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Alternatives to RMNP during shutdown?

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Cincinnati
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Alternatives to RMNP during shutdown?

We were planning on going to RMNP next week, however, with the gov't shutdown and NPS closures, there's good chance we won't get in to the park. Any suggestions for things to do around the Estes Park area other than RMNP? See some state parks, but nothing that looks all that intriguing within 1-2 hours of Estes Park. Any help would be appreciated!!

Colorado
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1. Re: Alternatives to RMNP during shutdown?

Trust me there are plenty of "intriguing" places in Colorado to visit.

What were you wanting to do?

Edited: 08 October 2013, 03:19
Cincinnati
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2. Re: Alternatives to RMNP during shutdown?

We would like to do some hiking and maybe get to see some of the Elk Rut, if it is still happening. I saw on a previous post there were some trails around Estes Park, but it also sounds like at least a few of them are on NPS land.

We hated to abandon our plan to stay in Estes Park, given the troubles they're having this season.

Thanks!

Colorado
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3. Re: Alternatives to RMNP during shutdown?

Hiking is all over the state. Seeing Elk is tougher outside the park.

You might take a look at Summit County, (though again Elk sightings are not common. ) I like Breckenridge at this time of year. Still busy on weekends but not overwhelming like it can be a busy times.

http://www.gobreck.com will give you ideas

Colorado
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4. Re: Alternatives to RMNP during shutdown?

You might also look a this recent thread

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60945-i436-k68458…

Windsor, Colorado
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for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
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5. Re: Alternatives to RMNP during shutdown?

Estes Park is still the best place to see the elk rut. The elk love the golf courses in Estes Park. You can spot elk in Estes Park almost anywhere this time of year. The town is open and very anxious for visitors.

Some ideas for Estes Park without RMNP -

Estes Park Museum

Stanley Hotel Tour

Sombrero Horseback rides (some of the rides from the Estes Park stable are on private trails)

Snowy Peaks Winery Tasting

Climbing wall at Estes Park Mountain Shop or real guided rock climbing

Be sure to pick up a copy of the Estes Park Happenings at the Estes Park Visitor Center for art exhibits and music and other events.

The 18 hole golf course and driving range are open.

The Lake Estes Trail is open with some detours.

The heated indoor pool at the Aquatic Center is open.

Along highway 7 - Peak to Peak check out Eagle Plume's near Allenspark.

Call to get a tour of Enos Mills Cabin, museum and gallery.

Golden Gate Canyon State Park is open and on your way to Estes Park or you can visit from Estes Park. There are nice views and hiking trails there.

Forest service trails are open during the shutdown just without rangers and services. The Indian Peaks Wilderness Area and Roosevelt National Forest surround Estes Park. Check with folks at Estes Park Mountain Shop or Kirk's Mountain Adventures about the closest trails.

protrails.com/area/5/indian-peaks-wilderness…

You can rent bikes (Estes Park Mountain Shop or Lake Estes Marina) to ride around Estes Park. You will not have to worry about the traffic.

You can also rent fishing equipment at both of the above or at Kirks and others for fishing at Mary's Lake, in Big Thompson River or Fall River.

Rocky Mountain Rush still has jeep tours since they use national forest trails.

The YMCA has reopened so check their program bulletin for activities and programs there. You can get day passes if not lodging at the "Y." They have extensive grounds that adjoin RMNP so wildlife frequent that area.

Miniature golf, bowling, a night at the movies, shopping are all options.

Be sure to see these posts about getting to Estes Park.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60945-i436-k69009…

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60945-i436-k69018…

Nederland, Colorado
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6. Re: Alternatives to RMNP during shutdown?

There is great hiking in the Nederland area. (And my little town would also be grateful for any tourist dollars spent here.) You can hike in the Indian Peaks Wilderness.

Some hikes to check out: www.nederlandchamber.org/rec_dayhikes.html

Also check this site for trails at the Hessie, East Portal and Fourth of July trailheads (some repeat info):

protrails.com/area/indian-peaks-wilderness-a…

There are elk and moose at Caribou Ranch Open Space. I am not 100% sure though if trails are open yet. I can check it out tomorrow: bouldercounty.org/os/…caribouranch.aspx

Further down the road is Golden Gate State Park: colorado-hiking-vacations.com/golden-gate-ca…

louisiana
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7. Re: Alternatives to RMNP during shutdown?

We left Estes Park on Sunday. The elk were all over the golf course. We were worried we wouldn't get to see the elk since the park was closed. We drove to the 18 hole golf course around 3:30 one afternoon and what a great site. We must have seen 40-50 elk and have never seen so many bulls in one area. We got some really great pictures . Went the next morning after the snow and only 3-4 on golf course so we drove down Community Drive(I think that was the name) it goes on the other side of course. There we saw around 30 elk under trees almost in someone's back yard, mostly cows this time. The next afternoon the elk were walking right up to cars crossing the road back by golf course. Those pics were pretty close shots. Still sad because we couldn't get in park but we did get to see the elk bugle !

Cincinnati
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8. Re: Alternatives to RMNP during shutdown?

Thank you all for your suggestions!

Colorado
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9. Re: Alternatives to RMNP during shutdown?

I should not have lumped Estes Park in with RMNP as far as the elk viewing. If you want to see elk you will be fine.

10. Re: Alternatives to RMNP during shutdown?

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