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Buck Dancer
LSU Fan
New Orleans
Member since Jan 2008
3803 posts

Estes Park During Thanksgiving
Taking the family to Estes Park for Thanksgiving. Looking for recs for things to do nature wise (I know we will be limited here due to time of year) and places to eat. There is a Christmas parade in the downtown area on the Friday after Thanksgiving and are planning on going to that. We will have a rental car.


nctiger71
LSU Fan
North Carolina
Member since Oct 2017
523 posts

re: Estes Park During Thanksgiving
quote:

Taking the family to Estes Park for Thanksgiving. Looking for recs for things to do nature wise (I know we will be limited here due to time of year) and places to eat.


We were there in August, our only time, so I don't about November. But there are many hiking trails on the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park. Go to the Visitor Center near the east entrance to RMNP to get hiking recommendations.

Trail Ridge Road goes across the mountains to Grand Lake and you can call this number to get the updated travel info.
970-586-1222
There is an unpaved road from Estes Park to the Alpine Visitor Center and then you can take the paved road back down the mountain to Estes Park.

These are a couple of places we hiked.
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You can hike around Bear Lake, it is mostly flat and there is a parking lot nearby, or if it is crowded (probably won't be in Nov.) you take a shuttle.

The other lakes are at a higher elevation but the trails are good.

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List of trails posted at the ranger station at Bear Lake.

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Section of the trail from Bear Lake to Nymph Lake.

We also walked around Lilly Lake which is several miles outside of EP; you can drive to it.

We ate lunch/dinner at You Need Pie and Notchtop Bakery & Café that are both in the Stanley Village Shopping Center. It was diner type food; I liked it.

We also got cinnamon rolls at Cinnamon's Bakery. You have to get there early cause they run out, or so I'm told.
This post was edited on 10/8 at 1:05 pm


Jamey21
LSU Fan
Katy, Texas
Member since Jul 2019
86 posts

re: Estes Park During Thanksgiving
I've been several times To Estes Park. We stay at the Windcliff Vacation homes. Every home is high in the mountains and directly across from the Rocky Mountain National Park. I am going for my anniversary on Nov 4th to Nov. 11th.

Me and Wife love to hike, so we will be hiking a lot.

Trail ridge road is the best place to start. While driving up the mountain if you get out to take a good view of a gorgeous spot, chances are if you throw a few peanuts out on the side of the mountain, a bunch of ground squirrels will come out to greet you. They are everywhere.


Buck Dancer
LSU Fan
New Orleans
Member since Jan 2008
3803 posts

re: Estes Park During Thanksgiving
Any shorter hikes you can recommend having three kids aged 11-7 with us for that time of year?

Thanks for the reply


Lsupimp
Colorado Fan
The Mean Streets of ST. GEORGE
Member since Nov 2003
61584 posts

re: Estes Park During Thanksgiving
FYI - average close date on Trail Ridge Road is late October.


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nctiger71
LSU Fan
North Carolina
Member since Oct 2017
523 posts

re: Estes Park During Thanksgiving
quote:

Any shorter hikes you can recommend having three kids aged 11-7 with us for that time of year?

Shorter than a 1/2 mile?

It is ~ 1/2 mile walk around Bear Lake and it is mostly flat.



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LSUfan20005
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2012
5681 posts

re: Estes Park During Thanksgiving
All of the popular lake hikes aren’t really “hikes,” they are nearly impeccable walking paths with benches and rest points.

Bear and Nymph are super easy with kids those ages.

I recommend driving over to the Wild Basin area as well.


Day to Day
LSU Fan
Texas
Member since Jul 2017
25 posts

re: Estes Park During Thanksgiving
Wife and I are going in June. Can someone recommend places to stay? Cabin or house?


Tigris
Montana Fan
Fernando Poo
Member since Jul 2005
9892 posts

re: Estes Park During Thanksgiving
quote:

There is an unpaved road from Estes Park to the Alpine Visitor Center and then you can take the paved road back down the mountain to Estes Park.


It's great but won't be open at Thanksgiving.

A lot of hiking trails are open all winter - cross country skiers keep them packed down. Can be slippery on a warm day but otherwise good for hiking. You may be able to hike out on a frozen lake, depending on how cold November is. Bear - Dream - Nymph - Emerald gets a lot of use, as always.

The hike from Glacier Gorge Junction to Alberta Falls isn't too bad (0.6 miles) and is fairly low elevation and sunny so it may be easier to do. From there to Mills Lake isn't too much climbing and Mills has a very nice view of Longs Peak.



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PrettyBird
LSU Fan
Aspen
Member since Feb 2010
9920 posts

re: Estes Park During Thanksgiving
As several have said, Pikes Peak will be closed, it closed last week for the snow storm.

Bear Lake is an obvious choice for inexperienced hikers with likely not the best clothes/gear. I suggest first going in to one of the local gear shops, they do all sorts of rentals on all gear needed.

Depending on snow... there may be some fun sledding hills around. But after you get there, like mentioned just head to a gear shop and ask the locals for some things to do.


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ElderTiger
LSU Fan
Planet Earth
Member since Dec 2010
4413 posts

re: Estes Park During Thanksgiving
quote:

Wife and I are going in June. Can someone recommend places to stay? Cabin or house?


Last couple of times we were in Estes Park, we stayed at the Silver Moon Inn. Great locally owned motel within walking distance to downtown and convenient to RMNP.
Reserve early.


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