If you have been following us on Facebook, as well as others around town, you’d know that Estes Park is well on its way to being back at 100%! Especially for you, our welcomed guest! There are some areas, in more residential neighborhoods and some outlying towns (Glen Haven, Pinewood Springs) that will take a bit longer to get back on their feet. But downtown Estes is just waiting on a few more restaurants to re-open, and a vast majority of the National Park is now open again!
While all is, seemingly, back to normal there is a different feel to town. It’s quiet. The tourists just aren’t here. For those that have come up it’s a welcome change from the throngs of tourists that are usually out watching the elk bugle and enjoying the Fall colors. This *never* happens. You just don’t have solitude this time of year up here as it’s so immensely beautiful as to attract people from all over the world. Normally you are in a traffic jam in Moraine Park or Horseshoe Park as the Elk watching crowd heads out after sunset, sometimes sitting in traffic for 20 minutes before it clears out enough to move. It’s just not like that this year. If you are on the fence, this alone should persuade you to come on up! Now, this weekend will be a bit busier, and as the rut and foliage continue, with more people learning that Estes is ‘open for business,’ the crowds will start to filter back in. But it will still be much more laid back than normal.
As I’m writing this it’s about 45 degrees and raining lightly with snow up high (the AVC webcam is showing 26 degrees!). Fall is such a wonderful time of year! As the park was closed last week we all had to switch to trails that we normally don’t use. Friends were heading over to the west side of the park, which was open, or exploring accessible trails on the east side of Estes Park. I didn’t have the time to make the drive to the west side, so I made the short trip up to the trail head on Pole Hill and went up Panorama Peak. What an incredible hike! Jeep roads wind all over the place up there and many are lined with beautiful aspen, which, this time of year, are truly stunning. I’m certainly glad I have found these new-to-me trails in time for winter as they wont get quite as socked in with snow as some of the higher trails in the area. It’s a wonderful option and a nice change of pace from the more popular trails in the area… just bring a map as there are many winding trails/roads in the area… but it’s certainly worth exploring!
With things getting back to normal here, the main question we are still getting asked is how to get here with the nearby highway closures. We have our ‘Maps and Directions’ page updated with the current situation as far as roads go. As they begin to reopen, we will update this page accordingly. You can see it here: Maps and Directions
We truly hope to see you soon! Estes is flourishing and we *really* want you here to enjoy our special corner of the Rockies with us! Give us a call at 800.835.8439… we’d love to have you!