What to do in Estes Park

With its crystal lakes and bountiful land, the area we now call Estes Park was originally home to thriving Native American tribes. Records of this land date back to the early 1800's when trappers first ventured across the mountains and into the breathtaking valley. Though trappers came and went throughout the years, around 1860 a rancher named Joel Estes was the first to settle in the area and make it his home. By the late 1800's, Estes Park was attracting travelers from all over who were searching for a place where they could hunt, trap, and fish. Estes Park was also becoming a popular destination for tourists. By the time President Woodrow Wilson signed the Rocky Mountain National Park Act in 1915, Estes Park and the surrounding areas were attracting tourists from all over the world.

Today, Estes Park, Colorado remains one of the country’s top vacation destinations. Guests enjoy a wide variety of activities, including snowshoeing, downhill skiing, and sledding in the winter, while the warmer months offer plenty of opportunities for fishing, hiking, and exploring! Want to learn more about Estes Park history while you’re in town? Explore our historic downtown where you’ll find Native American museums and shops, as well as the famous Park Theater – the oldest operating movie theater in the United States!

F.O Stanley arrived in Estes in 1903 and began building The Stanley Hotel in 1906 it is now a staple of Estes Park, Colorado. Not only are we located just moments from Rocky Mountain National Park, but the hotel itself offers historical experiences you won’t find anywhere else. From haunted tours to our breathtaking sculpture garden, The Stanley Hotel is the perfect place to begin your Estes Park adventure.