17+ of the Best Fun Things To Do in Estes Park

Estes Park, Colorado, is a haven for people who love the outdoors. With a massive national park, beautiful mountain peaks, an amazing lake, and plenty of outdoor activities for the whole family — Estes Park has a lot to offer its visitors.

If you find yourself is this amazing Colorado town, get ready to have some fun. Here are some of the best things to do in Estes Park.

Estes Park, Colorado is a haven for people who love the outdoors. With a massive national park, beautiful mountain peaks, an amazing lake, and plenty of outdoor activities for the whole family — Estes Park has a lot to offer its visitors.

If you find yourself is this amazing Colorado town, get ready to have some fun. Here are some of the absolute best things to do in Estes Park.


  • Best Rustic Views. Boulder Brook on Fall River has a number of riverfront condo-style cabin options of varying sizes. Each has a private deck with breathtaking views. Boulder Brook is just 2 miles from downtown Estes Park.
  • Best Lakeside Option. The Estes Park Resort is ideally located right on Lake Estes. They offers an outdoor deck on Lake Estes and lakeside fire pits with views of the Rocky Mountains. The Waterfront Grille offers casual fine dining and a full service bar.
  • Best Hotel Option. Quality Inn near Rocky Mountain National Park is minutes from Rocky Mountain National Park. It features a seasonal outdoor pool, indoor hot tub, and complimentary breakfast. This is a great spot for families.



As one of the most easily recognizable attractions in the small town, you’ll find plenty of reasons to be excited about a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park.

The park has a collection of outdoor activities to do, which include wildlife sightings, legendary hikes, scenic drives, and even beautiful peaks to explore. An entrance to this massive park is located just 10 minutes away from Estes Park. Here are some of our favorite activities to do at Rocky Mountain National Park.


Trail Ridge Road is a long paved road on the outskirts of the national park. The trail connects the east side of the park with the west side of the Grand Lake. With a total distance of 48 miles, the road offers an experience unlike any other.

From the comfort of your car, you will be able to spot the local wildlife and witness the beautiful mountain peaks. In a matter of minutes, you will climb 4,000 feet, looking at the landscape change around you.

And regardless of the season, it is always much colder there than either the lake or the national park. Be sure to pack a coat if you plan on getting out to get a better look! It’s usually best to stay in your car while exploring the peaks.


Winters in Rocky Mountain National Park are some of the coldest in the entire state. Temperatures comfortably stay a little below or above 10°F. And with temperatures falling that low, there is plenty of snow throughout the park for a comfortable snowshoeing experience.

Strap on some snowshoes and walk on soft clouds of snow on the park’s many hiking trails to see the beautiful snowcapped mountains and spot the local wildlife. No training is necessary — if you can hike, you can snowshoe! You can even trek off the beaten path and explore other sides of the mountain. Just a short walk off the trail is a frozen lake, and just a little further is a creek bed.

Cross-country skiing is also another popular activity during the winter months. You’ll find deeper snow on the west side of the park, but you’re welcome to use your skis throughout the park. Rocky Mountain National Park is also known around the world as being home to some of the best backcountry skiing.

Featured Tour: Rocky Mountain Snowshoeing Tours


Camping is another fun activity that you cannot miss out on when visiting Rocky Mountain National Park. The site features plenty of camping grounds for you to visit during the day, where you can set up and stay the night. You can either choose to be close to other campers or stray off a little farther from the campgrounds.

Of course, the type of camping equipment you bring to the park will also decide where you can set up for the night. Gaze into the stars that are impossible to see during the hustle and bustle of city life as they illuminate the night sky.

You can easily buy firewood from the campsite or bring your own. Be sure to completely put out your fire when you are sleeping or before you leave the campgrounds. The camp does not allow people to gather firewood, so be sure you are packing enough.


Estes Park Guided Tours is a great company to help your family enjoy the park. Here are a few of their tours you might enjoy:

  • HIDDEN VALLEY SLEDDING TOUR: This is the most fun your family will have in the Rocky Mountain National Park. Designed to make it easy on you, they cover everything! All the sleds are provided. Spend hours of fun with your family creating new memories. The guides will be taking photos of you while you sled, so you will be able to look back on your pictures later and think of the great times you had in Rocky Mountain National Park. Restrooms located at the site of sledding. BOOK NOW
  • ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIKING TOUR: Come explore Rocky Mountain National Park! Enjoy private hiking tours with experienced friendly local guides. Customized to your groups ability level. Ever wanted to explore the Park away from the crowds? This is the tour for you. BOOK NOW

Looking for more fun in Estes Park? Try one of these fun activities!


17+ of the Best Fun Things To Do in Estes Park
Courtesy of: Fall River Village Resort

Fall River Village is the newest resort in Estes Park. The resort is just a five-minute walk away from downtown Estes Park and features plenty of recreational activities for you to engage in during the stay. The resort features a fun pool and a nice hot tub too!

Fall River Village features over 60 luxurious places for you to stay. They have luxury condos by the riverside with two bedrooms and a view of the river. There are also townhomes with a mountain view at the resort, which are much bigger and come with more amenities.

Since all of the condos view the river, guests can even fish right off their deck! Bring your bait and fishing poles to the deck for an incredible fishing experience. Try your luck with some of the carps, bass, and breams that swim through the river just outside your back door.


17+ of the Best Fun Things To Do in Estes Park

The Big Thompson also called the Big T, stretches 78 miles. Starting from the Rocky Mountains, it is one of the easiest rivers to follow, as it runs right beside Highway 34.

One of the most popular activities that we engage in at the Big T is riverside fishing. If you particularly enjoy fishing, you can find plenty of beautiful spots right beside Highway 34, where you can cast a line.

Downriver from forest canyon feature plenty of brown trout, cutthroat, and rainbow. You can find plenty of public access spots along the highway, as well as a sweet spot in Moraine Park.


The Big Thompson River is also home to the Big Thompson River Ranch, a historic ranch with plenty of activities for the family. One of their absolute best and most popular services is horseback riding.

They take you out on multiple trails, like the Sulzer Gulch, which has you exploring the cottonwoods. You can also explore an old wagon trail near Alexander Mountain or ride through the Green Ridge meadows.   


Since you are going to Big Thompson River anyway, why not take one of its trails to Lake Estes? This 8.0-kilometer (5 mile) walk is very friendly to people who are new to hiking, as well as people who are more used to the activity. And even though it is not as long as many would expect, it can be tiring, so you should manage your equipment accordingly.

The best part about this trail is that you can bring your furry friend with you as you make the trek. The view is also incredible, as the trail starts from the Big Thompson River and continues to Lake Estes. You will also be looping around the lake, allowing you to see the view that surrounds it.


17+ of the Best Fun Things To Do in Estes Park

Estes Park is easily the best place to be for outdoor activities. And at Estes Park, you can take up rock climbing with the help of a professional trainer. Estes Park Rock Climbing offers a proper gym along with professionals who have the necessary experience to help with your rock climbing skills.

But if you want to take up the real deal, then you should head out to Rocky Mountain National Park. The park features multiple granite faces and peaks to climb where you can test your rock climbing skills. (And in the winter months, ice climbing is popular here too.)

If you happen to be climbing some of these peaks, the chances of running into some of the native wildlife increase significantly. The chances that you will run into bighorn sheep, golden eagles, and black bears are high. Therefore, you should manage your expectations accordingly.  


17+ of the Best Fun Things To Do in Estes Park

When you’re up on the Trail River Bridge, you can take a break from the trip and visit the fun Beaver Meadows Visitor Center.

This is the highest visitor center you can find in the national park, at a staggering height of 11,796 feet. The visitors center features maps, restrooms, and a place for snacks so you can relax before hitting the road again.


17+ of the Best Fun Things To Do in Estes Park
Courtesy of: Estes Park Aerial Tramway

The Estes Park Aerial Tramway makes for a great place to see the surrounding city in all its glory. Even though the tram ride itself can feel a little boring on your way to the top, it isn’t the highlight of your visit. The view from the top of Prospect Mountain is truly amazing. This is one of the best tourist attractions in Estes Park.

Prospect Mountain only has an unpaved road, which makes the tramway trip one of the only ways that you can get to the top and take in the magnificent views.

At a height of over 12,000 feet, the best times to go are during the afternoon or the early morning, as they have the smallest crowds.


17+ of the Best Fun Things To Do in Estes Park

If you’re looking for a short road trip down a beautiful highway, then the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway is the way to go. Driving down this three-hour-long road with some of the most beautiful scenery outside your windows is one of the best things to do in Estes Park. The road starts at Estes Park and ends at I-70.

Throughout highways 72 and 119, there are plenty of gold mines. You can even see remnants of that life left behind in Ward, the small town that goes just past Blackhawk.

It is an especially good trip to make during the day when you can see all of the interesting landmarks scattered along the byway. Be sure to bring a camera with you, because you don’t want to miss any of the beautiful views from this road trip — it’s filled with amazing photo opportunities!


17+ of the Best Fun Things To Do in Estes Park

The Stanley Hotel is possibly the most recognizable attraction in the entire city of Estes Park. It is most famous for inspiring Stephen King to write The Shining. The prolific writer got the idea for the book when he stayed at the hotel alone.

Guests of the hotel and day visitors can sign up for one of the hotel’s two guided tours — and you should! The day tour takes you through the entire hotel and its beautiful interiors, where you can see the different rooms and amenities. It also features the history of Stephen King, and is perfect for those who love history and storytelling.

But the real tour happens at night, where a tour guide takes you on a paranormal tour of the hotel. This tour will also have a few references from The Shining, and you’ll learn all about the “active” phenomena at the hotel. (Both tours are for visitors ages 8 and up.)

After your tours — you may need a drink! The hotel also features a historic bar, which carries a unique 1900s vibe.


17+ of the Best Fun Things To Do in Estes Park

Downtown Estes Park is the place to be if you want to take a break from the outdoor activities. Just strolling down the streets that have a downtown feel to them is one of the best things to do in Estes Park. There are more than 300 shops in the entire district where you can buy plenty handmade goods, so you can spend a full day exploring this Colorado downtown.

You can also find plenty of local restaurants and shops. Some of the best shops in downtown Estes Park sell great outdoor gear, so if you find yourself unprepared for the elements when you arrive, don’t worry! They’ve got you covered.


17+ of the Best Fun Things To Do in Estes Park

Lake Estes is your one-stop shop to have a good time in Estes Park. The lake features all of the water activities you would expect from a lake. Paddle-boarding, boating, kayaking, and fishing are all on the table when you visit the lake.

And if you’re looking for any of these items, they are fairly easy to find at the Lake Estes Marina & Rentals. The Marina offers all the equipment you need to have a good time on the lake. They rent out rods and reels, canoes, paddleboats, pontoon boats, kayaks, and much more. You can even find fishing licenses and souvenirs there.

And when you are out of the water, you can play some horseshoes or even a little bit of volleyball. The staff at the Marina can provide you with all of the equipment you need for both activities.


17+ of the Best Fun Things To Do in Estes Park
Courtesy of: Estes Park 18-Hole Golf Course

The Estes Park 18-Hole Golf Course is the perfect place for you to wind down, relax, and play a few holes.

The golf course is well known for its beauty — it was ranked the 6th most beautiful golf course in the United States in the Golf Book of Lists. The grounds are close to Rocky Mountain National Park, allowing you to get a good look at the mountains’ beautiful peaks as you play.

If you don’t want to play a long game, you can also take advantage of their extensive practice facilities. The course rests on the southeast side of the small town, a perfect place for some nice open plays.  


17+ of the Best Fun Things To Do in Estes Park
Courtesy of Open Air Adventure Park

Looking to explore the outdoors Estes Park is famous for? Head on over to the Open Air Adventure Park, where you’ll find aerial adventures, kayak tours, and ax throwing too!

At the Aerial Adventure Park, you’ll find 32 unique challenges in the air for all ages and abilities. Climb over hanging chairs, zipline to different platforms, and make your challenges as easy or as difficult as you want.

You’ll also find outdoor ax throwing lanes here, so you can work on your throws while enjoying the Rocky Mountain views. During the summer months, kayak tours are popular.


17+ of the Best Fun Things To Do in Estes Park
Courtesy of Estes Park Memorial Observatory

If you want to learn more about the stars in the sky, make plans to visit the Estes Park Memorial Observatory.

The Estes Park Memorial Observatory is dedicated to fostering scientific education of children in Estes Park and others. The observatory holds events throughout the year for school groups and scout troops, but they also hold private observing sessions throughout the year as well. (Note: They took the winter off of private observations, but will be starting back up in spring 2023.)

Admission to the observatory is free.


Is Estes Park worth a visit?

Yes, Estes Park is definitely worth a visit! In this fun Colorado town, you’ll find activities and plenty of things to do year-round.

What is Estes Park best known for?

Estes Park is best known for its amazing mountain views and outdoor activities. This scenic mountain town is home to plenty of things to do for the outdoor enthusiast.

What is the best month to visit Estes Park?

Estes Park is truly a great place to visit anytime of year! The most popular times to visit Estes Park remain the summer months, when milder temps draw visitors from hotter climates to visit.



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