Estes Park, CO

If you’ve been following along on Instagram, you know that I just got back from Colorado and while it didn’t go exactly as planned, we had an amazing time!

So without further ado, here are my top 5 things to do in Estes Park!

#1 Visit RMNP – this is a no brainer and was actually the purpose of our whole trip. After several trips to Colorado in the past, we were stoked to finally get to see Rocky Mountain National Park. We were looking forward to camping and hiking inside the park for the long weekend.

We chose to stay at Moraine Park Campground which is easily the prettiest campground I have ever stayed at. The sites are really spread out which is wonderful. When you are making reservations on you can actually see a little photo of the campsite which is great. Sites come with bear locker, picnic table and fire pit!

Hikes: We hiked to Dream Lake and Emerald Lake, a super easy hike from the parking lot. And for our more difficult hike, we headed up to Fern Lake from the trailhead just below Moraine Park Campground. This hike was beautiful but due to snowy conditions, I considered this a pretty hard hike with a large altitude gain.

#2 YMCA of the Rockies – when we couldn’t handle the cold any longer, we ended up sleeping here! The grounds are absolutely spectacular and the view of the Rockies is unbeatable. A family vacation dream! They have horseback riding, archery, zip lining, rock climbing, fishing, mini golf…  We decided immediately that we would have to come back with Sophie ASAP.

#3 Stanley Hotel – Not only is this beautiful and historic hotel a landmark of Estes Park, movie buffs will probably recognize this hotel from the Stephen King movie The Shining.  The gorgeous hotel built in 1909 gained the reputation of being haunted after Stephen Kings novels popularity.

Now if you are in the Rockies for a little adventure, these last 2 activities are for you!

#4 Estes Park ATV – one of Steffen’s favorite things to do is ride ATV’s, so I thought what better way to celebrate our anniversary trip than by riding in the mountains of Colorado. What I absolutely love about this company is that they set they give you the safety lesson, tell you the rules, explain the routes (and difficulty levels) and then let you go for it! It was great to have different routes for the more experienced drivers. This was an absolute highlight for us!

#5 Rapid Transit Rafting – on our final day, we opted to go river rafting. I do have to note that the actual rafting took place in the Cache La Poudre river about an hour from Estes Park (near Ft. collins). They provide transportation or you can opt to follow the bus with your own vehicle. I have to admit that I was pretty scared but once we got to the rafts and I saw the little footholds, I was just excited. The 44 degree water just added to the fun of the experience!

I hope you enjoy these recommendations- please enjoy this video with plenty of footage from our trip!

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