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#1986229 - 01/05/15 03:10 PM Estes Park, CO
Skittles Offline
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Skittles
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Yes, I am a little early - but I'm excited about my vacation this year. I booked flights yesterday for late August to Denver where we will rent a car and drive to Estes Park, CO. We spend that night in the 'Stanley Hotel', which also happens to be our 12th anniversary. We'll switch hotels after that to something a little less expensive, but I'm really looking forward to this.

Does anyone have any recommendations for things to see in Estes Park? I plan on taking a Green Jeep tour and driving through the park.
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#1986248 - 01/05/15 04:01 PM Re: Estes Park, CO Skittles
edAudit Offline
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edAudit
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You are here
Sorry no MC Donald's

you can try:

537 Big Thompson Ave,

Estes Park, CO 80517

Instead
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#1986270 - 01/05/15 04:48 PM Re: Estes Park, CO Skittles
HappyGilmore Offline
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Pulling people out of the ditc...
I was 13 my last time there, so I don't think I can help much...
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#1986271 - 01/05/15 04:49 PM Re: Estes Park, CO Skittles
Queen Mum Offline
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There are lots of cute little shops and a place where you can watch glass blowers do their thing. Only spent part of a day there a few years ago, but it was a neat little place.

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#1986278 - 01/05/15 05:00 PM Re: Estes Park, CO Queen Mum
mkp122 Offline
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Ditto what Queen Mum said. Make sure you do the Ghost Tour at the Stanley hotel. That was great. I enjoyed staying there and definitely has some paranormal activity.

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#1986288 - 01/05/15 05:18 PM Re: Estes Park, CO Skittles
Matt_B Offline
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We were there summer of '13, spent a night at the hotel too. In the morning, go down to the basement and get yourself a Lucky Charms doughnut, best thing you can do! laugh

Also, consider packing a small fan or something if you can. It's not typically all that hot there, but we were there in July and they had a crazy heatwave. We about died in the room, it was so hot!

We got pizza at a place called Mama Rose's there, it was great, and I believe they had a great beer selection too. There was another little cafe type place we did lunch one day, called Claire's something or other. It was pretty close to the hotel, and had some outdoor seating with a decent lighter menu.

Things to see, there are some great trails nearby. We hiked one that was outside of the park that was 1.7 miles or something and lead to a lake. Really nice views. Wouldn't recommend it if you haven't had some time to acclimate to the altitude though! We got passed by some power-walking grannies and very pregnant women, as we took quite a few breaks to try to catch our breath!

Drive into the park and take the time to go up to the (Alpine?) visitor center, the highest point you can drive to. It's fun to lob snowballs at each other in the middle of summer. Come with a jacket! We left town at about 80 degrees and it was in the 20s when we got up there.
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#1986293 - 01/05/15 05:29 PM Re: Estes Park, CO Skittles
thomasj Offline
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I was there in August of 1994. We were driving through town and had to stop because a huge bull elk was crossing the street. The locals were not phased by it but we stopped and took about 2 dozen pictures of him; looking back now, from way too close. It was a beautiful place.

If I remember correctly, we passed through Estes Park while visiting Rocky Mountain National Park which is, without question, one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Happy early anniversary!
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#1986297 - 01/05/15 05:32 PM Re: Estes Park, CO Skittles
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Thanks everybody. My son was there in the summer of 2005 and said the elk just walked through town and it was no big deal. I can't wait to see that - and any other wildlife I can see. Hope to do some hiking - especially if we spend 3 full days there.
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#1986320 - 01/05/15 06:20 PM Re: Estes Park, CO Skittles
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There were a lot right outside of town when we were leaving. Had to stop for them to get out of the way. It's also interesting looking at all the houses in the hillsides. I don't think I would want to live there in the hardest of winters. I don't know how they get in and out.

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#1986393 - 01/05/15 09:38 PM Re: Estes Park, CO Skittles
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Guess
Take a side trip down the canyon to Fort Collins.
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#1986423 - 01/05/15 11:00 PM Re: Estes Park, CO Skittles
BankerMe Offline
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I live close to Estes, and my mother lives and works there. Everybody here has good suggestions.

Try lunch at the Baldpate Inn. Fun, historic and good food. Make a reservation. http://baldpateinn.com/

Go to the top of the park to the Alpine Visitors Center ($20 entrance fee to the park). Stop on your way in, at the Fall River visitors center, for shopping, lunch and a look around the ranger station.

If you are out of shape, afraid of the altitude, or just want to get your feet wet, take a hike around Sprague Lake. It's on the Bear Lake road in the park, and has easier parking than Bear Lake. The hike is 1/2 mile, flat, and beautiful. Otherwise, there are numerous hike that are more challenging. Ask the Rangers.

Have fun!

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#1986439 - 01/06/15 12:47 PM Re: Estes Park, CO Skittles
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My wife and I spent a week there a few years ago. We rented a small one bedroom cabin from McGregor Mountain Lodge, just a few minutes from the entrace to RMNP. We spent most of the week in the park, driving and stopping and hiking a bit (short hikes, mostly, nothing strenuous) and taking in the nature and wildlife. Saw plenty of elk, some bighorn sheep, and lots of othern nature. It was a very relaxing week for us. Enjoy!
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#1987876 - 01/12/15 03:18 PM Re: Estes Park, CO Skittles
Couples Offline
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The Igloo
My husband and I vacationed there last summer and loved it. We did a lot of hiking. Each trail we chose led to a lake or some sort of waterfall. Trails can be crowded but the views are worth it. Bierstadt Lake was beautiful and hike was somewhat challenging from the Bierstadt Lake Trail Head. No hiking traffic on that trail. Take a lunch or snack and enjoy the scenery while sitting on a lakeside boulder. We had lunch at Mary's Lake Lodge. Sat on the deck, ate a great lunch and enjoyed the views. Make sure you stop at Boulder, CO. Lots of fun! Have a wonderful time!

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#1993397 - 02/04/15 06:13 PM Re: Estes Park, CO Skittles
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I just confirmed reservations for the Pikes Peak COG. We take the incline up - and bike down (a road - not mountain biking). I'm very excited about this.
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#1993570 - 02/04/15 10:33 PM Re: Estes Park, CO Skittles
homestar Offline
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The town of Estes Park is fun to visit. It's very touristy though if that kind of thing bothers you. It's a beautiful drive through Rocky Mountain National Park to the visitor center. Bring a jacket and binoculars. We saw mountain goats and elk on the way up, sometimes very close to the road.

It's not as pretty as it used to be, at least when we were there after the flood. Also, the trees were under a lot of stress due to that parasite that's running rampant through Colorado. Maybe it's subsiding now, I'm not sure.
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#1993596 - 02/04/15 11:31 PM Re: Estes Park, CO YosemiteSamIAm
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I was there last October, very nice. I agree with what everyone said and I live a few hours away. One thing I would recommend is calling the highway dept and make sure roads are clear. A lot of flooding has caused a lot of road work and there is only 2 ways up. We had to take the long route and it was nice but LONG. Hopefully they will be done by then but there was extensive damage to many miles of roads/bridges so it would be worth checking out.

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#1993616 - 02/05/15 12:03 PM Re: Estes Park, CO homestar
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Originally Posted By: Homestar
T due to that parasite that's running rampant through Colorado. Maybe it's subsiding now, I'm not sure.


Didnt the Bounty hunter guy and wife move to Hawaii? laugh
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#2013709 - 05/13/15 12:36 PM Re: Estes Park, CO Skittles
Skittles Offline
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Just booked our Green Jeep Tour yesterday. My vacation is getting closer - and I'm really looking forward to this!
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#2013713 - 05/13/15 01:06 PM Re: Estes Park, CO Skittles
Rocky P Offline
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Welcome to BOL BankerMe.

Thank you - this post brought back great memories! We went around Estes Park enjoying all the touristy things. Temperature changes - correct! Temperature in Estes Park 86 degrees - Temperature in Ranger's Station on Fall River Road 43 degrees (bought a hat to keep the head warm).

Take a camera! Wildlife abounds. First time I saw a beaver dam the size of the Taj Majal.
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#2013720 - 05/13/15 01:49 PM Re: Estes Park, CO Skittles
Skittles Offline
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Thanks Rocky. We will be taking an actual camera and not just using our phones for this trip. Also, the woman at the jeep tour warned me about the temperature changes so I hope we pack appropriately.
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#2013731 - 05/13/15 02:36 PM Re: Estes Park, CO Skittles
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We've decided to escape the Midwest heat and humidity and have booked a week in Breckenridge. We haven't been to Colorado in 25 years or more, so we're looking forward to seeing the mountains again. We'll take the golf clubs since we're driving, and do some hiking and maybe horseback riding. Back in the 70s, I did some wilderness camping in Colorado, near Gunnison, so I know just how much the temps can drop when that sun goes down.
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#2013733 - 05/13/15 02:43 PM Re: Estes Park, CO Skittles
Skittles Offline
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When are you going MBH? My niece will be in Colorado in July. She goes about every year now. She said she could live there.
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#2013759 - 05/13/15 03:17 PM Re: Estes Park, CO Skittles
#ONENANA Offline
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Have a wonderful and safe trip Skittles. I hope the wild life gives you plenty of picture opportunities! When my husband and I were in Florida we saw lots of birds, dolphins, turtles and a manatee. I never get tired of seeing things like that.
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#2013932 - 05/13/15 08:03 PM Re: Estes Park, CO Skittles
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Originally Posted By Skittles
When are you going MBH? My niece will be in Colorado in July. She goes about every year now. She said she could live there.


We're going July 11 for a week. Well, actually, July 10, leaving after work and driving through the night.
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#2028589 - 07/21/15 07:45 PM Re: Estes Park, CO Skittles
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A trip report to get Skittles more pumped up about the trip...

We spent last week in Breckenridge. We had crisp cool weather, except for a late afternoon shower most days. We went horseback riding, biking, hiking, golfing, hit a couple microbreweries and one distillery, had half-price martinis for happy hour a couple times, drove over the continental divide at both Hoosier and Independence Passes, and ate some great food.

Colorado is so beautiful. The snow on the mountains, the blue sky, and all the flowers. We're talking about going back next year.
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