Estes Park is one of my favorite places in Colorado! It’s only an hour and a half from Denver (which is a gorgeous drive) and it has so many options for a weekend away. Obviously the big focus of our trip was hiking:
Mill’s Lake (4.9 Miles/886 ft. Elevation Gain) We did this as a guided hike with Pat
Kruger Rock (4 Miles/977 ft. Elevation Gain) – We wanted a dog friendly option so this was perfect!
My other favorites in Rocky Mountain National Park:
Gem Lake (3.4 Miles/990 ft. Elevation Gain)
Sky Pond (9.2 Miles/1,837 ft. Elevation Gain)
Where We Stayed:
We stayed at a cabin at YMCA of the Rockies which is so close to RMNP you can actually hike in! This was my first time staying at a YMCA and it had incredible views and a fun “camp” vibe. One huge point for us was that it’s super dog friendly. Dogs aren’t allowed in RMNP so sometimes it’s a struggle to find a place that welcomes the pups, but not only were they welcome there are trails onsite to include the pups! One huge benefit of staying here is that you can bypass the reservation system into the park by taking a guided hike!
Where We Ate:
Ed’s Cantina – This came HIGHLY recomended and now I know why, it was absolutely delicous, had a beautiful balcony and the service was really quick. You must order the Avocado Margarita and thank me later!
Bird & Jims – We asked a couple of locals where they recomended and this one came up by almost everyone so we decided to check it out. Every dish we ordered was incredible, the drinks were expensive but very delicous and the service was great!
Whiskey Bar – This bar in the Stanley Hotel is a must! Not just for the killer Old Fashioned, but the chance to check out the Stanley Hotel. We didn’t have a reservation but they let us bring our drinks onto the Front Patio and honestly that was even better, we took in the views while enjoying our whiskey.
Inkwell & Brew – I’m so obsessed with this coffee shop I once drove from Denver just to spend the day reading and writing here.
Rock Cut Brewing – Absolutely delicous beer named after local hikes & mountains with a patio right on the river
Other highly recomended spots: The Rock Inn, Claires, Seasoned, Snowy Peak Winery & Lumpy Ridge Brewing
For Next Time:
I can’t wait to go back and explore more, so let me know what else I should try and experience next time I’m in Estes Park!
I definitely want to try a few off roading trails and of course find a couple new hikes 🙂