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fall-color

Photo Credit: © 2019 James Frank

When to Come

Every Season, Every Reason, Always Estes!

Summer is the prime season for Estes Park!

Native Americans discovered this valley ten thousand years ago and spent summers here to enjoy the wonderful wildlife and weather.

This summer migration continues today in the form of summer vacationers visiting Rocky Mountain National Park, one of the top five visited National Parks in America.

The mountain weather is practically perfect, with daily average temperatures in the 70’s, and cool mountain nights for comfortable sleeping.  Afternoon thundershowers spring up over the peaks, but the Estes skies are predominantly sunny.

There is not a single month of the year which is historically snow-free. On the other hand, there is not a single month in which we do not have picnic lunches on sunny decks!

What to wear at this time of year? Layers, layers, layers.  Sunny days, you’ll be in short sleeve shirts. Mornings and evenings outdoors, you’ll add a sweatshirt or light jacket. For trips into the National Park forget the sandals, take a sweatshirt, jacket, windbreaker.  A cap and sunglasses are good too.

Come and join us for the perfect summer holiday in the mountains!

Fall is absolutely wonderful!  It’s becoming known as a favorite time to visit Rocky Mountain National Park.

The aspen leaves turn golden, the elk bugle in the meadows (and golf courses), the bighorn sheep butt heads on the mountain slopes, the sky is bright blue, the air is crisp and fall festivals are found around town.

The kids are back in school and the summer crowds have thinned.   Wildlife viewing is all around.

Fall brings clear blue skies and crisp air punctuated with occasional snows.  Aspen start turning in late August at higher elevations and the golden leaves work their way down to lower elevations in October.

The peak of the gold rush in our mountains is usually in late September. Daylight and elevation set the timing of the color season. Rain, snow, cold and wind affect the intensity of color.

The elk rut runs from mid-September to mid-October, although some bugles may be heard in late August and late October.

Bighorn sheep stage their head-butting contests in October and November.

Average daily temperatures range from mid-70’s in August to mid-50’s in October.  The weather can vary a lot!

Elk watchers may want a coat, hat, and gloves for dusk and evening elk bugle concerts.

Holidays are festive in Estes!

Families give Mom a break from cooking with a Thanksgiving feast at a local restaurant, then stay for the weekend to enjoy the magical lights of the Catch the Glow parade through town on the day after Thanksgiving.

Estes Park features Christmas shopping specials and New Year’s celebrations.

Average daily highs in November are in the mid-50’s and high 40’s in December, with freezes at night.

Remember that if you hear about “snow in the high country,” Estes Park is often in blue skies and sunny weather when the west corridor of I-70 may be getting a large snowstorm, so always call to check on the latest conditions or view our live webcam or weather page for up-to-date information.

Winter is a prime wildlife watching season with tracks visible in the snow.  Many animals move to the lower elevation of town for winter food. Elk like the golf course. Deer, the bushes in Estes backyards.

Come to Estes in winter to experience memorable winter activities.  Enjoy snowshoeing, skiing, sledding, winter hiking, birding, quiet evenings by a fire, blue skies, sunshine and quiet.

For an unforgettable experience, join a Ranger for a Full Moon Walk on snowshoes!

Winter days are usually sunny. Our biggest snow months are March and April.  Average daily high temperatures are in the 30’s December through February, and in the 40’s in March.

Higher elevations in Rocky Mountain National Park get more snow and are colder. The Park is open all year but Trail Ridge Road over the continental divide closes for winter.  The Grand Lake side of the Park gets more snowfall than Estes Park, and Grand Lake is known for its snowmobiling and cross-country skiing.

Spring brings our biggest snows, mild temperatures, wildflowers, new fawns, elk calves, bighorn lambs.

Runoff fills the rivers, bull elk and buck deer drop their antlers, and new green grass brings big horn sheep  to graze next to the roadsides.  It’s a time of renewal!

Spring vacationers in March enjoy downhill skiing, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, horseback riding, hiking.

It’s a beautiful time of the year with average daily high temperatures in the 50’s in April and May.

March and April are our biggest snow months. Not the cold winter snows but the big, wet spring snow.

Sunny days, you could be in shirt sleeves, sweatshirt or jacket. Snow boots could come in handy, especially in March and April. A warm coat will be good for evenings. Rain gear or a simple poncho will help you enjoy afternoon showers in May and June.