No, it does not matter.
Yes, drive down Big Thompson Canyon (east toward Loveland) and up CR43 Devil's Gulch Road. Be sure and stop at some of the forest service picnic areas. They are very scenic. After you pass Overlook Point, look for the Lumpy Ridge TH on your right and drive to the TH for a closer look at these impressive rocks. Note the balanced rocks above the Gem Lake TH sign.
The canyon is even more dramatic closer to Loveland. You can turn around at the Dam Store. Viestenz-Smith Mountain Park is 4 miles up the canyon from the Dam Store on the right. This is a lovely city park with nice views of the river from the bridge, walkways and picnic areas.
Driving time round trip from Estes to the Dam Store through Glen Haven and back to Estes is about 2 hours. Add some time for stops.
Just goes to show you, same trip, different event. My DH and I can go someplace and he's totally having a different experience than I am but we both are enjoying life.
SusieLou, the route in question is the one we drive at least 20 times a year on our way to and from Estes. Actually, Big Thompson Canyon is great in either direction. CR43 is best traveling from Drake to Estes.
I haven't been in the Canyon since the flood years ago, which ages me I'm sure. We had actually planned to go camping there that weekend but at the last minute changed our plans. Probably meant the difference between life and death for us. Glad the dam has that all under control now. It's a lovely area.
Thanks for your help. I was planning on driving from Estes to Drake and back, but just wanted to make sure that was the most scenic way to do the drive.
You are correct. Glen Haven is on CR43/Devil's Gulch Road. That is not clear in my earlier post.
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