Estes Park Colorado – The Gateway to the Rockies

Estes Park – the gateway to the Rockies. Located 7,500 feet above sea level, this quaint town offers stunning views and exceptional wildlife viewings.

Things to do in Estes Park, CO.
McKenna Marie Photography

Estes Park – the eastern gateway to adventures in Rocky Mountain National Park. Estes Park is located on the northwest side of Colorado, about 90 miles from Denver International Airport. We visited Estes Park in early October for our engagement photos, the perfect time to view the fall foliage and elk bugling.

Depending on the time of year you go, be aware of timed-entry permits.

Stunning Hikes & Views in Estes Park, Colorado

Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the top five most traveled national parks. Be sure to get to the trailhead early to beat the crowd!

Moraine Park – offers stunning views of the Rockies and, during the elk rut, offers beautiful views of the elk passing through.

Horseshoe Park – is a wetland sanctuary, perfect for wildlife viewing.

Upper Beaver Meadow Loop – 1.1-mile easy trail that offers stunning views of the landscape.

Emerald Lake Trail – 3.2-mile out-and-back trail that is very popular for hiking, fishing and snowshoeing.

Sky Pond via Glacier Gorge Trail – 8.6-mile out-and-back challenging trail. Offers stunning views of alpine lakes, waterfalls and the Rockies.

Lake Haiyaha – 4.0-mile out-and-back trail leads you past Nymph Lake, a lilypad haven. As you continue on the trail, this will lead you to Lake Haiyaha, a stunning turquoise blue lake.

The Lock via Glacier Gorge Trail – 5.4-mile out-and-back, moderate trail that leads you to one of the three lakes that make up the scenic Loch Vale.

When visiting Estes Park, be sure to stop by The Stanley Hotel, the inspiration for Stephen King’s The Shining. This iconic landmark is also where Dumb and Dumber was filmed – one of my favorite movies! The Stanley Hotel is known as one of most haunted hotels – I highly recommend doing a tour. It’s one you will not forget!

Looking for Other Beautiful Places in Colorado?

Colorado is an absolutely stunning state – so much to see and do! Here are some of my favorite places to visit:

Have you been Estes Park, Colorado? Comment below some of your favorite hikes to share with others!

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