10 Things to do in Estes Park this winter

10/22/2019 | by Lyles Armour | Estes Park

Estes Park isn’t just a top vacation destination in the summer as there are so many things to do when the snow starts falling around here! See our top 10 picks for things to do in Estes Park this winter!

  1. Snowshoeing

One of the most popular snowy activities around here is snowshoeing and Rocky Mountain Resorts rents snowshoes to all our guests at no charge! Rocky Mountain National Park is simply stunning when covered in snow and you can still explore the variety of trails with a pair of trusty snowshoes. If you can hike, you can snowshoe! Some of our favorite trails include Nymph, Dream, and Emerald Lakes, Bierstadt Lake, The Pool, and Gem Lake.

Check out our tips for snowshoeing for beginners if you’re new to snowshoeing! Or, many local rental companies in Estes Park host guided snowshoe excursions and even Rocky Mountain National Park rangers host treks through the winter months.

  1. Skiing

Want a bit more speed with your snowy adventure? Estes Park is just an hour away from Eldora Ski Resort, but if you’re looking for more of a challenge, we do have backcountry skiing right here. You could also get a good workout in with cross-country skiing through Rocky Mountain National Park!

  1. Sledding

Head to Hidden Valley with your rented sled (or bring your own) for a morning of old-fashioned fun!

  1. Snowball fight

You’re never too old to play in the snow around here! Test your snowball making skills or put your teamwork to the test by building a snowman with your travel companions.

  1. Ice climbing

Miss rock climbing from the summer months? Try the winter version with ice climbing! The Kent Mountain Adventure Center offers a wonderful introduction to ice climbing course that’s designed for beginners. Learn the proper crampon techniques and single and multiple ice ax uses before actually getting out on some vertical ice!

  1. Sip and savor

After your adventures outside, head indoors for some apres-ski drinks and snacks! Some of our favorites include Rock Cut Brewing for great Colorado beer, Elkins Whisky if you want a bit more kick to your drink, or popping over next door to Via Bicycle Café for a caffeine kick with their fresh-roasted coffee.

  1. Sleigh ride

Go dashing through the snow with a horse-drawn sleigh ride with Dao House. From campfire rides to romantic rides complete with champagne or hot chocolate, it’s an experience and a view you won’t soon forget!

  1. Spa day

Another romantic date activity for your Estes Park getaway is to head into the spa for couples’ treatments or specialty service. Plan your spa day near the end of your trip to work out those tired muscles from all of your snowshoeing and go home relaxed and refreshed.

  1. Shopping

We hope Santa brings you everything on your wish list this year, but if he was a bit forgetful or you just want to take home a unique souvenir there’s plenty of opportunity for a shopping excursion along the Riverwalk in downtown Estes Park!

Check out our blog on unique Estes Park gifts for everyone on your holiday list for more shopping information!

  1. Scenic drive

Another option for seeing a lot of the park without leaving the heat is to take a scenic drive through it! Unfortunately, Trail Ridge Road is closed this time of year due to the snow and dangerous conditions, but you can still reach the Many Park’s Curve overlook for fantastic wintry views! Other popular winter drives include Bear Lake Road, Fall River Road to the Alluvial Fan (where you can take a short walk to see a frozen waterfall), and Devil’s Gulch to Dry Gulch Road.


Winter wildlife viewing

While Estes Park might be known for its wildlife viewing opportunities in the summer and fall, winter is also a good time to catch a glimpse of our local fauna – without the crowds. Grab your camera and see everything from moose and elk to a variety of birds during Estes Park in the winter.

Read here for tips on winter wildlife viewing.

Warm up from the inside out

One of the best ways to stay warm this winter is to visit one of Estes Park’s distilleries. Estes Park has quickly become Colorado’s whiskey destination, with independent distilleries like Dancing Pines Distillery and Elkins Distilling Co.

Read here for our tips on tasting Estes Park spirits.

Also be sure to mark your calendars for the Whiskey Warm Up, in March for a weekend of tastings from over 20 distilleries, a souvenir tasting glass, and live music. To learn about other events happening in Estes Park be sure to visit our events page.

Stay at Rocky Mountain Resorts

To enjoy the best of Estes Park this winter book your stay at Rocky Mountain Resorts. With our comfortable and affordable rentals, ranging from cozy cabins to larger vacation rentals, we have accommodations to fit your traveling needs. We want to make sure you have the opportunity and budget to try all of these wonderful wintertime activities in Estes Park, so be sure to visit our specials page before making your booking for exclusive savings at Rocky Mountain Resorts!

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