Estes Park History

Happy 100th Birthday Estes Park!  Find out about the latest in birthday fun at VisitEstesPark.com Mark your calendar, so you won't miss all the celebratory birthday shenanigans!

As we celebrate our Centennial, we're grateful that In the 1850’s, pioneering Joel Estes brought his family to this precious valley. His short-lived attempt at ranching was unsuccessful, but he left enough of an impact to become the name bearer of our beloved town.  Our inviting summers, cooled by snowcapped peaks, created the treasure that is Estes. Guests who couldn't stop returning to all that Estes is, created a solid tourism base. By the turn of the century, rustic mountain lodges spouted up throughout the valley. Eventually, much of the land became the third most visited National Park:  Our beloved Rocky Mountain National Park.

Estes history is abounding with colorful characters. From wily wanderers to world-changers...Check out rapscallion Lord Dunraven and bear-ravaged Rocky Mountain Jim, as well as inventor/philanthropist F.O. Stanley, the English lady/mountain adventurer Isabella Byrd and Enos Mills, instrumental in founding Rocky Mountain National Park, just to name a few. Explore the rich history of our community at the  Estes Park Museum You’ll find intriguing exhibits illustrating early pioneer life in our rugged mountains, many books about the greatest contributors to Estes and engaging activities for the entire family.

Learn about Colorado mountain ranch life in the late 1800’s at McGregor Ranch Museum located at this working cattle ranch. Guided tours take you through the original home with many of the family's personal items, while also featuring the milk house, the smokehouse and other historic buildings. While there, be sure to take in the mountainesque eye candy that surrounds the ranch, especially Lumpy Ridge. 

Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park

Learn More about Rocky Mountain National Park
What to Do in Estes Park

What to Do in Estes Park

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