Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, CO
If You Go...
in Estes Park,
Rocky Mountains National Park. Off US Hwy 34, Estes Park, CO, 970-586-1206, www.nps.gov/romo. Entrance fees: $10/vehicle, $5/pedestrian or cyclist, good for 7 consecutive days.
Trail Ridge Road, copyright NPS/RMNP
Lodging: For campground reservations call 800-365-CAMP, http://reservations.nps.gov. For a complete listing of lodging in Estes Park, www.estes-park.com.
Contact: Estes Chamber Resort Association Visitor Center, 500 Big Thompson Ave. (US 34), Estes Park, CO, 800-443-7837; Estes On-Line (lodging information), http://www.estes.on-line.com/rmnp.
If you're headed to Rocky Mountain National Park from Denver, stop in Boulder on the way there or back. Just 45 minutes southeast of the park, this beautiful college town (University of Colorado is located here) is a great place to have lunch, people watch, or window shop on the Pearl Street Mall. There are also several wonderful family attractions:
- The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse, 1770 13th St., 303-442-4993. Have lunch or dinner at this beautiful teahouse. Handcrafted by more than 40 Tajik artisans, this unique establishment is a swirl of vibrant colors, patterns and furnishings.
- Collage Children's Museum, 2065 30th St., 303-440-9894. Perfect for ages 9 months to 9 years. Some permanent exhibits include Marvelous Magnets, Face Painting, and Animation: How Movies Move. Admission: $3.50 2 and over, $2.50 age 1, children under 1 free. Open Wednesday through Saturday.
- National Center for Atmospheric Research, 1850 Table Mesa Dr., 303-497-1000. Your future meteorologists will learn about weather phenomena, storms, climate, and the sun. Parts of Woody Allen's movie "Sleeper" were filmed at NCAR.
- Boulder Reservoir, 5100 North 51st St., 303-441-3456. This is where locals and visitors come for boating, swimming or sunbathing. Admission: $5.00 adults, $2.50 seniors and children. Call ahead to reserve boats and equipment.
Boulder Chamber of Commerce, 303-442-1044, www.boulderchamber.com; Boulder Convention & Visitors Bureau, 303-442-2911, www.bouldercoloradousa.com.The INSIDE Scoop
Favorite local spots:
Lazy B Ranch, 1915 Dry Gulch Road, Estes Park, 800-228-2116 or 970-586-5371 (reservations). Kids will love the live stage show and chuckwagon supper. Open spring through fall only.
Mountain Home Cafe, 457 E. Wonderview, 970-586-6624. Stop here for breakfast served all day long. Specialties include french banana pancakes and Arizona hashbrowns.
Penelope's World Famous Burgers & Fries, 229 W. Elkhorn Ave., 970-586-2277. Voted the "best burger in Estes Park" by locals, Penelope's features 13 different kinds of grilled sandwiches, old-fashioned malts and flavored sodas.
Best souvenirs: Rocky Mountains National Park Game, a trivia game about the Rockys featuring trails and attractions, as well as animal-shaped game pieces. Price: $15.95.
Annual events: For more information, visit www.estes.on-line.com/rmnp.
- Rooftop Rodeos, Estes Park, June 2001. Enjoy a live rodeo show and parade at 7,000 feet.
- Estes Park Jaycees Annual 4th of July Shoot-Out, Estes Park, July 4, 2001. Fun and games for the entire family, as well as a spectacular fireworks display.
Traffic alert: Spring and summer are peak season; so expect crowds and heavy congestion on roads. Take the free shuttle bus, which runs along Bear Lake Road and stops at most attractions and trailheads.