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Estes Park

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Trip List by Shaken_Bake

Springtime in the Rockies - Take Your Family to Estes Park!

2 May 2006  Our family visited Estes Park recently and had a blast!
4.0 of 5 stars based on 17 votes

Now that the snow is melting and you're planning your spring and summer trips, a terrific destination for the whole family is Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. The scenic beauty and opportunity to see wildlife is unparalleled here. There is also a lot for everyone to see and do outside of the park. It's a very special place for the family to visit! Here is a list of the things we did and places we stayed and ate.

  • Explore locations featured in this Trip List: Estes Park
  • Category: Recent trip
  • Traveler type: Sightseeing, Shopping, Active/Outdoors
  • Appeals to: Couples/romantics, Families with small children, Families with teenagers, Budget travellers , Active/adventure, Tourists
  • Seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall
  • 1. Valhalla Resort - A Great Place to Stay with the Family
    http://www.valhallaresort.com/

    For a low-key budget resort, Valhalla Resort is just right. They offer cabins of various sizes with full kitchens, wood fireplace, cable TV, patio with BBQ grills and a small rec center and pool. Our family enjoyed our stay here and our kids easily made friends with the other visiting children. Although not luxurious, the cabins were very clean and comfortable. We were often treated to the sight of elk and deer grazing right outside our door! It's a good choice when visiting Estes.

  • 2. Dunraven Inn
    Dunraven Inn, Estes Park, Colorado

    For a great restaurant that everyone will love, try the Dunraven Inn on Hwy. 66. You can't go wrong with Italian food for the kids, and the food is great, with a huge menu of homemade Italian treats. It's a family-friendly atmosphere. If the kids get restless, have them count the dollar bills that are stapled to the ceiling and walls everywhere! A full bar and wine list is available, a must for any successful family trip (at least for MY family!)

  • 3. Easy Family Hikes in the Park
    http://www.thespiritoftherockies.net/spirit/HikingRMNP.html

    The Bear Lake area of Rocky Mountain National Park has a variety of trails of varying length and difficulty. Some of the popular destinations are Bear Lake (0.5 mile), Nymph Lake (0.5 miles), Dream Lake (1.1 miles) and Emerald Lake (1.8 miles). Our family hiked to Dream Lake in June and it was still covered in snow, which made it even more incredible to see. The ascent is gradual and not too difficult, even for flatlanders!

  • 4. Horseback Riding in the Rockies with Cowpoke Corner Corral
    http://www.cowpokecornercorral.com

    Even the youngest members of the family can enjoy horseback riding with the staff of these great stables. They offer rides inside RMNP and at a stable near the Glacier Lodge. The trips are from one hour to a full day's ride in some of the most beautiful scenery you can imagine. My children and I had never ridden before and we were patiently instructed on what to do, with our surefooted, gentle and well cared for horses. We all had a great time and plan to ride again, on a longer trip, on our next visit!

  • 5. Swimming at the Estes Park Rec Center
    http://www.estesvalleyrecreation.com/aquatic.html

    There is nothing worse than a rainy day or two when you're on vacation with the family. A great solution would be to take everyone swimming at the Estes Park Aquatic Center. They have a large pool, diving board, rope swing and wading pool for toddlers. It's a great place at any time of the year.

  • 6. Estes Park Aerial Tramway
    http://www.estestram.com/index.html

    For over 50 years, the Aerial Tramway has taken visitors 1,100 feet to the top of Prospect Mountain in a little gondola where the views of the Rocky Mountains and surrounding area are amazing. Adult round-trip tickets are $9.00; children 6 to 11 years old are $4.00, and children under 5 ride free with a parent. The tram normally operates from mid-May until mid-September. They can even perform weddings at the observation deck at the top!

  • 7. National Parks Junior Ranger Program
    http://www.nps.gov/romo/pphtml/forkids.html

    Many National Parks sponsor a Junior Ranger program for children visiting the park. The activities are described in a book available at no cost at all Visitor Centers such as keeping the Rocky clean, not feeding the wildlife, exploring the natural community, identifying ecosystems, mapping the Rocky, safety planning and joining a Ranger Program. When completed, a ranger will review the work and award a Junior Ranger Badge. It's a great way to introduce ecology and geography of National Parks to children.

  • 8. Shop Til You Drop in Estes Park!
    http://www.estesparkresort.com/shopping_dining.asp

    Estes Park is a tourist's dream in terms of souvenir shops. They line both sides of Elkhorn Avenue, the main road through town. There are some fine arts galleries that are worth exploring, as well as many shops filled with trinkets and t-shirts. One of the favorite stops is the Carmel Crisp Fudge Shop which always has a line out of the door. It's a busy but pleasant area to look around and find that perfect refrigerator magnet for Aunt Hazel!

  • 9. Fun City Amusement Park and Go Karts
    http://www.funcityofestes.com/

    What kid (OK, what adult too!) can resist the lure of silly rides and a go kart track in the summertime? Estes Park has a great little park with mini golf, rides for all ages, a snack bar, all in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains! It's a great reward for your kids (or spouse too) who went on all those nature hikes in the park without too much complaining!