We love when our guests ask us for tips on where to go or what to do to experience Estes Park like a local and we’ve compiled a list of our top 10 activities and attractions we still love after so many years in Estes Park.
- Open Air Adventure Park is one of our favorite places in the summer in Estes Park and a great facility if you like to challenge yourself. This aerial adventure is 21 feet above the ground and spans more than 840 feet. You’ll encounter 32 elements, like tight ropes, swinging elements, and moving platforms. You can do it, we have faith in you! We recommend making reservations early and wearing clothing you can move around in and bringing quality shoes.
- Geocaching is a great way to explore Rocky Mountain National Park and search for treasure! You can download the Estes Park geocache passport for access to the Across the Divide 2016 GeoTour covering caches in Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park and Grand Lake. We highly recommend geocaching as a family-friendly activity to help keep the little ones focused on the trail and is fun for everyone. You’re never too old to go looking for treasure. Just don’t forget to take your completed passport to the Estes Park Visitor Center or the Grand Lake Chamber of Commerce for your rewards of up to 4 different collectible coins. Geocaching enthusiasts came to Colorado this year for GeoWoodStock 14er (July 5th) for a weekend full of events and trekking along geocaching trails.
- Hiking is easily the most popular activity in Estes Park for both locals and visitors. With more than 350 miles of hiking trails, you can find easy loops or steep climbs in the park and practically everything in-between. We especially love the waterfall hikes, the trails to pristine lakes and those that end with panoramic views. During the summer, most visitors flock to the Bear Lake Trailhead so you’ll either want to get there early or just hop on the free shuttle that services trailheads. Just swing by the front desk and ask for suggested hiking routes or purchase a Trail Tracks hiking map for a self-guided adventure.
- Taking out an ATV is an exhilarating way to explore the back roads in the National Forest. This is one of our staff’s new favorite adventures! There are also several local tours that take you into the National Park or the Forest Service. Some are designed for photographers and most are designed for sightseeing, Esteswhere everyone can enjoy the trip.
- Whitewater rafting is another popular one though you will have to leave the town’s limits to get to the good rapids. Many locals will go early in the rafting season to avoid larger crowds and enjoy better rapids! Rapid Transit is the company we use as they provide lots of fun and have a great safety record.
- Horseback riding is a great way to explore the area and pay homage to our Western roots! We just swing by the Cowpoke Corner Corral down the street when we want to take a scenic ride through the park or go to their “sister stable” at National Park Gateway, located at the Fall River Entrance to RMNP!
- Another popular local activity for the little ones is the Junior Rangers program at the park. Parents can pick up the free activity booklet and kids can check off activities to earn their badge! It’s a great opportunity to get kids introduced to the park and teach them about preservation efforts they can help out with.
- Another program at the park we love are the stellar night sky and astronomy programs. Enjoy the park after dark and learn more about the stars and planets above.
- For adults, a great way to unwind after a day in Estes Park is with a visit to our wineries or breweries. Snowy Peaks Winery has wonderful wine and live music on Fridays from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. If you need something a little more hoppy, hop on over to the Estes Park brewery for hand-crafted beer and fresh food.
- Wildlife watching is another favorite and no before you ask, it doesn’t get old! You’ll still see us locals get excited when the elk inevitably stroll into town and we’ll still pull over in the park when there’s a herd of elk or moose to be seen. Like the park rangers, locals will warn you to keep a safe distance from the animals and please do not feed them or leave food unattended in picnic areas.
There’s so much more to Estes Park beyond these top 10 and we invite you to experience it all on your next stay at Alpine Trail Ridge Inn!