From hiking to whitewater rafting, Estes Park is packed with activities to keep you active this summer! Check out our outdoor activities in Estes Park or up in Rocky Mountain National Park along with some insider tips to maximize the fun!
Rev up the fun and take in the thrilling views on an ATV or motorcycle ride! There are plenty of trails surround Estes Park that are suitable for beginners and advanced riders, as well as rental shops for all of your equipment.
Local tip: Check with the rental shop about guided excursions so you don’t have to worry about transport to and from the trailheads!
Biking is a great way to explore Rocky Mountain National Park’s Old Fall River Road or paved terrain. Whether you want to bring your own or test out the latest gear from a rental shop, you won’t want to miss biking or mountain biking during your next Estes Park vacation.
For families with little ones not ready to take on the hills in the park or those riders looking for a leisurely summer ride, check out the Lake Estes Trail which is an easy loop around the lake for a fun ride with stunning views.
Local tip: Visit Via Bicycle Café for a great cup of coffee from some regular local riders. Ask for their input on the best trail conditions!
Easily one of the most popular activities in Rocky Mountain National Park and made easy with an array of hiking trails, ranging from easy to difficult. You could spend a whole week just hiking the trails in Rocky Mountain National Park (and stopping every once in a while to snap a gorgeous photo).
Just keep in mind that it may be sunny and warm down in the town, up in the mountains the weather can change rapidly so plan ahead by dressing in layers that you can take off as you warm up and by bringing plenty of sun protection. You’ll also want to carry a lot of water with you to stay hydrated, especially for our guests still adjusting to the altitude change.
Local tip: Start early to avoid storms in the high country, and utilize Rocky Mountain National Park’s great free shuttle system to avoid traffic jams in the park!
Enjoy Estes Park’s Old West heritage and spirit with a horseback riding adventure in Estes Park. Take it nice and slow through the meadows or canter along the trails overlooking the various mountain ranges. Many rides are easily an hour and a half to four hours, depending on your ability and how much you value the feeling in your legs.
Local tip: Some outfitters even offer dinner rides, which are a great way to get that Colorado rustic experience!
Treasures wait buried for you to find on a geocaching adventure in Rocky Mountain National Park. Help us celebrate the National Park Service’s Centennial by taking a GeoTour and participating in the treasure hunt. Geocaching is very family-friendly and designed to be fun for children and adults.
Local tip: Pick up your map and any coins you earn at the Estes Park Visitor Center, located at 500 Big Thompson Avenue right in downtown Estes.
Kayak and canoe
If images of water and lakes conjure up fun memories of summer, then head on out to Lake Estes and enjoy some water-based activities at the Lake Estes Marina. Paddle your way around the lake or pump those legs in your 10-person pontoon boat. The Marina store also sells fishing licenses and supplies if fishing is more your style for on the water fun.
Local tip: Interested in a workout on the lake? Stand up paddleboarding (SUP) is a new offering at the Marina! Catch some rays and those picturesque mountain views all while building muscle in your arms and shoulders!
Enjoy outdoor sports, like baseball or tennis at our local parks in Estes Park. Stanley Park has a handful of ball fields, an outdoor basketball court, sand volleyball, a playground, and dog park. Stanley Park is right off Lake Estes at the juncture of Hwy 36 and Community Drive.
Local tip: Visit the Recreation District’s website to see the schedule of summer leagues and other available activities.
Scale the rocks with the great workout of rock climbing! Though if you’re still in the beginner stages, there is the EPIC Climbing Gym with an indoor wall space to practice on. There are also several shops and guides that offer rock climbing lessons and expert-led trips. Rock climbing can be challenging but is also a lot of fun after you’ve mastered the basics.
Local tip: Want to take it a step further? One outfitter, Kent Mountain Adventure Center, even offers cliff camping – which is exactly what it sounds like. If you’re scared of heights, maybe pass on this one!
OK, technically this one is a little outside of Estes Park but always a popular and fun activity for our guests and Colorado visitors. Some of the local tour companies even provide the transportation from Estes Park out to the roaring river, so you just have to show up in town for the fun! Trips are broken out into half-day, full-day, and multi-day. Many of the half-day trips are family-friendly and every outfitter provides the proper safety gear and training before you launch into the river.
Local tip: Go early in the season for the best whitewater! Or, if you’re looking for a more leisurely float down the river, late July and August will do just fine.
Once you get back into town cool off with refreshments at one of our breweries (perhaps some water too, but we’ll let you be the judge)! Then return to your cabin for a good night’s sleep to prepare for another day of summer fun in the sun.