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Activities / Colorado Livin' / Family Travel

Estes Park: Top 10 Fall Activities for Families

Fall fun Estes Park

Estes Park, Colorado, is a wonderful destination for fall family fun. Located at the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park offers a wide range of outdoor activities, beautiful fall foliage, and family-friendly attractions.

Also, while you’re enjoying fall in Colorado, be sure to check out these guides Scenic Driving Colorado: Exploring the State’s Most Spectacular Backroads and Ultimate Guide to Fall in Colorado

Estes Park Fall Family Adventures 

Explore Rocky Mountain National Park: Fall is a fantastic time to visit Rocky Mountain National Park, as the park’s landscape transforms into vibrant shades of orange, red, and gold. Take your family on scenic hikes, spot wildlife such as elk and bighorn sheep, and enjoy breathtaking views of the mountains and valleys.

Fall Foliage Drives: Take a scenic drive along the Peak to Peak Highway, Old Fall River Road, Bear Lake Road or Trail Ridge Road within Rocky Mountain National Park to witness the stunning fall foliage. These routes offer panoramic views of the mountains and valleys, along with ample opportunities for photo stops and short hikes.

Wildlife Viewing: Estes Park is home to a diverse range of wildlife. Visit the Estes Park Visitor Center to learn about the best wildlife viewing areas in the region. Keep an eye out for elk, deer, foxes, and various bird species during your explorations. Moraine Park, Bear Lake Road, Devil’s Gulch, and in town around Lake Estes are hot spots for wildlife watching. Know when to go: Animals are more active at dawn or dusk.

Horseback Riding: Enjoy a family horseback riding adventure through the beautiful fall scenery. Several stables in Estes Park offer guided trail rides suitable for all ages and skill levels. It’s a fantastic way to immerse yourself in nature and experience the Rockies from a different perspective.

Pumpkin Patches and Corn Mazes: Fall wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a pumpkin patch or corn maze. There are several farms and ranches near Estes Park that offer these fun activities during the autumn season. Pick your pumpkins, navigate through corn mazes, and enjoy other family-friendly attractions like hayrides and petting zoos. Don’t miss the Pumpkins and Pilsners fall festival with pumpkins and entertainment early October. 

Fishing: Estes Park is known for its excellent fishing opportunities. Spend a day casting a line in one of the many lakes and rivers in the area. You can try your luck at catching trout or enjoy a peaceful day of catch-and-release fishing with your family. Favorite spots include The Loch, Glacier Creek, Mills Lake, Dream Lake and Sprague Lake. 

Estes Park Aerial Tramway: Take a ride on the Estes Park Aerial Tramway for a unique bird’s-eye view of the town and surrounding mountains. The tramway offers stunning views of the fall foliage, and kids will love the adventure of riding in a cable car suspended high above the ground.

Explore Downtown Estes Park: Stroll through the charming downtown area of Estes Park, where you’ll find a variety of shops, galleries, and restaurants. Treat your family to some homemade fudge, browse for unique souvenirs, or enjoy a meal at one of the local eateries. Stop at the Munchin House for locally handcrafted ice cream and fudge. 

Matthews-Reeser Bird Sanctuary. Come fall, migratory waterfowl descend into the Lake Estes area again. The Matthews-Reeser Bird Sanctuary located along the lake’s south side bustles with comings and goings, making it a good spot to see mallards, teal, coot, mergansers, redheads, widgeon, swans, gulls, Canadian geese and the occasional pelican.

Fall Festivals. Estes Park has so many fall festivals that include the Longs Peak Scottish irish Highland Festival, the Autumn Gold Festival, Elk Fest, Pumpkins and Pilsners, and the Rocky Mountain Craft Spirits Festival.

Fall Fun

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Top 20 places to see fall foliage in Colorado (divided up by time of year and elevation!)

Guide to Colorado’s Best Fall Drives, Hikes and Leaf Peeping

Colorado travel: 5 scenic byways for fall colors

Fall Colors: Five Colorado towns that glow gold

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Mile High Mamas
Author: Mile High Mamas

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