Few areas can boast such breathtaking scenery as the Estes Valley and Rocky Mountain National Park in the fall. The aspen trees have exploded in color and the wildlife is abundant and readily found. To take in the splendor of the mountains there are three quite beautiful scenic routes to plan, each with something very different to offer.
There are many little roads that wrap around the village and the outlying valley, any of them are fun to explore, but there are three beauties that shouldn’t be missed. The first is the Fall River Road Scenic Drive.
This is an easy half day trip; take US 34 west into the Park’s entrance to Fall River Road. Built in 1920, you’ll see evidence of glaciers, cold pools and waterfalls, forests of bold color and vast mountain views.
Then there’s the Trail Ridge Road which is the highest paved road in the United States, and connects Estes Park to charming Grand Lake on the back side. Now is your last chance to enjoy this drive as it is only open until the first of the heavy snowfalls arrive, somewhere around late October to mid-November.
The route climbs from about 7,800 feet elevation at the Park headquarters to higher than 12,000 feet at the summit. The alpine tundra is a fragile environment with plants and animals who have uniquely adapted to the highest elevations. Set aside four to six hours for this drive, and take your time on the way up to absorb the truly epic views.
In contrast to the sweeping views of the two scenic routes listed above is the intimate winding mountain road that leads to a hidden hamlet in the woods, Glen Haven. Just under a half day trip, Glen Haven is nestled between sheer mountain walls and the North Fork rushing river, with picnic tables tucked here and there for a leisurely lunch under the pines. This is where you could be lucky and spot Bighorn Sheep climbing the rocks next to the road.
Reserve your comfortable room now and allow our friendly staff to get you off on the right track!