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Denver - Estes Park: Which route to take?

Groningen...
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Denver - Estes Park: Which route to take?

Hi everyone!

We plan to drive from our airport hotel in Denver to Estes Park on the 12th of September 2011. On the way to Estes Park we want to incorporate at least part of the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway in our drive. We are not sure though about where exactly we should pick up the Peak to Peak? Is it worth to drive the whole scenic byway from Central City to Estes Park or should we skip the first part and pick up the Peak to Peak in for example Nederland?

We will be able to start our drive pretty early in the morning, but need to pass by a Walmart on the way to pick up a cooler and other supplies for our trip.

After arriving in Estes Park we will basicly have the whole next day (9/13) and part of 9/14 to explore Rocky Mountain NP. Since we would like to do some short hikes, this is of course not very much for this wonderful park and therefore we were wondering, whether we should try to arrive early in Estes Park on 9/12 in order to do some exploring of the park in the afternoon. What do you think? All suggestions are welcome!

Thank you!

Cheers,

Franziska

Colorado
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1. Re: Denver - Estes Park: Which route to take?

Either way is very scenic.

This is a great site that describes the drive: myscenicdrives.com/drives/colorado/peak-to-p…

If you drive to Boulder you will take US 36 which also has some great views. You can stop at the scenic overlook and see all the way to Longs Peak and beyond with Boulder nestled below in the valley. The drive up Boulder Canyon is beautiful.

Also, if you come through Boulder you can shop at the Target at 28th & Pearl St. before heading up Boulder Canyon.

Groningen...
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2. Re: Denver - Estes Park: Which route to take?

Thanks Babalax. Your tips have helped me more than once planning our trip. I will certainly check out the site you recommanded.

Colorado
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3. Re: Denver - Estes Park: Which route to take?

You are welcome! And thank you, it's nice to get feedback from fellow travelers : )

Denver, CO
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4. Re: Denver - Estes Park: Which route to take?

I second the route through Boulder and Nederland and then up to Estes. Boulder is a great place to load up on supplies. You may want to stop at Boulder Falls as you get closer to Nederland. It is right off the road so no time wasted. The Peak to Peak is prettiest between Nederland and Estes in my opinion. Only if you wanted to do some gambling would you need to go though Black Hawk/Central City.

Once in Estes, I love the park early in the day or late afternoon. In fact at dusk pretty cool too. Very popular parts like Bear Lake are great in the afternoon as the crowds start to disperse. You can do easy hikes there in the afternoon like around Bear Lake (extremely easy) or Nymph Lake or Dream Lake (a little further but doable in the afternoon).

Groningen...
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5. Re: Denver - Estes Park: Which route to take?

Thanks for the great advice JeepmanSV. Most likely we will follow your advice and take the route through Boulder. This way we will be in Estes earlier and will be able to do some sightseeing or maybe even hiking in Rocky Mountain NP in the afternoon already. I'm really looking forward to our stay in this park, just wish we had more time there.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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6. Re: Denver - Estes Park: Which route to take?

Any way you can head to Boulder the day you arrive in Colorado? About 1-1.5 hours from the airport. Then you can get supplies and get a early start to RMNP the next day.

7. Re: Denver - Estes Park: Which route to take?

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