil and watercolor paintings, to woodcarvings and handblown glass. 

People of all ages and interests enjoy contemporary theater, concerts and plays. In addition to horse shows and rodeos, horseback riding, water activities (includ-ing boating and fishing on Lake Estes), shopping, biking and hiking are local favorites.

Wintertime visitors enjoy cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing, sledding and ice skating. Because the valley is surrounded by such high, protective peaks, winter temperatures are mild. The area is never isolated. With no mountain passes to cross, the routes to Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins and other metropolitan areas are almost always open. 

Information Centers

For lodging referrals and information about services, local attractions and special events, contact the Estes Park Convention & Visitors Bureau, 500 Big Thompson Avenue (U.S. 34), P.O. Box 1200, Estes Park, CO 80517; (800) 443-7837; or visit the website www.EstesParkCVB.com. The center is open daily all year except for New Year's Day, Easter, Thanks-giving and Christmas.

For Roosevelt National Forest information, contact the Estes-Poudre Ranger District Office at 161 Second Street, P.O. Box 2747, Estes Park, CO 80517; or call (970) 586-3440 from May to September.

Accommodations

More than 130 hotels, motels, lodges, bed-and-breakfasts, ranches, cabins, cottages, condominiums and campgrounds accommodate visitors. There are options in every category, from YMCA housekeeping cabins to elegant resorts. Getting a good night's sleep is only a phone call or a mouse-click away.

Dining

Whether you are on the run or prefer a leisurely experience, patrons can choose from Estes Park's nearly 60 restaurants and cafés. South-west, Cajun, Chinese, French, Continental and Italian fare are among the selections available.

Visitor Services

Estes Park is a year-round community with services and businesses to meet every need, from modern medical facilities to corporate services. These include ATMs and banking services; gasoline stations and automobile and RV service; a kennel for dogs and cats, (reservations recommended); a post office; equipment and supplies for rent; and secretarial, copy and fax services.

Gifts

More than 200 shops in the Estes Park area offer an un-surpassed variety of goods. Handcrafted Southwestern arts, crafts and jewelry, fine giftware, collectors' items of all kinds and fine apparel can be found here. Most shops will ship purchases to any location within the United States.

Medical Services

In an emergency, call 911. The Estes Park Medical Cen-ter is a full-service hospital with a fully staffed, 24-hour emergency room. Additional emergency transportation by ambulance and helicopter is available. 

Estes Park is served by family physicians and specialists, chiropractors, dentists and pharmacists who assist vacationers and residents. For outpatient and clinical appointments and -informa-tion, please call the Estes Park Medical Center at (970) 586-2317.

Religious Services 

More than a dozen churches and chapels in the Estes Park area represent the Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian and Baptist churches, the Church of Christ and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. All are located in inspirational settings and welcome the opportunity to share their ministries with guests. Other denominations offer services in nearby Boulder.

Special Events

Come to the Wool Market, held the third weekend in June, and experience shearing contests, see an obstacle course run and watch competitions of Colorado's champion goats, rabbits, sheep, llamas and alpacas.

During the third week in July, Estes Park hosts the Rooftop Rodeo, a western tradition that features a carnival, a parade and a concert by national country and western recording stars.

Each year, the weekend after Labor Day, the Scottish-Irish Highland Festival comes to town. Celtic competitions, demonstrations and celebrations highlight the weekend-long event. 

The Fine Arts Guild sponsors the Juried Fine Arts and Crafts Festival held downtown every September. The last weekend in November, Estes Park comes alive with Come Catch the Glow, a nighttime light parade to mark the illumination of the town's giant holiday display of murals. Activities include hayrides, pony rides, visits with Santa and carolers along the town's main street. The day ends with an early evening (5:30 p.m.) lighted parade. Between 15,000 and 20,000 people attend the event each year. For more information, please call (800) 443-7837 or visit online at www.EstesParkCVB.com.