This past week Colorado got a lot of snow in a 24-hour time-period - Allenspark received just over 20 inches of snow, and Estes Park received just under 15 inches of snow!! If you're looking for a fun family outing in the snow, you can head up to Rocky Mountain National Park to the Hidden Valley area for some slip sliding fun in the snow!
*Pictures taken January 22, 2016, prior to the snow storm*
Parents and kids, get ready to have a fun trip down the mountain, as the sledding slopes at Hidden Valley are awesome. It was formerly a ski area that operated from 1955 to 1991, so the hills are perfect. The sledding hill is located on the 'bunny slope' of the former ski area, but if your kids want to, they can work up some good speed!! Get out your sleds, tubes, or saucers and head on up! You have to bring your own, so if you don't have your own, you can rent some from most of the outdoor shops in town. Plus, on weekends when there is an attendant, a warming room is available for those who need it, as well as a restroom with flush/running water.
You might also find skiiers, snowboarders and snowshoers on the different runs, however they must slow down to yield the right-of-way to sledders. There can be lots of wind in the area, so be sure to call the RMNP information office for the latest conditions at 970-586-1206.
Estes Park is one of the most beautiful places in the US to run - runners get to see the beauty of Rocky Mountain National Park as they race anywhere from the shorter distances, to 5Ks, 10Ks, Half Marathons, or Marathons! It is also the location of the highest paved marathon route in the US with an average elevation of 7,785 feet above sea level. Breathing the fresh mountain air and smelling the pine trees as you run is just one of the benefits of racing on these high-altitude courses!
*picture provided by the Estes Park Marathon & Half Marathon races
Throughout the year beginning in January and ending in December, you can participate in several different races ... And even the kids and dogs can join in for some of them! In addition, to help you train, the Estes Park Running Club sponsors a free 5K weekly community run every Tuesday evening, starting at the Stanley Hotel. Warm up and registration is at 5:30 pm, and the run begins at 6 pm. The Estes Park Running Club is a non-profit, 501c(4) organization which provides fundraising for local youth programs.
- January 24th is the Frost Giant 5K & 10K is organized by the Estes Valley Recreation and Park District website. It is a fundraiser for their youth programs.
- May 7th is the Duck Waddle 5K. This 5K race is part of the Duck Race Festival, which is a fundraiser for local non-profit organizations in the area. The Estes Park Running Club organizes the foot race and is one of the non-profit organizations that will be a benefactor for the Duck Race.
- June 11th is the Elkhorn Dash Fun Run - a one miler. This is a pre-race for the Estes Park Marathon and Half Marathon weekend. This one-miler is a sprint down main street, Elkhorn Avenue. All abilities and friendly dogs are welcome!
- June 18-19th is the 13th annual Estes Park Marathon & Half Marathon, recommended by RUNNER'S WORLD magazine as a must do! Saturday is the KIDS, KIDS, KIDS: RUN, BIKE, FUN! festival at Bond Park. On the Sunday, the 19th, is a race distance for the entire family - 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Full Marathon, or 5-person Marathon Relay (fundraiser for American Cancer Society). Courses follow boundary line of Rocky Mountain National Park and voted most scenic by Colorado Runner. Organized by the Estes Park Running Club.
- July 30th is the Rocky Mountain Half Marathon. On Saturday, the 29th, there will be a 5K race after the expo. This race is organized by Vacation Races. For more information and to register, go to the Rocky Mountain Half Marathon website. The course does not go into RMNP. It closely mimics the established Estes Park Half Marathon course, instead.
- September 4th (Labor Day Weekend) is the Fall Classic Marathon which is a marathon that starts at the Estes Park Visitor Center and ends at the Fountains in Loveland. There is also a half marathon which goes from Estes Park to Drake. There is also a 10K, however it does not start in Estes Park. For more information and to register, go the the Loveland Marathon website.
- September 24th is the Running of the Bulls, a 3.75 mile run/walk around Lake Estes. The proceeds benefit Partners Mentoring Youth. This race is a dog-friendly, stroller-friendly race and they also offer a FREE one-mile kids' fun run. Registration will open in July.
- September 28th - October 1st is the Annual Estes Park Trail Ascent Trail Running Conference which culminates on October 2nd with the Estes Trail Ascent Race. The race distance is just under 6 miles and has an elevation gain of 1,877' over that distance (it starts at 8,500' and the highest point of the race is at 9,085'). For more information and to register go to the Estes Park Marathon page.
- October 1st is the Rut Run 5K. It is a fun and scenic race that features the fall season in Estes Park, CO. Organized by the Estes Park Running Club.
- November 24th is the Turkey Trot 5K Run/Walk. This will be the YMCA's 9th annual Turkey Trot. They accept a free will donation which will support their summer day camp scholarship program. Dogs are welcome but must be on a six-foot leash at all times.
- December 10th is the Dasher 5K Fun Run. Get out your best holiday outfit and come out for some fun! If the kids can't do the 5K, prior to the 5K there is a 400 meter dash just for them! This race is organized by the Estes Park Running Club.
*picture provided by Estes Park Marathon & Half Marathon Races