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Itinerary Help Estes park

New York
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Itinerary Help Estes park

My husband and I will be arriving from Denver to Riversong bed and breakfast on Friday August 19 and departing for Denver ( to stay 2 nights ) on Monday August 22. Any suggestions for the intinerary for the 2 full days we have in Rocky Mountain National Park? Are there any guided tours that are worth while?

rky
Estes Park, Colorado
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for Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park
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1. Re: Itinerary Help Estes park

Drive Trail Ridge Road - at least to the Alpine Visitors Center and back if not all the way over to Grand Lake. There are plenty of awesome views and pullouts for short walks.

Depending on your hiking ability, you should do a hike, too. I've guided in the past and everyone has been able to do the Dream Lake hike. In that 1.1 mile up you will have great views and scenic high mountain lakes.

Unless you want to have someone explain the geology and history of the area while you walk, you can do day hikes yourself. The trails are easy to follow and well maintained.

Driving Trail Ridge will take up a good part of a whole day depending on how far you go and how may stops you make along the way. Another day could easily be spent hiking in RMNP. Two days will fly by.

Let me know if you would like suggestions for a longer hike, any other activities or if you just have any other questions in general.

Enjoy your trip to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park!

Windsor, Colorado
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for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
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2. Re: Itinerary Help Estes park

There is a tour bus available for Trail Ridge Road but I recommend driving unless you have fear of high mountain driving. One of your day itineraries should be to drive all of Trail Ridge Road perhaps in combination with Fall River Road. Fall River Road is a one way gravel road to the Alpine Visitor Center on Trail Ridge Road. While Trail Ridge is known for expansive vistas, Fall River is a more intimate, up close view. There are no overlooks or restroom facilties on Fall River Road. Day one after breakfast, head to the Fall River Visitor Center on Hwy. 34 and get an inexpensive guide to Trail Ridge Road. Rangers can answer your questions. Note the huge granite monolith from the parking lot. Get a park map and newspaper at the Fall River Entrance station. Upon entering the park, look for elk and big horn sheep on your left in Horseshoe Park. Shortly you will come to a street on your right to Endovalley and Fall River Road. Turn here and go to the second Alluvial Fan parking lot. Take the short walk up to the Alluvial Fan. Drive the road to the end and either proceed up Fall River Road or make the loop through the picnic area and back to Highway 34. Trail Ridge Road/Highway 34 is a right hand turn at Deer Junction. DO STOP at all the overlooks on Trail Ridge and do go all the way to Grand Lake. On the Grand Lake side, stop at the Kawuneeche Visitor Center and get directions to Adams Falls. Either on your way in or back take the short but very scenic Coyote Valley Trail. Take a break and browse Grand Lake. You will want to get back over Trail Ridge Road during daylight hours. This can easily take most of a day if you take time to enjoy what you see and take advantage of the many short walks and overlooks.

Do you hike or horseback ride? What you do on Day 2 can depend on this. I and others can give you great ideas either way but it helps to know. Also see the park website at www.nps.gov/romo for more information.

Flower Mound, Texas
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3. Re: Itinerary Help Estes park

I echo the previous poster's comments specific to Old Fall River Road. It's a little nerve-wracking for the driver, but it's a very intimate and absolutely georgous drive. We vacationed out there when I was a kid and that was always the highlight of the trip. It terminates at the Alpine Visitors Center at which time you can continue west towards Grandby or travel back to Estes via Trail Ridge Road, itself, a rather majestic drive.

One note...if your car is fuel-injected, and most are these days, you'll be fine. If it is normally aspirated (i.e. it has a carbureator), then have it adjusted by a mechanic in Estes Park.

Ohio, USA
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for Bryce Canyon National Park, Bryce, Arches National Park
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4. Re: Itinerary Help Estes park

Great suggestions and advice thus far. DW and I drove Old Fall River and the Trail Ridge roads last August; great way to get a good cross-section of the park. We also did some hiking from the Bear Lake Trailhead. Here's the link to the trip report that I wrote on our time at RMNP and Estes Park (there should be a link to photos from the trip in TR). Perhaps this will give you some additional ideas on things to see and do....

tripadvisor.com/…28448280

New York
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5. Re: Itinerary Help Estes park

Thanks everyone for your advice. I'm looking forward to our vacation

Angleton, Texas...
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6. Re: Itinerary Help Estes park

I am surprising husband with trip to Estes Park for our anniversary/his b-day. We will arrive October 13 and leave October 17. We have never seen the Rocky Mountains so I am super excited.

Since we are past the peak of fall, what do you recommend for this time? We will be staying in Wildwood Inn.

Windsor, Colorado
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for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
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7. Re: Itinerary Help Estes park

Welcome to the forum, Amy. Reply #1 by rky and #2 by me above still apply to the time frame for your trip. The average closing date for Trail Ridge Road is October 23 so there is an excellent chance it will be open during your visit. Old Fall River Road remains open until inclement weather closes it. It might still be open. Folks drive over to Grand Lake and back on TRR all the time and never mind backtracking as the views are different. The Alpine Visitor Center and the Trail Ridge Store at the "top" of TRR will be closed so pack some snacks and plenty of water in the car. Grand Lake has restaurants.

As rky pointed out, there are lots of great hiking trails for varying abilities. The park rangers at the visitor centers can help you with trail information. If you search the Estes Park or RMNP forums, there is lots of info there or tell us what length hike you want and rky and I and others will be happy to make suggestions. Nice walks include Bear Lake, Sprague Lake and Lily Lake. Horseback riding is an option as well.

www.estesparkcvb.com will have a calendar of events and is a great source of info about restaurants and activities in Estes Park. If you click on the getting around link, you will find two scenic drives definitely worth doing in the Estes area. These are the South St. Vrain Canyon loop and the Big Thompson Canyon/Glen Haven route. Pleasant walks in Estes include the walk around Lake Estes and the Riverwalk behind the stores and restaurants on Elkhorn Ave. downtown.

Speaking of scenic drives, if you are coming from Denver take the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway to Estes Park. You can either drive the entire byway starting at Black Hawk or go to Boulder and take 119 through impressive Boulder Canyon to Nederland where you join the Peak to Peak (72 to 7).

8. Re: Itinerary Help Estes park

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