Winter Activities

Winter & Spring (November-April)

Colorado winter vacation in Estes Park offers spectacular avenues for experiencing the beauty of the Rocky Mountains and the charm of our small mountain town.

The National Park in winter & spring offers hiking (or snowshoeing and cross-country skiing if we have white stuff on the ground!) and scenic drives to view wildlife and the impressive landscape. Various companies in Estes Park offer guided tours (by car, foot, or snowshoe) throughout the year, and that can be a neat way to see all that the area has to offer with the added benefit of an expert’s knowledge.

Guests are sure to love Estes Park, Colorado in the winter. In town, you can stroll through any of the many art galleries and shops that are open year-round downtown. You will also find plentiful opportunities to hear live music, ranging from rock and bluegrass to classical and country. You can check out the various museums that present the unique history and culture of Estes Park, relax at one of the peaceful spas in town, taste Colorado wines at the two wineries in town, or take hay or sleigh rides (and some companies still offer trail rides, depending on the weather).

Explore the Rocky Mountains

  • Fishing – Although the higher elevation streams may be frozen over, the waters of the Big Thompson and Fall River often flow throughout a good portion of the winter and spring. Check-in with one of the many fishing outfitters in town for all the details on cool-weather fishing!

  • Snow shoeing & Hiking – They say if you can walk, you can snowshoe. Our guests say this is a great way to explore the park once the trails start to get covered in snow. However, many trails remain accessible without snowshoes for a good portion of the winter and spring, so there really is something for everyone who wants to enjoy the peacefulness of the park in winter.

  • Cross-Country Skiing – If you are an intermediate or advanced cross-country skier, then this may be the activity for you! Beginners are advised to try snow shoeing, since there are not really any beginner cross-country skiing trails on the east side of the park.

  • Downhill Skiing – A scenic 45-minute drive from Estes Park, Eldora Mountain Resort offers 680 acres of terrain for skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, and show shoeing. Winter sports enthusiasts of all ability levels can enjoy Eldora, including its three freestyle terrain parks.

  • Sleigh Rides – When there is enough snow on the ground, Aspen Lodge Livery (just 4 miles from Taharaa) offers romantic horse-drawn sleigh rides through the forest. If snow is scarce, you can still enjoy a horse-drawn wagon ride bundled up next to your favorite person!

  • Wildlife Viewing and Scenic Drives – Estes Park’s large elk population (a herd of about 3,000) loves to hang around town – on the golf courses, on people’s lawns, along Fall River – so you’re virtually guaranteed to see some when you visit. While Trail Ridge Road is closed in the winter and spring, Rocky Mountain National Park roads to Bear Lake and other areas are accessible year-round, although we do recommend four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive vehicles to ensure ease of travel.

Take In Estes Park

  • Festivals – All year long, but especially in the summer, Estes Park hosts diverse festivals and fairs celebrating the region’s rich history and culture and the talents of its artisans and athletes. In particular, check out these unique events.
  • Galleries – A vibrant art community in Estes Park provides excellent opportunities to view and purchase new treasures in the many galleries and artisan’s shops around town. Be sure to check out one of the Arts and Crafts Fairs that come to town each year.

  • Shopping – Downtown Estes Park, with its charming storefronts and tempting ice cream and candy shops, offers something for everyone, whether you’re seeking local artisan’s handicrafts, a souvenir t-shirt, or the best gear to outfit your Rocky Mountain adventures.

  • Live Music – Estes Park feature a vibrant live music scene. In the winter and spring, you can find great local and national acts playing at a variety of restaurants, including The Rock Inn, Marys Lake Lodge, and Ed’s Cantina.

  • Food – Each day in Estes Park means a chance to try more of the regional offerings available both in town and in the surrounding communities. As a community oriented to the casual mountain lifestyle, you’ll find that dining atmospheres are relaxed and informal – in other words, you don’t have to worry about “dressing for dinner” when you’re in Estes Park!
2015 / 2016 Winter Activities