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Photo Credit: James Frank

The Fall Fab Five: Top 5 Reasons to Visit Estes Park in the Fall

There are no bad times to visit Estes Park, but here are the top five reasons we think fall is a pretty fabulous time to come!

Reason #1 to visit Estes Park in the Fall

Elk Rut

Every year mid-month from September to October the town’s most famous residents begin their ritual mating season and it’s quite a sight to behold! You don’t even need to go far, as often the elk will wander right through the streets of town. The best spots for watching the elk rut are in the lower meadows of RMNP: Moraine Park, Beaver Meadow, and Horseshoe Park. You’ll likely get to see – and hear – a bull elk bugling to attract and keep a herd of females as his own. Sometimes he will spar with a competing bull – an exciting and impressive thing to witness!

Reason #2 to visit Estes Park in the Fall

Autumn Gold

The best recipe for beautiful fall color is cool nights and warm, sunny days leading up to the season. If we get lucky and avoid an early snow, this year is on track to be a stunner! Typically fall colors peak between the third week in September and mid-October. Come up to Estes Park for a weekend of nature’s splendor!

Reason #3 to visit Estes Park in the Fall

Epic Drives

You can take in the colors on these beautiful stretches:

Reason #4 to visit Estes Park in the Fall

Fun Festivals

The crowds are smaller, but the calendar is full of fun reasons to visit!

    • Scottish Highlands Festival – Celebrate your heritage – or just come for the bagpipes and kilts – in Estes Park: America’s Celtic Capital! Sept 9 –11
    • Autumn Gold Festival – Bands, Brats, and Beer! Sept 24 & 25
    • Elk Fest – Come for Native American storytelling, music, kids games, food, drinks AND the Elk Rut! Oct 1 & 2

Reason #5 to visit Estes Park in the Fall

Wildlife Watching

Elk aren’t the only attraction in fall! RMNP has 65 other mammal species and over 260 bird species, and the cooler fall weather often means they are active! If you want a wildlife guide, consider Yellow Wood Guiding for a private Nature Photography Tour or personally guided Wildlife Driving Tour through the park! The Rocky Mountain Conservancy is also offering educational experiences from hikes to bus tours.

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