Estes Park

The sign on Highway 36 welcomes visitors to Estes Park.

A century ago the small village of Estes Park had dirt streets and board sidewalks. Livery stables lined Elkhorn Avenue. The Stanley Hotel was painted a mustard yellow and Stanley Steamer Mountain Wagons brought visitors up the narrow canyon roads. Only 117,000 people visited Rocky Mountain National Park. On April 17, 1917, the 317 year-round

An elk on Trail Ridge Road looks out over Rocky Mountain National Park with Longs Peak in the distance.

Enos Mills imagined a national park that stretched from the Wyoming border to Mount Evans west of Denver. With the financial support of Estes Park resident F.O. Stanley, a tireless Mills lectured across the country and lobbied Congress. After a six-year fight, President Woodrow Wilson signed the bill on January 26, 1915 that established Rocky