2024 Estes Park Visitors Guide
Estes Park is an amazing spot for a family vacation! Home to the Rocky Mountain National Park, you and your family can be outdoors all day. There is no better way to bond together as a family on a family vacation than to enjoy the outdoors together. In Estes Park, the outdoors is right at your fingertips! And whether you are a novice hiker or an experienced mountain climber, Estes Park has an activity for all ability levels. Even couch potatoes can have a wonderful time on an Estes Park family vacation! Pull up a bench outside your family lodging, look out over the wildflowers, the majestic mountains and inhale the sweet, crisp mountain breeze. Every day of your Estes Park family vacation, you will be startled and astounded by the beauty on every corner. In Estes Park, the scenery is a living, breathing member of the community. Experience the true bounty of nature on a family vacation to Estes Park, Colorado!
Outdoors in Estes Park
Given Estes Park location in the Rocky Mountains, rock climbing and mountaineering are two favorite activities for both locals and family vacationers. Do not be alarmed if you and your family are city-folk who have never attempted to scale a rock before. There are many companies and facilities who offer guided tours and instructions. If you would like to set off on your own, there are many smaller terrain areas that all you need are sturdy feet to tackle. Another popular family vacation activity in Estes Park is hiking. Hiking is a particular favorite on family vacations because it is inexpensive and needs no equipment, other than a good pair of shoes. There are many marked trails throughout the Rocky Mountain National Park, all of which designate an ability level necessary for that particular hike—so every member of your family will be comfortable. Another option for hiking in Estes Park is to hire a guide, who is familiar with the terrain and can point out fauna and animal life that you may miss. Two companies that offer this service to family vacationers is Yellow Wood Guiding and Kaiyote Tours, both of which also offer photo safaris and bird tours. The best way to tackle the Estes Park outdoors on your family vacation is to simply check out the visitor center at Rocky Mountain National Park. The rangers are friendly, helpful and knowledgeable about the terrain. If your Estes Park family vacation falls during the winter, then rent a pair of snowshoes to explore the park. No season is ever off-limits on an Estes Park family vacation!
Water Activities in Estes Park
In Estes Park, the Colorado River provides an endless supply of family activities for your family vacation. Trailing through town and through Rocky Mountain National Park, everything from swimming from whitewater rafting trips are popular family vacation activities. Another nice water area to explore on an Estes Park family vacation is Lake Estes. The wonderful thing for a family on a budget on an Estes Park family vacation is that there are many inexpensive family activities to enjoy. If needed, guides and tours are available; but setting out on your own is always an easy and affordable option on an Estes Park family vacation. Lake Estes Marina is one of these affordable options: here, your family can kayak, fish, swim and picnic on the calm Lake Estes waters. If your family vacation is calling for a little adventure, then head to the Colorado River for some whitewater rafting. Many companies will provide you with the equipment and transportation needed to make this trip down the Colorado River. Some of the more popular companies that offer this service are Rapid Transit Rafting and Rocky Mountain Adventures.
Estes Park Scenic Drives
Sometimes, on a family vacation, you just need to relax and get off your feet for a while! Estes Park has many driving paths where the whole family can relax and take in the beautiful scenery at the same time. Fall River Road Scenic Drive is a half-day adventure that takes you into Rocky Mountain National Park and onto gravel, one-way, uphill road. This may sound daunting—but the views you will see on this ten-mile stretch of road will make your family vacation spectacular! Waterfalls, pools and vistas all await your perusal. To properly enjoy this drive, stopping is key! Pullover at one of the main pull-outs and take pictures, picnic or just take in the view! There is nothing like everyone being in a hurry to spoil a family vacation. These half-day scenic drives are about taking your time and enjoying yourselves as a family. Another scenic drive that takes you through different scenery is the Glen Haven Half-Day Loop Scenic Drive, which takes you into the charming, throw-back down of Glen Haven and through national forest land. There are plenty of picnic areas and river views to enjoy on your Estes Park family vacation. Five miles of this drive takes place in an area with the biggest views in Estes Park, where mountains, sky and the Continental Divide are all within eyesight. Do not miss the opportunity to take this scenic drive on your Estes Park family vacation!
Estes Park Family Activities
While you can easily spend your whole Estes Park family vacation out exploring the Rocky Mountain National Park, the town of Estes Park is a fun place for your family to explore as well! As the oldest operating movie theatre west of the Mississippi, the Historic Park Theatre in Estes Park is a great place to catch a movie. Moms and Dads know well that movies go over great on a family vacation! Chippers Lanes provides a fun family vacation experience, with bowling, video games and a snack bar. If you want your kids to gain a little knowledge while on your Estes Park family vacation, then the Estes Park Museum has exhibits on the history of Estes Park and has free admission. To fully understand the ranching and homesteading history of Colorado, the Macgregor Ranch Museum has artifacts and working exhibits for your perusal. If Mom and Dad can sneak away from the kids for a little bit, then wine tasting is a popular Estes Park activity as well! Valley of the Wind Winery is located in downtown Estes Park and offers tastings of their award-winning wines. Enjoy a glass on the deck, overlooking the river for a truly peaceful experience. Every parent knows that no family vacation experience is complete without some time away from the kids! But sometimes this is not possible—Snowy Peaks Winery offers wine tasting and has a family-friendly tasting room, so if the kids must come, they are welcome!
Estes Park Dining
For such a family-friendly destination, it should not surprise you that Estes Park has plenty of dining options for those on a family vacation! There is not a wide variety of international foods, but there are tons of old fashioned, family eateries that everyone in the family will love! Located in downtown Estes Park, Grubsteak Restaurant has both beef burgers and buffalo and elk burgers for the adventurous! For fantastic views while you eat, take the family to Trailhead Restaurant, which is located at the Rocky Mountain National Park Gateway Visitor Center and along with its dinner and lunch menu offers picnic takeout and a gift shop. For a tried-and-true family vacation winner, try Village Pizza, which has traditional pizza for the picky kid eater and yummy gourmet pizza for the more sophisticated adult palate. An Estes Park family vacation will keep your family busy and active, so you can count on hearty appetites at the end of a long Estes Park day!