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Recommendations For Estes Park

Discussion in 'US - Western States Timesharing' started by mpumilia, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. mpumilia

    mpumilia Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Had to make a change from our Durango vacation to Estes Park instead. Flying in to Denver and Staying at the Quality Inn in Estes Park, but need suggestions as to what to see and do in Rocky Mountain National Park and the rest of the area. We cannot do major hikes or anything like that- certainly we can do walks. We are in our early 60's. We love to sight see and all that. We will be there for just 6 days (plus our 2 travel days).

    Much appreciated!
     
  2. rapmarks

    rapmarks TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    We mostly just drove through park, stopped at overlooks, stayed on other side overnight, we drove south the next day and visited all kinds of interesting places, looped around and went through pikes peak on way back to Denver. Are you staying in Estes park all six nights?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  3. mpumilia

    mpumilia Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    We are staying in Estes Park for 7 nights.
     
  4. klpca

    klpca TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    We stayed for a week but hiked nearly every day, so not quite what you are wanting to do. We did take a trip up to the RMNP visitor center (Alpine) excellent. It looks like RMNP has a lot of visitor centers and the people who work there are an invaluable source of information. https://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/visitorcenters.htm

    The town of Estes Park is pretty cute. It would be a fun way to spend a day walking around.
     
  5. mpumilia

    mpumilia Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    We don't know either. All our original plans were for things in Durango/Mesa Verde/Silverton/Telluride/Pagosa Springs, etc. That's all been scrapped.

    We have changed our plans kind of not to lose the vacation altogether mainly due to it was easier to fly direct into Denver and then just hunker in close by. Never been to Colorado. We don't mind an easy hike (meaning not steep), maybe rent bikes but casual biking, not mountain biking, but we won't want to do those every day. I will use the hotel gym sometimes for exercise depending....

    We mainly like to sight see. Why else would we fly somewhere new across the country for a vacation if not to see the sights? We would like maybe to take a train ride? Maybe a day just walking around Estes Park itself- that would probably be our first day to get oriented. Any water around- like lakes to rent kayaks or canoes?

    Definitely intend to drive in the park as the park is the main reason we are staying there. We love National Parks- the scenery. Lookouts and so on. Will definitely go to the visitor centers. We don't mind a walk through a museum.

    Amy natural or historical sites within a decent drive?

    Any entertainment recommendations? Restaurants?
     
  6. itchyfeet

    itchyfeet TUG Member

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    What time of year will you be there? summer? fall? There is an absolutely fantastic western art gallery at Leaning Tree (the greeting card maker) in Boulder (about an hour from Estes Park). The drive is scenic and the gallery outstanding. There is also a tour of the greeting card plant but we spent our time in the art gallery. The art is a private collection of one of the men who founded Leaning Tree.
    Since you have never been to Colorado, check out all the mountain drives out of Estes. This web site lists some of the drives: http://estes-park.com/explore/scenic-drives-estes The web site also lists upcoming events in Estes Park. We have traveled extensively in Colorado including the Durango area. I know you must be disappointed with your change in plans, but I think you will find Estes Park to be an outstanding area. The largest lake close by if I remember correctly is Grand Lake which is on the other side of Trail Ridge Road. It can take any where from one to two hours to get there depending upon traffic.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017 at 9:51 PM
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  7. lynne

    lynne TUG Member

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    The Food & Wine Classic will be held in Aspen from June 16 - 18. Even if you do not go to the event, Aspen has a lovely town to explore and there should be quite a few events outside of the festival to keep you occupied.
     
  8. PigsDad

    PigsDad TUG Member

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    Aspen is a 5 hour drive from Estes Park -- a bit far for a day trip...

    Mary Ann, you have gotten some good suggestions here, but I will add a few of my favorites in the Estes area (I live less than an hour away):
    • Visit / tour the Stanley Hotel (of "The Shining" fame). Great place for a nice lunch.
    • Take a ride on the Aerial Tramway. Great views and a fun ride.
    • Stroll down the river walk / downtown area. Lots of shopping, art houses, restaurants, and the 1913 historic Park Theater (still open in the summers).
    • Drive the Estes Park -> Drake -> Glen Haven -> Estes Park loop. About an hour of driving, and very pretty. For a bit more driving, from Drake head down the canyon on US34 to Loveland (another ~15 miles), in which you go through "The Narrows" (a narrow section of the canyon with sheer rock walls on both sides). You will see the effects of the 2013 flood on that route. In fact, that road has been closed this winter for additional repairs from the flood, but will be open in June.
    • Visit the YMCA of the Rockies, a few miles outside of Estes Park. Beautiful area literally surrounded by RMNP land.
    • In RMNP, there are tons of easy hikes. Two of my favorites are the loops around Bear Lake and Sprague Lake. Both hikes are flat with great views of Long's Peak (14K+ ft. mountain) set against the lakes.
    Lake Estes is in the middle of the town, but I'm not sure if they rent kayaks, etc.

    And don't forget to drink lots of water. The combination of altitude and dry air can give you a spitting headache if you don't.

    Hope your new trip will be enjoyable!

    Kurt
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017 at 11:59 PM
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  9. klpca

    klpca TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Good list Kurt. I just circled back to mention the Stanley Hotel. We also bought salt water taffy in Estes Park - it seemed to be a thing - there were multiple stores.

    Yes, Bear Lake is a nice, easy hike. Perfect! We saw a moose hanging out in the lake the day we were there. We also spent a lovely early evening at Moraine Park watching all of the elk (+200) come down river. That is a very cool experience, although we went back a few days later and hardly saw any elk that evening, so I guess that it's hit or miss. I see that there is a hike that goes around the meadow that would be nice and easy. (Kind of bummed that we missed this one). http://dayhikesneardenver.com/moraine-park-loop-hike-rocky-mountain-national-park/

    We saw a bear with her cub on our way to Moraine Park one day, and quite a few bighorn sheep near Sheep Lakes. There were docents near Sheep Lakes helping visitors spot the sheep which was very helpful. Bring binoculars! And although we were in Estes Park in early June, it was cooler than I expected because of the wind, so wear layers.
     
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  10. mpumilia

    mpumilia Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Thanks. We will be there mid-June.
     
  11. Roger830

    Roger830 TUG Member

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    The drive up Trail Ridge Road is about the best mountain road in the west.

    Each day we would make the short drive to Sheeps Lake to watch the big horn sheep come down from the mountain and gallop to the lake.

    They can often be seen on the rock hill across the road from the parking area.

    https://www.nps.gov/romo/learn/nature/bighorn_sheep.htm
     
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  12. Egret1986

    Egret1986 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Looking forward to our end of June week in Estes Park and RMNP. Great recommendations!.....including the reminder to keep hydrated to avoid altitude sickness and and being prepared to dress in layers. :thumbup:
     
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  13. mpumilia

    mpumilia Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Maybe we will see you there! I just changed our reservation at the Quality Inn in Estes Park to Rams Horn Resort. Mucho dinero, but I just didn't want to spend a whole week in a hotel room. Very spoiled being a timeshare owner! LOL!
     
  14. Egret1986

    Egret1986 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Fortunately, we got an exchange into Rams Horn Resort for the last week of June. Yes, I, too, am a spoiled timeshare owner. ;)
     
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  15. mpumilia

    mpumilia Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    That is awesome! We will be there June 17. The rental rate is crazy expensive to me because I usually rent from other timeshare owners or on Home Away in some cases. But, at this point I figured I had to rent from the resort directly since our arrival is only 3 months from now. They did not give me a per night rate- they just quoted me for the week- but after I booked I noticed on their website they have a 10% off special for the dates we will be there. So I left a message this evening to see if that was included in the rate they quoted me. If it is, that would mean this place is even more expensive normally! Wow! And how will I even know if what they are telling me is the truth? LOL! Well, I will see what they say! But- I think I will be much happier staying there. Not as impressed with any other choices I saw on trip Advisor.
     
  16. mpumilia

    mpumilia Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I called today and the woman I spoke with said they did not give me the discount so she took care of it right away, so I was pleased to save $250. Good thing I called!
     
  17. vikingsholm

    vikingsholm Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I recommend a side day trip to Boulder to walk around the University of Colorado a bit, and around downtown Boulder late afternoon into evening for dinner. They have regular street performers around the downtown pedestrian area around Pearl St. Mall, and lots of small taverns and good restaurants. It's a beautiful, fun, well laid out town, and the Pearl St. area is a nice compact walkable district.

    Also, the walk to Bear Lake mentioned by others is worth it - very scenic alpine lake and trail to get there.
     
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  18. dagger1

    dagger1 TUG Member

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    Visit Grand Lake, it's a pretty little town. Breckenridge isn't far, maybe a 1.5-2 hour drive, another cool town. Vail just another 20 minutes up I-70 from the Frisco turnoff to Breckenridge.
     
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