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West of the park

Richmond, VA
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1 post
3 reviews
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West of the park

I am going to Breckenridge for work for several days in August, and am adding a few days to the trip. I am staying in Estes Park Thursday nght to explore the east side of RMNP. Then across Trail Ridge Rd. on Friday. My question is: what then? I've got the entire next day before I have to be in Breckenridge Saturday night. Should I stay in Granby Friday night then maybe head to Vail before ending up in Breckenridge?

Tacoma, Washington
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for Road Trips
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1. Re: West of the park

i would stay 2 nights in Estes Park then on Saturday drive over the pass through the park then to breckenridge.

There is more to do on the east suide of the park than the west side.

Niles, Illinois
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2. Re: West of the park

Just got back. I agree with Dan. We stayed two nights in Estes. Spent first day driving peak to peak highway to Estes, next day exploring east side of RMNP(bear lake, lily lake and more). Driving Trail Ridge Road on your way to Breckenridge will be awesome.

Steamboat Springs...
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3. Re: West of the park

You can stop in the town of Grand Lake for lunch and walk around by the lake / through town. It's a cool little place. Also take your time driving slowly through the west side stopping for photos and possible moose sightings. I think staying in Vail is a great idea compared to Granby. It's a great place in the summer and a cool experience considering the exorbitant rates come Winter. You can find great deals on lodging, free parking and deals at restaurants. It's a very relaxing town.

Dayton, Texas
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4. Re: West of the park

I know I'm in the minority, but I really prefer the western side of the park. It's not as crowded as the eastern side and Granby feels more like a "real" town rather than just a tourist destination like Estes Park and ski resort towns like Breckenridge. There are some great RMNP hikes that leave from Grand Lake (North Inlet Trail and East Inlet Trail) and you can drive Colorado Hwy 6 along Lake Granby and arrive at the Monarch Lake Trail, which is a fairly easy 4-mile loop.

But then if you've never done Estes Park before, it might be worth it to stay there two nights as previous posters have suggested. Depends on your preferences. The east side is scenic and popular. The west side is somewhat less scenic but has a more rustic feel to it.

Park City, Utah
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for Utah, Winter Sports
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5. Re: West of the park

If you do end up on the western side with one night to spare, go spend it in Vail Village for a diverse experience of a mountain resort town. Vail is totally different than Breck. But do stay in the heart of Vail Village for the best feel.

Have fun.

Windsor, Colorado
Destination Expert
for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
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9,382 posts
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6. Re: West of the park

Either as a day trip from Breck or on your Saturday, drive the Mount Evans Scenic Byway to the summit of over 14,000 ft. Mount Evans. The summit will only be open through Labor Day. Also drive over Loveland Pass/Continental Divide on your way to Breck. Here is the route from Granby to Breck showing the byway and Loveland Pass.

http://goo.gl/maps/ECRn1

Along the Squaw Pass Road section of the byway, there are nice overlooks at the Eagle's Aerie and Juniper Pass picnic areas. Get an early start for clearer views and fewer people at the summit.

7. Re: West of the park

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