When mentioning beautiful places in the state of Colorado, Estes Park should be on that list. If you are visiting the Rocky Mountains, it is almost necessary to see Rocky Mountain National Park located in northern Colorado. Estes Park is the place most people stay when visiting this national park. It is a fun curvy drive through these mountains for sure. There are three direct routes to get here which I will explain now.
US-34, US-36, and Colorado Highway 7 meet in this city. The more common routes are the nation’s highways, US-34 & US-36. Colorado Highway 7 is an alternate route from Lyons, Colorado to Estes Park and is a nice shortcut to the city when heading directly north from a city such as Nederland, Black Hawk, or even Idaho Springs. If you are traveling to Estes Park via I-25, you can take one of two US highways. If you are coming from the north end heading south, it would make much more sense to travel to Loveland and take the decent drive on US-34 to Estes Park. However, if you are coming from the south end heading north, travelling on US-36 going through Boulder, CO from Denver, CO is the more direct route.
Coming into town from the east side, you will notice nice scenery located around Lake Estes. Big Thompson River is the primary river that runs through this lake as well as a smaller Fish Creek. There are a couple of places to sit and relax by the lake if you wish. Fall River and Black Canyon Creek are other rivers that run through this area.
There are plenty of places to eat, shop, tour, and lodge before or after visiting the Rocky Mountain National Park. US-34 is the road that really goes through these named mountains with plenty of places to stop and take pictures. There are picnic sites, trails, and lodges located every few miles from each other. For example, Alpine Visitor Center is a place to stop and rest that contains a cafe and a gift shop to collect souvenirs. Further west down the road, you eventually find the city of Grand Lake as well as the actual Grand Lake, Shadow Mountain Lake, and Lake Granby. Following the Colorado River, you will finally end up in the city of Granby where the US-34 ends at US-40. From there, you could continue travelling west into northwest Colorado or head east to I-70.
In summary, if you take anything away from this, know that if you are ever visiting the state of Colorado, this is a must. I have visited the state several times and Estes Park a couple times when I was younger and it was overall a great experience! Consider this being one of your next travel destinations when the weather is slightly warmer! It is one of the most scenic places in America still to this day. Go to www.rockymountainnationalpark.com for more information.