The Magic of Estes During Winter

We may be giving away a big secret, however, we truly believe Estes Park comes alive during the winter months. Visiting Estes during the winter is like visiting a real life snow globe. The area isn’t just a top vacation destination in the summer as there are so many things to do when the snow starts falling. Not sure what to expect? The team at the Taharaa Mountian Lodge has put together a list of our favorite ways to experience Estes Park in the winter months.



Snowshoeing –  One of the our favorite winter activities is snowshoeing! Rocky Mountain National Park is a dream world covered in snow made easily accessible with the addition of  snowshoes. If you are an avid summer hiker, we encourage you to add winter snowshoeing to your plans when visiting Rocky. Our favorite winter trails include Nymph, Dream, and Emerald Lakes. Be sure to check out local rental companies in Estes Park as they host guided snowshoe excursions.

Skiing – Another hidden gem is the Eldora Ski Resort which is located only an hour away from Estes Park. We also love the ease and beauty that comes with a morning of cross-country ski within the park itself. 

Sledding – Hidden Valley was once a ski resort that has now been transformed into a sledding hill. You cannot beat sledding among the incredible peaks and towering trees. Head to Hidden Valley Snow Park inside Rocky Mountain National Park via Beaver Meadows Entrance. Drive Trail Ridge Road to the Hidden Valley parking lot. The sledding hill is open from 10:00 am to 4 pm every day. Sled rental is available in Estes Park at several locations including the Estes Park Mountain Shop as well as The Warming House.  If snowshoeing or skiing isn’t your cup of tea, drive right to the Bear Lake trailhead. After a quick half mile walk to the lake, visitors are greeted with stunning views of Hallett Peak which sits at 12,713 ft. and Longs Peak which towers at 14,259 ft. Enjoy trouncing around a frozen lake and don’t leave without that snow angel photo op! 

Ice climbing – If you are seeking a little more adventure and enjoy rock climbing from the summer months –  try the winter version with ice climbing! The Kent Mountain Adventure Center provide a wonderful intro to ice climbing course. The course covers everything from crampon techniques to single and multiple ice ax use!

Ice Skating – There is something seriously exhilarating about skating among the mountains and feeling the brisk mountain air.  Dorsey Pond at the YMCA of the Rockies, near the Beaver Meadows Entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park offers this incredible experience. Skate rentals are available on-site. 

Spa day – Estes has some incredible local spas that are perfect for the ultimate self care day when the wind is howling outside. Take a solo trip or your partner for a romantic day date.  Planning a spa day near the end of a trip is a great way to unwind and relieve muscles from all of the adventures in the snowy mountains. Some of our favorite spas include Reverie Beauty and BodyworkEstes Park Massage, and Elements of Touch Wellness Spa

Spend the Day in Charming Downtown Estes Park  – shopping in  downtown Estes Park during the winter is peaceful and full of magic. Take a stroll along the Riverwalk  downtown with a warm beverage from one of many coffee shops. There is something for everyone.  Shop for  unique gift to bring home, holiday decor, old-fashioned candy, or a new read. There are also several art galleries, restaurants, bars, and breweries for you to check out. 


Winter Events


WINE & CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL FEBRUARY 4, 2023- Winos and chocolate lovers unite. Love is in the mountain air where you can try treats from the area’s finest chocolatiers, indulge in wine from a variety of wineries while enjoying live music. This makes for a truly romantic getaway. Click here for tickets!

WHISKEY WARM UP – MARCH 4, 2023- Our favorite way to warm up and beat the chill! You can sip and sample the best selections of Colorado whisky, enjoy live music, shop local goods from area vendors, and delight in whiskey-paired treats. Purchase Tickets Here

FROZEN DEAD GUY DAYS – MARCH 17-19, 2023 – The cult followed Frozen Dead Guy Days event is coming to Estes Park! Stay tuned for more information on music, events and more. Tickets will be available in January 2023:

BIGFOOT DAYS – APRIL 14-15, 2023 – These woods look pretty Squatchy! The best kind of Friday night with Bigfoot BBQ and an outdoor fest on Saturday!