The summer season is winding down in Estes Park. Children and their parents are getting ready for school, lodges are posting vacancy signs and there’s no waiting at your favorite restaurant. This is what it’s like in Estes Park the latter part of August and before the Labor Day weekend.
In short, it’s the perfect time for a visit. Lodges often offer discounts and it’s easier to find a parking spot downtown. (See EstesPark.com’s list of quality lodges.)
Also during this time, you’ll find solitude on the hiking trails in Rocky Mountain National Park as the crowds thin. Take an early morning hike to Mills Lake and watch the sun come over the peaks or take an evening stroll along the trail to Cub Lake and see elk herds grazing in Moraine Park.
Specific Events & Things To Do
If you’re a wine lover don’t miss the Second Annual Estes Park Wine Festival on August 13-14 in Estes Park’s downtown Bond Park. Enjoy tastings from more than 20 Colorado wineries, including Estes Park’s own Snowy Peaks Winery. The two-day festival will feature fresh food, local Colorado vendors and live music. Tickets are $30.
Relax most every week night in August at Performance Park, an outdoor amphitheater that features music for all tastes. Spread out a blanket on the grass, enjoy an adult beverage and listen to jazz, bluegrass, barbershop quartets, big band, and even the occasional movie. Don’t forget the popcorn. Admission is free.
Every Thursday morning for 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. stop by the Farmers Market in Bond Park and buy juicy Colorado peaches, delicious salmon tacos, organic produce, homemade honey and much more. The children can pet the goats!
Soak up a little Estes Park history with a guided Downtown History Walking Tour every Monday and Tuesday morning at 8:30 and 10 a.m. It’s first-come, first-served for the first 12 people. Tickets are only $8. Meet at the Enos Mills sculpture in Bond Park. After the walking tour, enjoy visiting the more than 150 shops in the downtown area that feature unique and often handcrafted merchandise – the kinds of things you won’t find in the shopping malls.
Meet local artisans at the Monday Artisans Market at Riverside Plaza from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Listen to their stories and discover the inspiration behind their work.
Want to explore nature with an expert in Rocky Mountain National Park? The Upper Beaver Meadows Nature Walk is a moderate stroll through open meadows and montane forests. Meet every Monday, Friday and Saturday morning at 9 a.m. at the Upper Beaver Meadow Trailhead. Admission is free. Or, Have Coffee with a Ranger every Tuesday and Wednesday at 8 am at the Moraine Park Amphitheater to discuss challenges facing Rocky Mountain National Park.
Beer tasting is the latest, greatest thing. Recently, Rock Cut Brewery and Lumpy Ridge Brewery have joined the Estes Park Brewery to offer beer aficionados a chance to try new craft beer and socialize with friends. Or, stop by The Barrel, an outdoor beer garden and sample more than 60 craft beers, high-end distilled spirits and wine. On Tuesday evenings from 6-8 p.m. take part in the Geeks Who Drink Trivia contest. It’s great fun.
So slow down, relax, and enjoy the last two weeks in August. It’s a great time to visit Estes Park and the Colorado Rocky Mountains.