What is it? The park is just minutes outside the gateway of Estes Park, covering 415 square miles of breathtaking protected mountain wilderness.
Why go? With more than 300 miles of trails, panoramic vistas of snowcapped peaks, picturesque meadows, valleys, and meandering rivers, and Trail Ridge Road (the highest continuous paved road in the United States, hitting 12,183 feet in elevation), the choose-your-own-adventure options are endless. Hike it, bike it, fish it, climb it, drive it, camp it, photograph it…or all of the above.
Surrounded by some of Colorado’s most majestic peaks, Estes Park is a hamlet that stands apart from the typical mountain town. Perhaps it’s because there’s no mega ski resort here; just unfettered access to one of the most treasured national parks in the country and an outdoor culture that boasts a charm all its own. Just 1.5 hours northwest of Denver, the town is a hub for all things Rocky Mountain, from wilderness adventures to wildlife watching to artisan booze made with the alpine waters from the neighboring peaks. If you can, plan your trip for late September, when the aspens are in full golden bloom and the elk are out in droves during rutting season, filling the air with their haunting bugling. Whether you’re an adrenaline junky in search of your next thrill or more of a sit-back-and-take-it-all-in kind of traveler, Estes Park has plenty to keep you entertained.
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