We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

one night/best route between Buena Vista--Estes Park

Maui
Level Contributor
73 posts
2 reviews
Save Topic
one night/best route between Buena Vista--Estes Park

ok final question I swear:

One day-a Saturday:

Which route would you advise for driving on a Sat. morning (scenic yet NOT hair-raising passes etc.) from Buena Vista towards Estes Park-and lodging for that one night. Next day continue on to Estes Park w/3 nights lodging booked there already at Beaver Meadows area. THANKS!

(I checked out Lake Granby--think I'd prefer a route that brought us through fun towns like Leadville, maybe Vail but also avoiding staying in Lake Granby area. I checked it out--not really into rustic cabin lodgings on this trip.)

Mentioned in this post
Estes Park
Estes Park
Colorado
Granby
Granby
Grand County, CO
Leadville
Leadville
Colorado
Vail
Vail
Colorado
Special Offer
Grand Canyon West Rim Luxury...
371 Reviews
from US$299.99*
US$399.00
Special Offer
Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour from Las...
598 Reviews
from US$369.99*
US$479.00
Special Offer
Las Vegas Tour: Grand Canyon...
127 Reviews
from US$469.99*
US$499.00
Fort Collins...
Level Contributor
672 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: one night/best route between Buena Vista--Estes Park

Since it is Colorado and you can't escape the mountains, you can't escape the passes either. But most of them are pretty tame.

I would either:

1)Take Hwy 9 through Fairplay and Breckenridge to 1-70,and then go through Winter Park and Grand Lake, and go through RMNP to Estes

2)Take Hwy 24 through Vail and stay on 1-70 and then head through Winter Park and Grand Lake to RMNP.

You will have to pay for a park pass,but I'm assuming you'll be heading into the park anyway if you're staying in Estes.

I would reccommend staying in Grand Lake, there are some really fun hotels there.I'd MUCH rather to go Grand Lake than Leadville. Leadville really isn't all that great in my opinion,it's a bit run down. You could also stay anywhere on 1-70 from Vail to Frisco to Silverthorn.

Mentioned in this post
Colorado
Colorado
United States
Fairplay
Fairplay
Colorado
Grand Lake
Grand Lake
Grand County, CO
Hotel Estes
Hotel Estes
400 Reviews
Estes Park, CO
Vail
Vail
Colorado
Leadville
Leadville
Colorado
Frisco
Frisco
Colorado
Genesee, CO
Level Contributor
646 posts
52 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: one night/best route between Buena Vista--Estes Park

"ok final question I swear"

hahaha :) don't mind the questions :)

the most reasonable route to me seems to be to go up to leadville and then pop out at 195 exit on I-70. You will be very near Frisco, Breckenridge, Silverthorne area. If you want to stop here as an early stop and stay, you are still within reach of Estes Park. Breckenridge is cute. So if you want a cute little ski town, might consider staying here. And lots of lodging options.

If you want to go on a bit further, there is Georgetown. Quaint victorian mining town. Cute shops, a few restaurants, not too many choices for hotels, but could stay here for the night.

At Georgetown you need to make a decision, do the west entrance into the park, or the East? Both are nice. If you plan on doing trail road when you are in Estes park, you may not want to take the west entrance through Granby in. If you are not planning on going all the way through RMNP from Estes Park, would suggest coming in through the west (i.e. empire to Granby to Grand Lake to Estes Park).

If you want to do the East path to Estes, you may consider Idaho springs as an alternative night stop to Georgetown, Idaho springs has a hotel that has hot springs (not the greatest place, but ok). Then i would suggest taking the path up through Nederland to get to Estes Park. There also is black hawk area (small casino area) that is a possible place to stay on the east route up through nederland. (although may be unrealistic with a child).

Both paths in are very pretty, you really can't go wrong. The east path is maybe a little more scenic than the west, but would do west if that is the only way you are going to do the whole trail road through RMNP.

Hope this isn't too confusing, but basically suggest:

1) Stopping in Frisco/Breckenridge area if want to stop early

2) Pushing on to Georgetown (or even Granby) if going to take west route in

3) Considering Idaho Springs or Black Hawk/Central City casino towns if taking eastern route in.

Mentioned in this post
Frisco
Frisco
Colorado
Estes Park
Estes Park
Colorado
Georgetown
Georgetown
Colorado
Granby
Granby
Grand County, CO
Grand Lake
Grand Lake
Grand County, CO
Nederland
Nederland
Colorado
Black Hawk
Black Hawk
Colorado
Maui
Level Contributor
73 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: one night/best route between Buena Vista--Estes Park

UH OH

here comes another question...ok ,so I lied before. I have an inquisitive mind. :))

I have been to Breckenridge-in 1992, loved it. Very charming in that sept. visit, but packed with folks. I assume June would be packed as well? Any suggestions on a neat place to stay if we went either there or Georgetown?

And would either place be a good alternative to a side trip to Vail? (Hubby has been neither places so he's easy:)) but we don't want to spend a fortune staying somewhere for one night and Vail ain't cheap!

IF so any suggestions re good lodging w/8 yr old (mature for her age)? Would love charming b and b, lodge etc. No time/suppies to do camping, that's not to say a place on a river or lake wouldn't be nice! This would all be in lieu of canon city/gaelic festival on the Saturday...

Mentioned in this post
Georgetown
Georgetown
Colorado
Vail
Vail
Colorado
Maui
Level Contributor
73 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: one night/best route between Buena Vista--Estes Park

oh yeah, izzy :

re trail road?

How long in time/distance is that? Is it hair raising driving i.e. cliffs/narrow mt. passes? I am a real chicken :) in that dept.!

We have a place here- Kahakuloa- I hate that drive! scares the crap out of me...especially being the one looking DOWN...:(

anyway-We're staying at beaver meadows entrance of Estes Park? (sorry never been there so I am clueless)...if we came through the RMNP via Granby how long would it take us to get to that other side?

I assume you go up and around? duh.

Mentioned in this post
Estes Park
Estes Park
Colorado
Granby
Granby
Grand County, CO
Genesee, CO
Level Contributor
646 posts
52 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: one night/best route between Buena Vista--Estes Park

I am not so hot on vail in the summer, i don't think I-70 is that pretty between vail and the breckenridge/frisco area, and don't find vail very interesting in the summer (winter condo land, good for skiing). On a Saturday in June, Breckenridge might be kinda busy.

So, as for places to stay in Breckenridge or Georgetown. I personally never stay in either because we are so close to both. It seemed to me that Georetown might have a few (given its victorian atmosphere), but here is one, and a few in the vincinity:

http://www.bbonline.com/co/georgetown.html

can't really recommend or comment on any of them, because although have visited all areas, haven't had occasion to overnight in any of those areas.

hope it helps a little :)

Mentioned in this post
Georgetown
Georgetown
Colorado
Genesee, CO
Level Contributor
646 posts
52 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: one night/best route between Buena Vista--Estes Park

the trail road is the main road that goes through rocky mountain park from grand lake to estes park. would say not scary at all.

it's formal name is "trail ridge road", sorry called it "trail road". but it is paved the whole way through, and yes goes way up. but there is plenty of room and hardly any spots where you feel you are going to go off the side of the mountain.

Genesee, CO
Level Contributor
646 posts
52 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: one night/best route between Buena Vista--Estes Park

oh forgot to say, the time totally depends on how much traffic. We have done it in under an hour early or late in the season (from entrance of RMNP near Grand Lake to Exit at Estes), but i can imagine if you have lots of tourists, RV's etc. it can take a lot longer.

Mentioned in this post
Grand Lake
Grand Lake
Grand County, CO
Hotel Estes
Hotel Estes
400 Reviews
Estes Park, CO
Maui
Level Contributor
73 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: one night/best route between Buena Vista--Estes Park

ok izzy! THanks, will check out all the lodging options in Breckenridge, Georgetown and even Lake Granby. Was afraid the drive from Granby would be nerve wracking so your news is a relief. Only thing we will have to decide now-how much driving on Sat. from Buena Vista before getting to lodging. (kid in backseat, thank god for dvd player:)) I would like to explore leadville too-is that a good plan? what's the highlights there?

Mentioned in this post
Georgetown
Georgetown
Colorado
Granby
Granby
Grand County, CO
Genesee, CO
Level Contributor
646 posts
52 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: one night/best route between Buena Vista--Estes Park

Buena Vista to I-70 is only about an hour an half. Wouldn't bother stopping in Leadville. If you decide to stop in Breckenridge would be about two hours from Buena Vista. So would have whole day there.

It is maybe at tops, three hours to Georgetown, so could still do an afternoon train trip and silver mine tour there, if it interests you. www.georgetownlooprr.com.

Probably 4 to 4.5 hours to Granby, and 5.5 hours tops to Grand Lake, depending on traffic and how aggressively you drive and bathroom stops, etc.

Mentioned in this post
Leadville
Leadville
Colorado
Georgetown
Georgetown
Colorado
Granby
Granby
Grand County, CO
Grand Lake
Grand Lake
Grand County, CO
10. Re: one night/best route between Buena Vista--Estes Park

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 15 August 2009, 13:18