Estes Park is a wonderful place to visit for family vacations. With the outdoors practically at your doorstep and a vibrant downtown with plenty of kids’ activities, the entire family will be easily entertained. But there is a lot that goes into planning your Estes Park family vacation. To help, we have gathered some useful tips to consider when planning your getaway to Estes Park.
Before you arrive…
Consider altitude sickness
If you are visiting from a place with little to no elevation gain, coming to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park can take some time to adjust. Estes Park sits at 7,522 feet in elevation, while RMNP sits at varying elevations, reaching the highest at 14,259 feet. Tips for dealing with higher elevation include drinking a lot of water, eating more carbs than normal for energy, take it easy, and if hiking climb at a slower pace to acclimate to the change in elevation.
When deciding when to visit for your Estes Park family vacation, consider the seasons. Depending on what activities you want to enjoy during your vacation, choosing the right season is important. Winters are cold and less crowded with activities including sledding, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing – with plenty of indoor activities as well. Summers are warmer and a great time to explore Rocky Mountain National Park with hiking and wildlife viewing. Spring is warmer but can still bring a lot of snow, while falls are cooler than summer and bring about beautiful fall foliage and Elk Fest.
For more on things to do in Estes Park visit our activities page.
Once you are here…
Getting around Estes Park
To explore Rocky Mountain National Park, a car is necessary but getting around Estes Park is easily done without a car. Estes Park offers a free shuttle system with five different routes that pick up and drop off at popular attractions like the Estes Park Visitor Center and The Stanley.
Stop in at the Estes Park Visitor Center
Located at 500 Big Thompson Avenue, start your Estes Park family vacation by stopping in at the Estes Park Visitor Center. They offer information about Estes Park and surrounding areas, along with information regarding Rocky Mountain National Park.
Explore the town of Estes Park
The town of Estes Park offers plenty of activities and fun things to do for the entire family. From the YMCA of the Rockies to local museums, there is plenty to fill your days. To discover more about what to do in Estes Park, use our Estes Park family vacation guide.
Explore Rocky Mountain National Park
As mentioned, the best and only way to explore Rocky Mountain National Park is by car. With 415 square miles of adventure that lay before you, there is plenty to see and discover. One of the most popular scenic drives through the park is the famous Trail Ridge Road, the highest continuous paved highway in North America, for incredible alpine views. Be sure to take advantage of the plentiful scenic turnouts for incredible mountain views.
For the entire family, the park offers junior ranger-guided hikes and programs within the park that highlight educational facts about Rocky Mountain National Park.
Read here for more scenic drives in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Stay at Rocky Mountain Resorts
Complete your Estes Park Family vacation with a stay at Rocky Mountain Resorts. Whether you come with a family of four or a large family, we have accommodations to suit all your needs. From cozy cabins to larger family-style vacation home rentals, we offer a variety of Estes Park rentals for your family vacation. Plus, with our proximity to downtown Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park, a stay with us makes it easy to explore all there is to do in the area. So, browse our accommodations and start planning your family vacation with Rocky Mountain Resorts.