This view of Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park (in the background)
was photographed from Big Thompson Avenue, the road in front of the Estes Park Comfort Inn.
Archeologists believe the Estes Valley has been a vacation destination for 10,000 years. Long before today’s visitors, Ute and Arapaho Indian families spent summers in the Estes Valley and what is now Rocky Mountain National Park. Today, Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park attract more than three million visitors from all 50 states and around the world. Estes Park is 60 miles northwest of Denver.
What’s the big attraction to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park? Why do people come here, and come back year after year? Here are seven great reasons:
Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the top adventure vacation destinations in the world. Whether your idea of adventure is a hike or climb to a mountain peak, a stroll around a serene mountain lake, or strapping on waders and taking your first fly-fishing lesson, chances are, a visit to Rocky and the Estes Park area will exceed your vacation expectations. Just shopping our more than 100 unique downtown stores is an adventure. Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park is the place to see incredible sights, and to try new things. Adventurers welcome!
It starts with the elk. Our iconic elk herds graze and wander through the park and through the streets of Estes Park. “Elk Jam” is a term used in Estes Park when a mini traffic jam occurs as visitors pull over to view a herd of elk. Other wildlife you can expect to see during a visit here includes deer, bighorn sheep, marmots, moose, and an occasional bear. Altogether, there are 66 mammal species native to this area. Never approach or try to feed the wildlife. At times, they may appear to be docile, but they are wild animals.
From the moment that you drive into Estes Park, you know that this visit is all about mountains and mountain scenery. Estes Park is surrounded on three sides by Rocky Mountain National Park.
Not only can you view the mountains from anywhere in town and the park, you can drive across the top of the mountains on Trail Ridge Road. The highest continuous paved road in the Unites States, Trail Ridge Road crests at over 12,000 feet. You can drive to the Alpine Visitors Center at the top, or continue across the Continental Divide to the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park and Grand Lake. There are numerous parking areas and scenic overlooks. Be sure to bring your camera.
Trail Ridge Road is one of ten America's Byways and a national designated All American Road. Trail Ridge Road is snowbound seven months out of the year. It's open Memorial Day Weekend through October, weather permitting. This is one drive you don't want to miss.
Rocky Mountain National Park has 355 miles of hiking trails. Hikes on these trails range from relatively easy such as short walks around mountain lakes, to strenuous hikes up to mountain summits. The park newspaper and website have complete details on all trails including elevation gain and level of difficulty.
The village of Estes Park has hiking paths around Lake Estes (3.7 miles), and through downtown along the Big Thompson River.
Established in 1915, Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the premiere parks in the National Park System. Much of the park’s 415 square miles has been designated wilderness.
In addition to the great mountain scenery, wildlife viewing, and hiking, the park conducts a number of ranger led interpretative programs year-round, with an abundance of seminars and programs throughout the summer and fall. Junior Ranger is a park-run participatory program specifically for children. Rocky Mountain National Park has engaging activities for visitors of all ages and all physical abilities. The tallest peak in the park is Longs Peak at 14,259 feet. While there are no roads to the top of Longs Peak, every year, thousands of visitors endure a strenuous hike or climb to reach the Longs Peak summit. A Longs Peak ascent is one of Rocky’s most adventuresome activities.
In 2015, Rocky Mountain National Park will celebrate its 100th anniversary. Events and programs are being planned from September of 2014 through 2016.
Visitors have long recognized that Estes Park is a genuinely friendly, welcoming community. Most of the nearly 6,000 people who call Estes Park home come from somewhere else … they choose to live in this mountain village. That’s one reason people here are happy, they’re living where they want to live. Our world famous mountain hospitality just comes naturally.
Who knows ... maybe one day you'll call Estes Park home?
Families have been coming to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park for generations. There’s something about introducing a child to the great outdoors and great places like Rocky Mountain National Park. An appreciation for nature and the environment develops, and the vacation memories last a lifetime. Many of our visitors bring their children here because this is the place where their parents brought them on vacation.
Whatever your reason for visiting Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park, we hope you’ll stay with us at the Estes Park Comfort Inn. You can click here to see photos of our rooms, or you can click here to go directly to check availability and booking. Thank you for considering the Estes Park Comfort Inn.
We'd like your vacation here to be the best vacation you've ever had.