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Estes Park and Surrounds

Elgin, Illinois
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6 posts
21 reviews
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Estes Park and Surrounds

We are looking forward to our return trip to Estes Park. Could you offer suggestions for seeing both natural and interesting sights outside the park? We will travel with our elderly mom, so scenic drives and less strenuous walks/places of interest would be best!! Thanks in advance!!

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Estes Park
Estes Park
Colorado
Ohio
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34 posts
11 reviews
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1. Re: Estes Park and Surrounds

Highway 7, or as it's called Peak to Peak Highway, is a lovely drive. It is a much easier drive than Trail Ridge Road.

It starts at Estes Park and heads south, there are many interesting mountains and lakes, things that you could see from the car, or only have to walk a little bit. Check out Longs Peak and Lily Lake.

You can turn around at any point and come back.

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Trail Ridge Road
Trail Ridge Road
2,973 Reviews
Rocky Mountain National Park, CO
Estes Park
Estes Park
Colorado
Longs Peak
Longs Peak
54 Reviews
Rocky Mountain National Park, CO
Lily Lake
Lily Lake
294 Reviews
Rocky Mountain National Park, CO
2. Re: Estes Park and Surrounds

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Removed on: 26 April 2017, 15:35
Windsor, Colorado
Destination Expert
for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
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12,036 posts
135 reviews
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3. Re: Estes Park and Surrounds

It would help to know when you are planning this trip and if you will be driving or flying into Denver. The Peak to Peak Scenic Byway is more scenic if you travel south to north and it includes more than just part of highway 7. We often suggest that people drive the Peak to Peak on their way to Estes Park from DIA or Denver for this reason. If coming from DIA, here is the route.

https://goo.gl/maps/7eF9a5Uw6Ym

Is there a reason you want scenic drives outside of Rocky Mountain National Park? If you are concerned about the altitude, has your mother's doctor advised her to stay below a certain elevation? My mother had to avoid being over around 10,000 ft. for very long and RMNP was one of her favorite places to visit because there were still many areas she could enjoy.

Assuming your visit is over or after Memorial Day weekend, highway 34 through Big Thompson Canyon will be reopened. Drive as far as The Dam Store (west of Loveland) and turn around. On the return trip, at Drake, turn right onto County Road 43/Devils Gulch Road and go through Glen Haven on your way back to Estes Park. The route takes about 90 minutes.

From Estes Park, drive highway 7 to Lyons and then highway 36 back to Estes Park. The part of highway 7 between the highway 72 interchange and Lyons goes through very colorful and pretty South St. Vrain Canyon.

https://goo.gl/maps/8VsDp71n3Ps

Depending on how far you want to drive from Estes Park, Horsetooth Reservoir and lower Poudre Canyon would be another scenic option. You can combine this with the Big Thompson Canyon drive. Here is the route from the Dam Store. Since highway 34 is currently closed for construction, I can not show you the entire route.

https://goo.gl/maps/b5WFwhXQzXG2

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Elgin, Illinois
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6 posts
21 reviews
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4. Re: Estes Park and Surrounds

Thanks to everyone for your advice. Mom does not need to worry about altitude sickness, but her mobility is limited and so scenic drives work best for her. She loves to travel. Last year our trip began in Sacramento, CA and continued through Oregon, ending in Portland. She was in her glory. We created many wonderful memories and hope to continue this tradition sometime during July and August!! Thanks again for your help!!

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Sacramento
Sacramento
California
Oregon
Oregon
United States
5. Re: Estes Park and Surrounds

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Removed on: 30 April 2018, 14:18