Post # 1
my fiance and i are looking at estes park for our honeymoon. we are on a budget but we are wondering the things we can do tehre…are there any free activities? do you pay to get into the park? i know these probably sound stupid we both have never been to a national park and really want to go. please tell me anything you know, it would be great help!! THANKS! 🙂
Post # 3
Estes Park is a beautiful area! There are tons of shops in the little town to visit. The park you pay to enter but it takes awhile to drive through and theres also a shop or two along the trail. I think you may want to double check that its open because this time of year the one trail closes and my family out there mentioned the roads on the way there were damaged from the flooding. I would look into it though! Theres a nice hotel with a spa there or cabins you can rent.
Post # 4
I love Estes Park! I grew up near there, and so visited often, and we are getting married there 🙂
If you like hiking, there is LOTS to do. The National Park does have an entrance fee ($20 for unlimited entrance for 7 days), but there are also lots of hikes outside the park that don’t have entrance fees. If you can afford it though, I highly recommend it.
The town itself has lots of activities. Lots of cute little shops, museums, mini-golf, etc. In November, some may be closed, but there will still be many open. A few of the cabin rental places have activites onsite that are included which can be fun, low-key ways to spend a day as well.
As for the flooding, some of the access roads are closed (from Loveland and from Longmont), but there are still a few good ways open (from Boulder and Denver). Estes really wants people to come and visit!
The details on the park are here, and more general information on Estes Park is here. Let me know if you have any specific questions!
Post # 5
@MountainView: thank you so much! you mentioned hiking is free some places? if it costs…how much is it typically?and where do your recommend? we will only be there for a few days and plan on spending some time in denver as well.
Post # 6
Estes Park is beautiful but you want to double check what’s open if you’re going in late November. I remember the town is really cute and has a lot of cute shops.
Honestly if you’re going in late November I’d look into one of the more popular ski areas instead, like Breckenridge. I went once over Veterans day as I think that is opening weekend. I’d save Estes Park for the summer if it was me. But I’m someone who prefers to hike during the summer and ski during the winter.
I’ve never paid to hike in Colorado and I’ve gone a lot (these are mountains, there is hiking everywhere)…though you should be prepared to be hiking in cold weather/snow. It’s much colder at higher altitudes. There you are paying the entrance fee for the park.
Post # 7
Once you get in to Rocky Mountain National Park (the $20 for 1 week that I mentioned) all the hiking is free. There are a few hikes in the surrounding area that are outside the park, and so have no entrance fee at all. Check out hikes listed in Roosevelt National Forest as a starting place for those.
It’s hard to recommend a particular hike. It depends on 1) the experience of you and your fiance (are you used to hiking long distances? elevation gain? or are you looking for a short, flat easy hike with good views?) and 2) the weather the week you are there. November could end up being pretty dry, or could have significant snowfall which will change trail conditions.
If you are mainly looking to explore, drive around, and see a variety of scenery, I highly recommend getting the week access to RMNP. There are great driving roads, and easy hikes for people just getting into the mountains (as well as a huge system of much more strenuous options). You can spend *days* just looking at the top destinations. They have great resources at the visitors center for planning trips for people new to the area.