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Old 10-03-2007, 08:20 AM
 
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My girlfriend and I are heading to Estes Park in late October for a weekend getaway. We'll be staying at a bed and breakfast/lodge for two nights.

Any suggestions on things to do while we're there? I'd like to do some hiking, perhaps a moderate summit hike nearby, but I'm worried about the weather. How cold will it be that high and that late? Will there be a lot/any snow? Any other outdoor suggestions?

Any suggestions for decent restaurants also? Not something super-$$$ but nice. I know there's tons of places to go, but it's hard to sift through them when you're not from around there. Any help would be appreciated, thanks!
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Old 10-03-2007, 08:57 AM
 
Location: New Zealand
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Typically, late October will be cold with snow coverage at the higher elevations. However, that's no reason not to be outdoors. Rocky Mountain NP is a great place for snowshoeing. If there's snow on the ground, rent snowshoes from any of the sporting goods stores in town and explore the trails in the park (although a summit hike in snow without prior experience may be challenging).

Remember, there's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing! Dress in layers -- even though the temperature might read 32F, if the sun is blazing down, you may be sweating hiking in heavy clothing.
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Old 10-03-2007, 12:41 PM
 
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Agree with the above. If you're from Colorado or a cold-weather state, should be expected. If not, just know that there will definitely be snow at the higher elevations, and depending on the weather for your weekend, could be some at the lower elevations, too (i.e. near town). But hiking and outdoor activities should still be awesome, especially because even though you'll be slightly past peak, should still be some good fall colors going on with the aspens.

As for restaurants, nothing in town is really super expensive. On the higher end would be some of the hotel restaurants, like the restaurant in The Crags, for example. I always find the Dunraven to be a great spot, the one up towards the Y camp. Good italian food, cool atmosphere, decent prices (not cheap, not expensive).

For lunch, the Bald Pate in is a neat experience, too. Effectively a soup and salad buffet, but with a great homemade feel/taste, good pies for desert, and a cool key room.

I can say I ate at the Wild Rose downtown once and that was awful. maybe it was just bad timing, since i continue to see people walking in there, and they're still in business, but it was a how can they be in business bad experience.

just some thoughts...
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Old 10-03-2007, 12:42 PM
 
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Snowshoe around bear lake. If there is snow on the ground it makes it all the better. It is quite a sight and that should be a great time of year to do it. There is a little store as you are coming into Estes from the east on Hwy 34 that rents snowshoes for 5.00/day. Pretty cheap entertainment. Have Fun.
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Old 10-03-2007, 12:47 PM
 
Location: So Cal
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not from CO but have been to the area. If you like hiking, Bear lake area would a definite must see for you. lots of trails from very easy to hard and a great drive to the lake
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Old 10-03-2007, 02:35 PM
 
Location: Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayZ750 View Post
As for restaurants, nothing in town is really super expensive. On the higher end would be some of the hotel restaurants, like the restaurant in The Crags, for example. I always find the Dunraven to be a great spot, the one up towards the Y camp. Good italian food, cool atmosphere, decent prices (not cheap, not expensive).

For lunch, the Bald Pate in is a neat experience, too. Effectively a soup and salad buffet, but with a great homemade feel/taste, good pies for desert, and a cool key room.
Question for you: I live in the area and go to EP often just to wander around, shop at the bookstore, etc. Where are the good restaurants that the locals use? Ie; not the tourist traps! I've only really eaten at the Stanley because most of the places in downtown didn't look like where the locals would go.
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Old 10-03-2007, 03:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chilaili View Post
Question for you: I live in the area and go to EP often just to wander around, shop at the bookstore, etc. Where are the good restaurants that the locals use? Ie; not the tourist traps! I've only really eaten at the Stanley because most of the places in downtown didn't look like where the locals would go.
I probably couldn't give you a good answer....I live in Houston! But my in-laws have a place in Estes and I'm there a few times a year. We eat at Dunraven, Bald Pate, Redstone, Sweet Basilico, Other Side, Crags, Bighorn, Egg & I...

...my guess is that there aren't too many places that are locals only because these businesses need tourists to survive.

I've always liked the food from The Redstone, but the ambiance in there isn't great - we usually get takeout. It's kind of an off the beaten path restaurant for Estes since its tucked in the back somewhat overshadowed by the post office...

The Redstone Restaurant

sorry can't be more help
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Old 09-22-2010, 01:08 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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Let's bring this 'ole thread' back to life, you never know if someone might need something to do in Estes in Oct.

IIRC... (back when I was a young adult? single... I mean way back) I spent a lot of dark evenings 'parking' in RMNP listening to the elk bugle

Sometimes there is aspen color if the wind and snow haven't beat the leaves to the ground.

Fall hiking, now that has a nice smell to it! Crisp mornings for hot cocoa before a good long hike, naps on a sunny slope.

Of course Bob and Tony's was the only place to eat and refresh, back then... The Air hockey got a little out of hand

When I was MUCH younger we went to Estes for Ice Skating in the parking lot behind Bob and Tony's (across the creek).
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Old 11-24-2010, 02:50 PM
 
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Wink Estes Park: late Fall & Winter

There were a few more people in RMNP yesterday, probably due the approach of Thanksgiving; so I'll add to this thread, even though the original question about late October.


For restaurants, one place that has proved reliable in my past experience is the Big Horn Restaurant. Open year-round, they serve breakfast and lunch. My experience there has been with breakfast, but they served good food in a pleasant atmosphere, at a fair price. They are located in a small shopping complex on Elkhorn Avenue, not far beyond the west edge of downtown proper, perhaps 1/4 mile from where Elkhorn Av. crosses the Fall River.

Trail Ridge Road is of course closed for the winter now. Other roads within Rocky Mountain National Park are attenuated. Nevertheless, there are some fine drives to be had, with one of the more spectacular that up to Bear Lake. The elevation there is near 10,000 feet, so be prepared for winter driving conditions.

The Park recommends chains and/or snow tires. They use some sand, but due environmental impact desist from much use of de-icers such as magnesium chloride. Therefore, except directly in or after a storm, one will find the roads generally dry in the many sunny places, and likely snow-packed where there is shade. It will remain this way longer than other locals due the lack of chemicals, also the higher elevations. So, basically, just have a properly outfitted car, drive carefully, and a lovely excursion insured.

Bear Lake is a popular trailhead summer or winter. There are a number of trails, and one might go some distance to other lakes if desired. This time of year the trails will be largely snow-packed, with many using cross country skis. With much traffic, they can also be packed down, thus proper boots sufficient for at least a way. Bear Lake is quite close to the parking area, with it possible to briefly enjoy its splendor in any type of attire. Just know the trails can get slick in places.

Other options could be a walk along the Big Thompson River from Moraine Valley. This is a very popular trail in summer, with appreciably less travel in winter. The road gates have been closed closer in for the season, so now a bit of a walk to get to the trailhead proper. Depending on conditions, the snow-packed road and trail farther on can be slippery in places.

Another possible walk would be in the Endo Valley. The road to the far picnic area is now closed at the west parking area of the Roaring River. Skis would probably work best, there probably not a lot of foot traffic very far. But lovely and a nice excursion.

Trail Ridge Road is closed at Many Parks Curve. There is a fine view east from there. For the more adventurous, it might also serve as the trailhead to venture beyond on the snow covered road. Particularly there, one should be prepared for winter conditions if traveling farther on foot or ski.

Something more sedate would be found within Estes Park itself. Some of the shops are seasonal, but other stores and restaurants are reliably open. For walking, the Riverwalk along the Fall River is always nice. There are now also Christmas lights strung along Elkhorn Avenue, and particularly beautiful at night. Indeed, if during or just after a snow storm, when all blanketed in virgin white, the cold air hushed, with but few about, the very picture of a winter wonderland.
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