We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Visiting 10-25-10-29 please advise have a tight schedule

Level Contributor
33 posts
8 reviews
Visiting 10-25-10-29 please advise have a tight schedule

I posted in estes Park forum as well.. wanted to get some feedback as most of the trip is for a medical conference but I will have a few opportunities to sight see. I have Friday open till 6pm when I need to be back in Denver or all day Sunday. Which would you suggest I check out Estes Park? Is it still advisable to avoid weekends this late in the season? I’d like to drive the peak to peak and get in a short hike or two in RMNP. Should I stil try to get it all in on Friday or is it pretty reasonable to say sundays won’t be too busy end of October?

Thanks so much!

Special Offer
Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour from Las...
617 Reviews
from US$ 369.99*
US$ 479.00
Special Offer
Grand Canyon West Rim Luxury...
378 Reviews
from US$ 299.99*
US$ 399.00
Special Offer
Las Vegas Tour: Grand Canyon...
130 Reviews
from US$ 473.99*
US$ 499.00
6 replies to this topic
Windsor, Colorado
Destination Expert
for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
Level Contributor
12,964 posts
136 reviews
1. Re: Visiting 10-25-10-29 please advise have a tight schedule

Kelly C, I saw your post on the Estes Park Forum. I just have not had time to get to it. Most of the other people who post regularly on the forum are not going to answer your question because they know I most likely will. Since it appears you are lodging only in Denver and your trip is not for another month, I felt answering questions from other people with trips planned sooner than yours were more of a priority.

To make sure I understand, are you able to spend the night in Estes Park during this trip or I am correct in assuming you will be making a daytrip to and from Denver?

Level Contributor
33 posts
8 reviews
2. Re: Visiting 10-25-10-29 please advise have a tight schedule

Yes all nights will be in Denver. Friday need to be in Denver by 6. Sunday no time restraints.

Windsor, Colorado
Destination Expert
for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
Level Contributor
12,964 posts
136 reviews
3. Re: Visiting 10-25-10-29 please advise have a tight schedule

If the weather is good, RMNP will still be busy over the weekend, but I would not call it crowded in comparison to times when it is crowded. Here is the catch, the RMNP shuttles will not be running. The shuttles cease operations after October 8. Rangers have extended shuttle service for 2 additional weekends in the past because they were needed, but that still would not extend the shuttles to your date of Sunday, October 28. The #1 favorite short hike in RMNP is Bear Lake to Dream Lake. You can go on to Emerald Lake if you have time and that part of the trail is not icy. To find parking at the Bear Lake Trailhead on that Sunday, you would either need to plan to be at Bear Lake by 9 am or do other things in RMNP and wait for parking at Bear Lake to open up in the early afternoon. I would choose to go on Sunday and plan to be at Bear Lake in the early afternoon after parking has opened up.

Drive from Denver through Clear Creek Canyon and along the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway to Estes Park. In addtion to overlooks and Chapel on the Rock, if you can find parking at the RMNP Wild Basin Trailhead, take the short walk to Copeland Falls. At RMNP Lily Lake, take the Lily Ridge Trail along with part of the lake.

https://goo.gl/maps/gyWDLmaDdLm

rockymountainhikingtrails.com/copeland-falls…

https:/…lilyLakeTrails.php

It is possible but not likely that Wild Basin Road could be closed beyond the winter parking. If that happens, skip Copeland Falls.

Grab something to eat in Estes Park or a picnic lunch to take with you. From Estes Park, make this scenic drive through RMNP which is open year round.

https://goo.gl/maps/NysutruJhoM2

Stop at the Alluvial Fan for the short walk to Horseshoe Falls. Make the loop around Sprague Lake (or just walk to the left partway for the view from the pier) and then head to the Bear Lake Trailhead.

https:/…

rockymountainhikingtrails.com/sprague-lake.h…

rockymountainhikingtrails.com/bear-lake-natu…

rockymountainhikingtrails.com/dream-lake.htm

From Estes Park, take the quickest route back to Denver. Watch for wildlife on the roads at dusk and after dark.

https://goo.gl/maps/sbRUAkPeWPD2

Sunrise and sunset times are 7:30 am to 6 pm. I would be on the road by 7:30 am.

Level Contributor
33 posts
8 reviews
4. Re: Visiting 10-25-10-29 please advise have a tight schedule

Thank you so much for your advice. As long as we have a car we are ok without a shuttle correct?

Thanks again, this will be a first visit and want to squeeze as much in as possible.

Windsor, Colorado
Destination Expert
for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
Level Contributor
12,964 posts
136 reviews
5. Re: Visiting 10-25-10-29 please advise have a tight schedule

As I explained in the first paragraph, because the shuttles are not running, you may or may not find parking at the Bear Lake Trailhead. If the Bear Lake Trailhead parking is full, RMNP rangers will not usually permit you to make loops through the lot in your car looking for a space to park. That is why I suggested you go to the Bear Lake Trailhead in the early afternoon after parking has hopefully opened up. You should not have any issues finding parking at all the many overlooks (you will see them) and the other short trails I have suggested.

I will mention that in addition to the route I mapped for you, Trail Ridge Road (highway 34) will be open to Many Parks Curve weather permitting. If you are running short on time, I would spend the time along Bear Lake Road as opposed to driving to Many Parks Curve and back.

Edited: 22 September 2018, 19:29
Level Contributor
33 posts
8 reviews
6. Re: Visiting 10-25-10-29 please advise have a tight schedule

Thank you

Reply to: Visiting 10-25-10-29 please advise have a tight schedule
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted