As the golden hues of summer gracefully yield to the crisp, vibrant colors of fall, there’s no better time to embark on a journey to the heart of Colorado’s natural wonderland. Nestled in the awe-inspiring Rocky Mountains, Estes Park beckons travelers with its captivating landscapes, pristine wilderness, and a sense of tranquility that can only be found in the high-altitude embrace of September.
We invite you to join us for an unforgettable adventure into the breathtaking beauty of Estes Park in the early days of autumn. In this blog post, we’ll take you on a virtual tour of this enchanting destination and offer a glimpse of the countless reasons why September is the perfect time to explore this mountain paradise. We have included a list of our favorite ways to enjoy along with some fun events coming to town throughout the month of September.
Embrace the Crisp Mountain Air
As the sweltering summer temperatures begin to wane, Estes Park ushers in September with a refreshing crispness in the air. The days are comfortably warm, perfect for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and wildlife watching. In the evenings, a gentle chill sweeps through the valley, creating the ideal atmosphere for cozying up by a crackling fireplace or savoring a delicious meal at Twin Owls Steakhouse.
SEPTEMBER 7-9 FRANK TURNER LIVE AT THE STANLEY HOTEL
Frank Turner, live at the Historic Stanley Hotel. Turner is the definition of a rockstar. With nine studio albums and his recent chart-topper, ‘FTHC’, under his belt, he’s been dominating the UK music scene for over 17 incredible years.
SEPTEMBER 16 – National Park After Dark comes to the Stanley Hotel
Join Cassie and Danielle for a night exploring the dark side of the Colorado wilderness. Though these stories are morbid, they just might inspire your next adventure. More info here!
September 8-10 LONGS PEAK SCOTTISH IRISH HIGHLAND FESTIVAL
Longs Peak Scottish Irish Highland Festival celebrates its 47th consecutive year! This Celtic Heritage educational event is a family-friendly favorite complete with Highland Athletes, Highland Dancing, Scotch Tasting, Pipe Bands, 4 Celtic Music Stages, and Ethnic food.
SEPTEMBER 16-17 FINE ARTS & CRAFTS FESTIVAL
The Fine Arts & Crafts Festival keeps the tradition of providing a special autumn marketplace alive with the 2023 edition in Bond Park. Thus art show features photography, painting, jewelry, wood, sculpture, metal, wearables, textile arts and more. 100 artists share their art, and Kids Corner provides activities for children.
September 7th ESTES PARK SUMMER JAZZ SERIES
Send off summer the right way with a free Estes Park Summer Jazz Series on September 17 at Performance Park with the Lionel Young Band!
SEPTEMBER 22-24 ROCKY MOUNTAIN FACELIFT
Support your park with fellow outdoor enthusiasts for this year’s Rocky Mountain Facelift! Start the off the weekend right with happy hour at Lumpy Ridge Brewery on Friday. You are then invited to help preserve the natural beauty of the area by helping out in projects within RMNP. Helps includes trail maintenance, litter pickup and more, starting at the Estes Park Mountain Shop on Saturday – breakfast will be provided! Head to the YMCA of the Rockies for an afterparty featuring guest speaker Tommy Caldwell. And don’t miss Sunday’s coffee talk panel and discussion at The Bird’s Nest, followed by free climbing clinics later that day. Sign up here.
SEPTEMBER 23-24 AUTUMN GOLD FESTIVAL
One of our favorite tradtions in Estes – Experince Autumn Gold Festival 2023! Located within Bond Park, enjoy a freshly grilled brat with all the fixings plus a cold beer (or a glass of wine) while listening to 5 award-winning, Front Range (and globally acclaimed) bands.
SEPTEMBER 30 – OCTOBER 1 ELK FEST
The annual elk rut will be in full swing and you can learn more about the beautiful history of the “wapiti,” the Native American name for elk as you celebrate “Elktober”Learn more about this annual Elk Fest in Bond Park here!
Witness Nature’s Canvas Unfold
September is when Mother Nature decides to unleash her artistic prowess upon Estes Park. The lush evergreen forests that carpet the landscape start to transform into a kaleidoscope of autumnal colors. The aspen trees, in particular, steal the spotlight with their shimmering golden leaves, creating postcard-worthy scenes around every corner.
Escape the Crowds
One of the best-kept secrets about September in Estes Park is the relative tranquility that graces the area. With the peak summer tourist season behind us, the trails, roads, and attractions are delightfully less crowded. It’s the perfect opportunity to explore the pristine wilderness at your own pace and truly connect with the serenity of the Rocky Mountains.
Savor the Flavors of Fall
Of course, no visit to Estes Park is complete without indulging in the delectable cuisine it has to offer. At Twin Owls Steakhouse, our chefs embrace the seasonal bounty of September, creating culinary masterpieces that showcase the rich, earthy flavors of fall. From succulent steaks to locally sourced ingredients, our menu is a testament to the region’s culinary excellence.
SEPTEMBER 1 – OCTOBER 1 ELKTOBERFEST AT THE BARREL
t’s that the time again…one of our favorite times of the year…ELKTOBERFEST! To celebrate Elktobefest, The Barrel will be tapping several craft Oktoberfest and Pumpkin beers all month long! 251 Moraine Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517; (970) 616-2090; TheBarrel.Beer
Weekly on Wednesdays THE LIVING DREAM: 100 YEARS OF ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
Join the Historic Park Theatre for a special film screening every Wednesday. The Living Dream, by Nick Molle Productions, tells a story that had never been told and needed to be told. It is the story of the unique relationship of a community to a national park, a relationship of shared passions and dreams. 130 Moraine Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517; (970) 586-8904; HistoricParkTheatre.com
Weekly on Thursdays ESTES VALLEY FARMERS MARKET
You won’t want to miss this Estes Tradition! The Estes Valley Farmers Market happens every Thursday 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Farmers Market patrons must park in the parking structure at 691 N Saint Vrain Ave. Market location: 500 Big Thompson Ave; Facebook.com/EstesValleyFarmersMarket
ROCKY MOUNTAIN CONSERVANCY EVENTS
Learn about the geology of the Fall River and Big Thompson Valleys, set out on a mindfulness retreat and guided hike, and step up your night sky photography skills! The Rocky Mountain Conservancy offers classes monthly. Check their calendar
WEEKLY THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30 MACGREGOR MUSEUM TOURS
Explore the home of the three generations of MacGregors who settled, homesteaded, and developed the land to become the Ranch that provided for their family and the town. Built in the 1800’s the MacGregor’s facilitated many avenues of growth for the town of Estes Park and its other influential members. Contact them in advance for groups larger than eight. 180 MacGregor Lane, Estes Park, CO 80517; MacGregorRanch.Org/Museum
LIVE MUSIC AT THE BULL PIN
Bowl on into The Bull Pin for live music, games, food & drinks and a good time! 555 S Saint Vrain Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517; (970) 591-7771; EstesParkBowl.com
LIVE MUSIC AT TWIN OWLS STEAKHOUSE – EVERY WEDNESDAY – SATURDAY
Enjoy live music with US every Wednesday through Saturday! Wednesdays starting at 6:30pm, listen to local bluegrass. Thursday – Saturday starting at 5:30pm, stop in for James Davis Spanish & Classical Guitar. Make a reservation today!
August brings a unique charm to Estes Park, as the vibrant colors of summer flourish across the landscape. The lush forests, sparkling rivers, and wildflower-strewn meadows set the stage for an unforgettable outdoor adventure. With average temperatures ranging from comfortable to mildly warm, visitors can enjoy the perfect weather for exploration.
Plan Your September Escape
Whether you’re seeking adventure in the great outdoors, a quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, or simply a delicious meal in a picturesque setting, Estes Park in September has something to offer every traveler. Join us at Taharaa Mountain Lodge and Twin Owls Steakhouse as we embark on a journey to discover the unparalleled beauty and tranquility of this mountain paradise. Let’s make your September escape to Estes Park a memorable one.
Stay tuned as we dive deeper into the attractions, activities, and hidden gems that await you in Estes Park this September.
Featured image: McShan Walker