What to Do in Estes Park
Know How to Get Around via Estes Park Free Shuttles
Know the ins and outs of how to get out and about via Estes Park Free Shuttles. Get all the needed info and maps at Visit Estes Park.
Be in the Know via Local News Links
There's guaranteed fun every season in Estes Park. We have two newspapers to tell you all about it in stories and pictures: The Estes Park Trail Gazette and the Estes Park News. Both have FaceBook pages that are easy to follow, to give you a taste of the Estes we love!
Nick Molle is an award-winning film maker and creator of Channel 8 It's your source for local news, flavored with famous documentaries (several on Rocky Mountain National Park) . Check it out!
Enjoy Estes Park's Events
Discover Estes Park year round! Numerous summer events run from the end of May through August. You’ll find BIG FUN in this small town!!! There are many activities for all ages. Downtown is lined with activities, attractions, restaurants, gift and specialty shops. Viewing and experiencing nature and wildlife are very popular activities in the Estes Valley.
You may want to start your adventure at the Estes Park, Beaver Meadows, or Fall River Visitor Centers. Each location offers a unique experience and a wide range of information about Rocky Mountain National Park. You can learn about Estes Park’s several annual festivals, like the Wool Market (mid-June), the Scandinavian Festival (late-June), and the Rooftop Rodeo (mid-July).
Deciding what to do may be overwhelming. Some fun options include: historical heritage tours; horseback riding; bicycle rides; scenic drive on the Peak to Peak Highway; Estes Park Memorial Observatory; white water rafting; boating, water sports and fishing at the Lake Estes Marina. Take in and experience a 4-wheel drive, ATV, & off-road tours; church services; Estes Park Reliance Fire or MacGregor Ranch Museum. Expand your adventure by climbing one of the unique rocky cliffs or hiking the many trails inside Rocky Mountain National Park. If these thrill-seeking adventures are not for you, take a stroll downtown!
To help alleviate parking hassles, Estes Park has a four-story parking garage with over 400 parking spaces. There are also metered parking spots throughout the village. You can find the FREE Estes Park Trolleys at the Visitor Center next to the parking garage.
Downtown Estes Park provides a variety of art galleries, restaurants and shops. Enjoy at your leisure the many retail shops, refresh with ice cream and taffy, take time for a massage at one of the spas, relax on a bench at the water wheel or Mrs. Walsh’s Garden. While shopping you can wander along the River Walk where the Big Thompson and Fall Rivers meet. This trail extends around Lake Estes and ends west of Performance Park.
Enjoy Estes Park’s Art District, managed by a dedicated group passionate about art. In addition to year round live music, theatre, poetry slams, concerts, festivals and art exhibits, the Estes Arts District sponsors First Friday Art Groove. It's a delightful local evening art walk on the first Friday of each month. In the summer, more than 14 galleries and art businesses are featured. It’s a wonderful celebration of all things artistic, plus an opportunity to meet many of our community artists, up close and personal. Check out estesartsdistrict.org to discover all the exciting events the District has to offer!
Walk south on Moraine Avenue and visit the Historic Park Theatre — it's white tower is and Estes Park landmark. Built in 1913, it is the oldest operating cinema west of the Mississippi River and was home to the first silent movies. Featuring an 80-foot-tall neon outlined tower, the theatre was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. It is also an excellent venue to take in some live music.
Continue walking south to attractions like the Estes Park Aerial Tramway where you can enjoy a café, trails, and panoramic views of Estes Park. It’s just a short ride by cable car to the Prospect Mountain summit. Across the street, fun awaits at a kid-friendly amusement park offering a variety of activities. Just around the corner you will also find an aerial obstacle course that’s fun for all ages!
After strolling from shop to shop, check out the happenings at one of three downtown parks. Relax and listen to a concert at Performance Park. Bond Park, a small, quaint green space with picturesque mountain views, is always hopping with art shows, music and family activities. Stroll through Knoll-Willows Open Space where you can explore Birch Ruins. Need a place to unwind and relax after a long day of exploring? There are many places to sit and sip a beverage, including local distilleries, breweries and a winery.
If the downtown scene is not what you’re looking for, look to the Estes Valley Recreation & Park District. The new recreation center offers something for everyone with state-of-the-art equipment and a sparkling swimming pool! The local hometown Reel Mountain Cinema features new releases, comfortable stadium seating, and concession food and drink. Enjoy family fun at several miniature golf and go-kart centers. Visit the restored buildings, displays & tours at the Estes Park Museum for a glimpse of turn-of-the-century life in Estes Park.
September and into the New Year, visitors and locals savor time at one of the many festivals offered in Estes Park. The annual Labor Day Arts & Crafts Show in Bond Park kicks off the fall season. Join the Halloween fun in downtown Estes Park. Children and families enjoy trick-or-treating in a safe, auto-free zone. Local vendors and shops offer sweet treats for the costume-clad little ones.
Veterans Day brings many visitors to Estes Park. The American Legion offers a free pancake breakfast! Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve in Estes Park is a magical way to enjoy the holidays with family and friends. Delight in the downtown holiday lights and decor. Don’t forget to explore the town and experience holiday displays during the Yuletide Lights driving tour. Finally, plan a special evening at one of the many wonderful restaurants for a New Year’s Eve celebration. Restaurants will stay open later while you listen to live music and sip champagne.
Winter months in Estes can be quiet and snowy. January through the end of May downtown vendors and businesses have winter hours but are always open. However, fun is never closed in a mountain town. Stop by one of the rental stores to get outfitted for sledding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or fishing (remember to buy your license). Visitors love to cozy up near a fireplace and watch the snowfall with the view of white-capped mountains. Celebrate Valentine’s Day, Mardi-Gras, and St. Patrick’s Day with our small-town flair. Late spring fun is the annual Duck Race Festival where you can “adopt a duck” (it is a rubber ducky) for a fee. Proceeds benefit the charity or group of your choosing.
Discover all things Estes Park at VisitEstesPark.com. This website is the place to find the most up-to-date tips on what to do and where to go while exploring Estes Park. Estes Park Visitor Center welcomes visitors from all over the world. The visitor center is located at the junction of Highways 34 and 36.