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keysmama Estes Park - A travel report by MaxiStarr
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Estes Park,  United States - flag United States -  Colorado
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keysmama's travel reports

Estes Park and the Rocky Mountains

  13 votes
Rocky Mountain National Park and Roosevelt National Forest surround the village of Estes Park, Colorado with mountain scenery, wildlife habitat, biking and hiking trails and peaceful drives over the Continental Divide.
Elevation 8,000-14,000



Estes Park travelogue picture
Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park, is a spectacular wilderness and resort area, yet without the tourist feeling. It is a national park to be experienced, and one of only a handful that is maintained in as near a totally natural state. This is a kid, pet and naturalist-friendly town with something to do or somewhere to enjoy for every sport, activity and food you love!

Favourite spots:
Estes Park travelogue picture
I really enjoyed the downtown and riverside area of the town. Although designed for tourists, I really enjoyed the many eateries and spectacular views along the river. Plenty of quiet areas and mountain views and a very easy area to walk about in.

What's really great:
Estes Park travelogue picture
The elk are literally everwhere! The does do not seem to mind people quietly approaching and taking pictures. The bucks take a more agressive stance when people are nearby and since they are the size of a large horse, I respect their privacy!

Sights:
snow covered north face mountain range in the background
snow covered north face mountain range in the background
Rocky Mountain National Park
Big Thompson and Falls River riverside areas
Lake Estes
the scenic by-ways to drive slowly and see elk such as Fall River Road, and the downtown district make it a fantastic place to do everything.
For the un-adventerous, there are mountain tours that will take you up the mountains to Longs Peak in an open Hummer like vehicle complete with picnics.
Horseback riding, flyfishing, white water rafting are all in the area too.
For the cultured, there is the Rocky Mountain Museum in Estes, plenty of nice art galleries and the Cultural Arts Council of Estes Park which sponsors some art tours and outdoor events.

Accommodations:
More Elk!
More Elk!
I stayed at an eco-friendly lodge , part of the Forever Lodges, this one was also a Holiday Inn. Clean , comfortable and affordable with nice views of the valley and mountains.

The good news is that the town is very easy to walk in and there was a great place to eat just around each corner.

If you want upscale lodging in an old Rocky Mountain landmark, you have got to see The Stanley. I only visited there to take advantage of the spa and salon and found it charming!

Restaurants:
Estes Park travelogue picture
Ah! some great international flavors here!

Nepal, on the riverside in downtown Estes Park. Their MutterMushroom curry was splendid as well as the international Thai and Asian beer selection. Taj Mahal Beer is wonderful!

The restaurant, Longz, at my hotel ( lots of fried, processed standard American fare) was not vegetarian friendly. But packed on weekends as they have a huge buffet twice daily.

Thai Kitchen and Bar on South St. Vrain Ave is new and trendy, upscale Thai. Great tofu green and masaman curry, frangrant rice and good wines.

There is a tiny hot dog maker shop on the main street through town. I don't eat hot dogs, but was impressed that he was making his own in artesian fashion and selling them like candy to passers by!

Plenty of cowboy cuisine too: elk, buffalo, steaks...a meat and potato paradise. Try the Twin Owls Steakhouse at the Black Canyon Inn, great atmosphere!

Estes Park Brewery has free beer tasting in the beer garden, and good beer-foods.

Other recommendations:
Estes Park travelogue picture
I visited Estes Park Medical Center in an ambassador capacity, not a patient! and found it top notch. If you are unlucky enough to get altitude sickness, these folks would love to care for you. They also have an internationally recognized maternity unit should you need that too!

Published on Monday May 29th, 2006


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Tue, May 30 2006 - 08:29 AM rating by marianne

a well-written and informative report. I especially like the photos of the elks on the roadside.

Tue, May 30 2006 - 05:18 AM rating by horourke

i love the detail of checking out the medical center

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