Outdoor enthusiasts often visit Estes Park, Colorado to enjoy the majestic beauty of the Rocky Mountains. When you stay at one of numerous Estes Park vacation rentals, you can look forward to being immersed in breathtaking natural sights and outdoor recreation. It’s easy to get the quintessential Coloradan experience when you can travel around in Jeeps, trams, off-road vehicles, and even by horseback. Many of the attractions in Estes Park are outdoors, but there are also opportunities to spend time indoors learning about the area and local history. Here are the most popular activities in Estes Park.
1. Visit Rocky Mountain National Park
Estes Park is considered the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, so it’s only natural that visiting the national park is on your list of things to do on your trip. There are free shuttle services to help you get around, and trails that fit people of all fitness levels. Don’t be surprised to find yourself looking at elk and other wildlife who don’t shy away from humans.
2. Have Fun at Open Air Adventure Park
When you want more than an amusement park, head over to conquer the obstacles at Open Air Adventure Park. There are obstacles suited for small children, and a zip line and high air swing for the older children and adults.
3. Let Someone Else do the Driving
If you don’t have your own vehicle on vacation, stop in at Green Jeep Tour and let one of their experienced drivers give you a tour of Estes and the surrounding area. Taking the Jeep tour is also a great option if you want to concentrate on spotting wildlife and enjoying the majestic mountain views.
4. Hit the Amusement Park
People on vacation, especially those traveling with small children, sometimes just want to let loose at a great amusement park. Fun City has rides for kids of all ages, and children especially love going down the huge rainbow slide. This park also boasts classics such as miniature golf and bumper cars.
5. Hit the Rapids
To enjoy the white waters of the Colorado or Cache La Poudre Rivers, sign up with Rapid Transit Rafting. The company offers rafting trips of different lengths to accommodate the length of your stay.
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6. Go Off-road
When you want to see the sites you would otherwise miss, contact Rocky Mountain Rush for a trip up the mountains. Their off-road vehicles take the original dirt road to the Alpine Visitor’s Center at 12,000 feet, and along the way the guides point out waterfalls and other sites that people can’t see from the paved roads.
7. Take a Horse Ride
If you have members of the family who have never ridden a horse, Sombrero Ranch is a wonderful thing to add to your things-to-do list. People can ride right on the ranch, and more experienced riders can head out on one of the trails. Riding a horse with views of the Rocky Mountains in the background makes you feel like you’ve gone back in time.
8. Take In Some History
On a day when the weather isn’t cooperating, get out of your vacation rental by spending a day at the Estes Park Museum. Exhibits cover time periods starting in the Ice Ages when the Rocky Mountains were formed, and go through the founding of Estes Park and the naming of the national park.
9. Take a Cycling Tour
There’s nothing better than being out in the open air when you vacation in Estes Park. New Venture Cycling offer tours with downhill rides ranging from easy to moderate, and in different lengths to accommodate your family’s vacation needs.
10. Get a Great Look At the Stars
After a long day of hiking or other outdoor activities, head up to the Estes Park Memorial Observatory and gaze at the stars in the big Colorado sky. The observatory offers free lectures and group events when you’re traveling with the whole family.
11. Head To the Top of Prospect Mountain
You get few better views of the mountains than on one of the lifts at the Estes Park Aerial Tramway. The trams are open-air, so there is an uninterrupted view of the mountains that you won’t soon forget.
12. Take On the Trails On a 4 x 4
When you’re ready for real excitement, take a bumpy ride with Wild Side 4 x 4 Tours. These tours are great for children as well as adults, and some of the company’s trips end with a cookout and music, so you don’t have to worry about finding food on the way back to your vacation rental.
13. Take the Family Fishing
If you have a kitchen or grill at your vacation rental, consider catching your own dinner at the Trout Haven Fishing Pond. You keep the fish you catch, and they clean them for you so you can take them with you to cook.
14. Soak Up Some Local Atmosphere
Estes Park is home to the famous Stanley Hotel, and right next door is the Stanley Steamcar Museum. The museum houses several models of classic Stanley cars, and it offers rides for children and adults in Stanley fire engines.
15. Choose Your Own Vehicle
When you want to do your own driving instead of joining a tour, rent a vehicle from Backbone Adventures. You and your family can choose snowmobiles, motorcycles, ATVs, or Jeeps to enjoy the mountains, and the rentals include maps, safety equipment, and fuel. Guides come along to show the you the more remote trails, so you get the full Rocky Mountain experience.
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