Nestled within the coronary heart of the Colorado Rockies, Estes Park is a world of outside thrills and beautiful pure surroundings in winter. You possibly can expertise the awe of Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park, a paradise for snowshoeing, backcountry snowboarding, and sledding; take a stroll downtown; savor native flavors and spirits; and unwind in a comfortable cabin with a view. Maintain studying to find how winter in Estes Park will invigorate and chill out you in equal components.
Prime outside adventures
With Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park in Estes Park’s yard, it’s straightforward to expertise winter wonders as a brand new world of outside adventures emerges with every layer of snow. Hit the paths with accessible snowshoeing routes. Strap in your snowshoes or crampons and enterprise into the park’s serene wilderness with standard day routes like Dream Lake, Higher Beaver Meadows, and Cub Lake. And extra heart-pounding adventures await on this cold-weather vacation spot too.
Ski and sled Hidden Valley
A former ski resort, Hidden Valley might have closed its lifts years in the past, however its slopes are nonetheless open to sledding and tubing for individuals who need to make the leap. Seize your sled rental from Estes Park Mountain Store, carry the complete household for those who’d like, and experience down one in every of America’s best sledding hills.
For the extra formidable and expert skiers and riders, ascend to descend and discover Hidden Valley’s backcountry terrain. Path Ridge Street cuts via the center of the previous ski space, main you to an genuine backcountry expertise. Whether or not you’re skinning or snowshoeing, the unplowed, vehicle-free highway is the lifeline to the backcountry runs of your alternative with newbie and intermediate terrain under and steeper choices above.
Transcend the backcountry fundamentals and join a backcountry ski tour with Kent Mountain Journey Middle, which can make it easier to discover the most effective native terrain. When exploring the backcountry, bear in mind to equip your self with avalanche security gear and examine native situations earlier than heading out. And for those who don’t really feel comfy adventuring by yourself, rent one in every of a number of Estes Park’s native guides.
Scenic snowcat rides
See the Rocky Mountains such as you’ve by no means seen them earlier than if you embark on a particular expertise with Estes Park Outfitters’ Mountain Journey, simply minutes from city. Go off the grid with minimal effort as a snowcat whisks you away to a secluded mountain lodge to get pleasure from epic views and fireplace drinks subsequent to a wood-burning range. It’s the last word technique to immerse your self in nature. Don’t need to go away? E book your keep within the cozy cabin—snowcat transportation included.
Breweries and eating places for après adventures
Toast to a day on the mountain with a drink at one in every of Estes Park’s breweries, wineries, or distilleries. For individuals who get pleasure from craft beer and leisure, a cease at Rock Minimize Brewing Firm for beer, weekly meals vehicles, bingo, and trivia is a should. Or take a look at dwell music at Lumpy Ridge Brewing’s first location in an previous gasoline station on Route 7 or at its latest location downtown, inside a historic constructing that’s been renovated with native repurposed supplies. Lumpy brews all its beers in Estes Park which suggests you may get pleasure from true native taste.
Increase your spirits with a go to to 2 native distilleries, Estes Park Distilling and Elkins Distilling Co. And for a novel whiskey-tasting expertise on the historic Stanley Lodge you may pattern their curated assortment of unique whiskey at The Vault. For the whiskey aficionado or the merely curious, the personal tasting invitations you to pattern from single barrels and particular bottles solely discovered on the resort—with most being one in every of lower than 200 in existence.
Native eating places vary from informal eateries to upscale eating. For dinner, dig into an area favourite serving Colorado delicacies and seasonal dishes at Hen & Jim—named after two pioneering spirits from the late 1800s, Isabella Hen and Mountain Jim, who made Estes Park their residence for journey.
You may as well get pleasure from a peaceable winter night watching the blizzard as you savor a mouthwatering steak from the Twin Owls Steakhouse. Or cozy as much as lovely mountain views and basic American fare at Claire’s Restaurant and Bar. Seize the household for pizza at Poppy’s Pizza or get pleasure from brunch with associates at Brunch & Co. on the Stanley Lodge.
Procuring (and occasional) in a winter wonderland
Strolling the tree-lined streets of downtown Estes Park in winter is akin to strolling via a picture-perfect snow globe as snow quietly falls and colourful storefronts beckon you inside to find their treasures. Whether or not you need to window store or hunt for a uncommon discover, you’ll uncover a vibrant hub of artwork galleries, charming boutiques, and flavorful provisions. From jewellery shops to outside gear and candy deal with stops, buying in Estes Park has one thing for everybody.
When it’s time to refuel, you may have your choose of 10 espresso outlets to select from—in spite of everything, a heat cup of joe and mountain views go hand in hand. Get pleasure from serene environment and a steaming brew at Espresso on the Rocks or spherical out a morning stroll alongside the Riverwalk (a picturesque path that winds via city) with a cease at Sort Espresso the place they pour feel-good espresso and their philanthropic efforts will go away you feeling good too. And for individuals who prefer to take a second to decelerate, sip, and store at Inkwell & Brew which mixes the artwork of pen-to-paper writing and occasional ingesting, providing fountain pens, hard-pressed papers, and slow-brewed espresso.
Catch the Glow and extra at these vacation occasions
There’s maybe no different mountain city that celebrates the vacations like Estes Park. A living proof is its Catch the Glow extravaganza. The season kicks off with the Catch the Glow parade, an annual occasion going down the day after Thanksgiving and a part of a season of festivities that runs via New Yr’s. The enchantment consists of life-sized ornaments for picture-perfect moments, a vacation market, carolers, llamas, and extra. Proceed the winter festivities with the Wine and Chocolate Competition in February and in March, the Whiskey Heat Up and Frozen Lifeless Man Days—a yearly cult basic celebrating the crypto-preservation of a Colorado legend.
Heat welcomes and lodging
Select from Estes Park’s historic lodges, cozy cabins, and trendy mountain properties. Relaxation and rejuvenate with spa time on the Qi Lounge at Estes Park Resort, get pleasure from riverside rest at Estes Park Condos, or cozy up at Estes Park’s latest boutique resort Trailborn. Heat up with uncommon whiskeys and fireplace ghost tales with a keep on the historic Stanley Lodge. Or discover basic mountain cabins and trendy residence leases with Rocky Mountain Resorts or get pleasure from the most effective of each worlds at Aspen Winds on Fall River with the outside and downtown at the doorstep.