Estes Park is a popular destination during the summer months when people flock to nearby Rocky Mountain National Park. Staying true to my typical travel habits, I wanted to visit the area when it was colder out and wintery vibes would be present. So, I used some airline miles I had sitting around to book a couple of flights there in early November.
We flew into Denver on a Friday night and made the easy drive to Estes Park to grocery shop and settle in at our Airbnb. Safeway – a great grocery store in Estes – was open when we arrived late at night, making it incredibly simple and pleasant to grab some provisions. Even during the slow season, Safeway is open until 11:00 p.m., so you are able to easily pick up food, water, and other necessities when arriving in the area late at night.
Our Airbnb was awesome and in the perfect location. The loft is in the middle of shops and restaurants on Elkhorn. And, being that it was off-season, we didn’t have to deal with any parking issues with our rental car. (Score!)
The weather while we were in Estes was pretty overcast. In fact, it was either raining or snowing the entire trip. Some might not have been pleased with the storms, but it was the exact weather I had been hoping for.
Between the weather and it being November, the town was pretty quiet and peaceful. All the shops and restaurants were still open, though, so we had plenty to see and do.
Of course, the main draw to Estes Park – for me, anyway – is its close proximity to Rocky Mountain National Park. While I had spent time around Denver, Aspen, and Snowmass before, I had never explored that part of the state. Visiting RMNP was a top priority for me.
The national park is only about a five-minute drive (during the slower season) from Downtown Estes, making it a fantastic place to visit. I knew I had made the right decision to visit in November when we got to enjoy the most beautiful, snowy hike around Bear Lake.
This alpine lake sits at 9,450 feet (2,880 m.) above sea level and offers dramatic views out to Hallett Peak.
I had been hoping to see some snow when exploring Bear Lake, and wow did I get to. It was snowing the entire time we hiked around this part of the park. The whole scene was nothing short of a picturesque winter wonderland.
November was the perfect time for me to visit Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. The area was beautiful, cold, and not too busy.
If you head to Estes in November, don’t forget to check out Estes Lake downtown to see if any Elk are out and about! Just remember to keep your distance from these animals — they are wild, after all!
Get in Touch
Have questions? Please don’t hesitate to email me at email@example.com. I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have and tell you more about Estes Park.