Trip Guide to Estes Park, Colorado | Midwest Living

Trip Guide to Estes Park, Colorado

In north-central Colorado, Estes Park provides a popular base for exploring Rocky Mountain National Park. Check out our picks for what to do , where to eat and where to stay in Estes Park.


Estes Park Aerial Tramway See the valley and surrounding mountains from the summit of Prospect Mountain.

Estes Park Mountain Shop Sign up for lessons in fly-fishing or rock climbing, or rent any gear you forgot.

Footpaths of the World They will plan guided or self-guided hikes and snowshoeing trips.

Green Jeep Tours Be prepared to get dusty off-roading while learning about the area and its wildlife.

Rocky Mountain National Park The 250,000-plus acres of deep forests and majestic terrain call you to get out and hike, camp and view wildlife. Drive the Trail Ridge Road to the Alpine Visitor Center; its perch at nearly 12,000 feet above sea level ensures jaw-dropping views.

Estes Park

Estes Park. Photo courtesy of Visit Estes Park.

Snowy Peaks Winery and Tasting Room Sample wines made with grapes grown in Colorado.


Casa Grande Affordable Mexican food is all the better with views of the Big Thompson River.

Notchtop Bakery and Cafe The French Toast Sandwich stuffed with scrambled eggs, ham and cheddar cheese, is just one of the dishes that makes this a favorite breakfast or lunch spot.

Poppy’s Pizza and Grill A wheat beer from Estes Park Brewery goes well with pizza on homemade crust covered in your choice of five sauces and 40 toppings.

Smokin’ Dave’s BBQ and Taphouse It can be a bit of a wait for a table at this popular spot for slow-smoked ribs, Southern-style catfish and 15 beers on tap.


Estes Park Condos Along the Fall River minutes from town and Rocky Mountain National Park, this complex of one-, two- and three-bedroom condos is peaceful and comfortable. Rates include seasonal gear like fishing poles and tackle.

Stanley Hotel It’s only fitting that the 1909 hotel’s tours be a tad spooky; the hotel inspired Stephen King’s The Shining. Choose any of six tours (including a five-hour adults-only paranormal investigations trek) for tales of ghosts and history. Brave enough to stay? Book Room 217, where King dreamed up The Shining.

Stanley Hotel

Stanley Hotel. Photo courtesy of Visit Estes Park.

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