Estes Park Journals

Estes Park - Beautiful but Busy

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A travel journal to Estes Park by lcampbell

Elk in town Photo, Estes Park, Colorado More Photos
Quote: Estes Park is a mountain town with tons of activities. Nearby Rocky Mountain National Park is amazing, but with over 3 million visitors per year, both Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park are BUSY BUSY BUSY!

Estes Park - Beautiful but Busy

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Overview

Elk in town Photo, Estes Park, Colorado
Quote:
Estes Park is an incredibly beautiful mountain town – I fell in love the minute I saw it. It is located in a wide valley surrounded by Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) and Arapaho National Forest. The town itself is built among rock formations, rivers, and lakes. What catches your attention most, though, is the wildlife that lives in and around town. In particular, there is a large and healthy elk herd that grazes on the golf courses and throughout town. The population of Estes Park is less than 10,000 people. But even though it is a small town, it is definitely geared toward tourism. There are endless accomodations and restaurants. Shopping is plentiful. Outdoor activities in the ar...Read More

Sweet Basilico Café

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Restaurant

Sweet Basilico Café Photo, Estes Park, Colorado
Quote:
This is where the locals eat! It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but if you want excellent Italian food at great prices ($10-$15 per person for an entree), this is it. My husband, without fail, always gets the Chicken Scarpelli. It is chicken, italian sausage, peppers, and onion in a wonderful sauce. It is served with pasta and marinara sauce on the side, and soup or salad. I always change my order every time I go because I want to try them all! Some favorites of mine have been the shrimp florentine, which is breaded shrimp and spincach in a wine sauce. The sauce has a very strong wine flavor, so it may not be for everyone. I have also enjoyed the tortellini and the mediterranean...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 29, 2001

Sweet Basilico Café
401 E. Elkhorn Ave.
Estes Park, Colorado 80517
(970) 586-3899

Baldpate Inn

Restaurant

Baldpate Inn Photo, Estes Park, Colorado
Quote:
I like the Baldpate because it is unique. There is no menu – they serve only soup, salad, bread, and dessert. It is all you can eat and very good. The atmosphere is quaint and rustic, and all the food is fresh and homemade. They are famous for their cornbread. Reservations are definitely a must, and a good idea when making reservations is to request a table by the picture windows. It is a great view of the Estes Valley, and often a resident bear can be spotted outside the restaurant. There is a room to the side of the restaurant that is sort a a museum with a large old key collection. Lily Lake visitor center is nearby, and there is a half mile trail around the lake for a pre or ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 29, 2001

Baldpate Inn
4900 State Highway 7
Estes Park, Colorado 80517
(970) 586-6151

Rocky Mountain National Park

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Attraction

Rocky Mountain National Park Photo, Estes Park, Colorado
Quote:
Entrance fee is $15 per vehicle for 7 days. Visitor Centers – Of the 5 visitor centers in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), the one you should try to see is Alpine Visitor Center. It is located at approximately 12,000 feet in elevation – the drive and the visitor center are not for those who are afraid of heights (or with respiratory or heart problems)! While at the park, a MUST is participating in any of the free Ranger interpretive programs or guided hikes. Topics, times and locations are listed in the park newspaper that you get at the entrance station. Scenic Drives - As mentioned in the previous section, the drive up to Alpine Visitor Center on Trail Ridge Road...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 29, 2001

Rocky Mountain National Park
1000 U.S. Highway 36
Estes Park, Colorado 80517
(970) 586-1206

Quote:
These are half-day, day, or multi-day educational seminars given by a non-profit organization that benefits the park (money is used for things like research, education, land purchase, and trail construction). They offer approximately 120 seminars each year. Most are day long and cost $55 to $65. There are a few half-day at $25, and multi-day seminars start at $85 and go up from there. The seminars are given by experts in their field and are high quality. Most consist of some classroom work combined with field work. There are classes on plants, animals, sketching, painting, photography, geology, history, and outdoor skills, just to name a few. I have taken "Wild Edible and Useful Plants" and ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 29, 2001

Rocky Mountain Nature Association field seminars
Rocky Mountain National Park
Estes Park, Colorado 80517
(800)748-7002

Lazy "B" Chuckwagon Supper and Western Show

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Attraction | "Lazy “B” Chuckwagon Supper and Western Show"

Quote:
I always take out of town visitors to this dinner show! The chuckwagon supper is "cowboy food" served up by cowboys. You stand in line with a tray and they pile it on. Sounds primitive – but it is fun and delicious! The meal consists of sliced beef simmered in Lazy B barbeque sauce, cowboy beans, baked potato, biscuits, a peach, and spice cake. To drink is either lemonade or coffee. The coffee is the best I’ve ever had, but they won’t tell me what kind it is! Must be a secret recipe. The highlight comes after dinner when the cowboys and cowgirls put on a Western show (not country music – think Kingston Trio and wild fiddle playing). The fiddle playing and singing (and singin...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 29, 2001

Lazy "B" Chuckwagon Supper and Western Show
1915 Dry Gulch Rd
Estes Park, Colorado
(970) 586-5371

Rocky Mountain National Park

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Attraction | "Climbing Longs Peak"

Rocky Mountain National Park Photo, Estes Park, Colorado
Quote:
Many folks come to Rocky Mountain National Park with the specific goal to climb Longs Peak, the highest peak in the park at 14,255 feet. Done as a one day trip, it involves 16 miles of challenging trail and around 5000 feet elevation gain and loss. The route is non-technical about 2 months per year, typically mid-July to mid-September. We left for the trailhead at 2:30 a.m. (it is best to start at this time to beat the afternoon lightning storms), and got one of the last parking spots. Then we flipped on our headlamps and headed up the trail. Hiking in the dark is kind of spooky and exciting at the same time. It was definitely cool to look ahead at the strings of headlamps working their way...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on November 7, 2001

Rocky Mountain National Park
1000 U.S. Highway 36
Estes Park, Colorado 80517
(970) 586-1206

Longs Peak Scottish Highlands Festival

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Attraction

Longs Peak Scottish Highlands Festival Photo, Estes Park, Colorado
Quote:
For the past 26 years, Estes Park has hosted the Longs Peak Scottish/Irish Highlands Festival. It normally takes place the weekend after Labor Day at the Estes Park fairgrounds. This festival is colorful and fun even if you are not Scottish – and you get to see men in kilts! Not everyone enjoys the sound of bagpipes, but if you do, you will find the best players here. There are world champion pipe bands that come to play and compete from as far away as Australia, Canada, Ireland, and of course Scotland. There are also non-pipe bands that perform concerts around town, including a New Year's Eve party. And these folks know how to have a good time! One of my favorite parts of the fes...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 7, 2001

Longs Peak Scottish Highlands Festival
251 W Elkhorn Ave
Estes Park, Colorado 80517
(970) 586-6308