THE BIGHORN RAM IS THE STATE ANIMAL OF COLORADO AS WELL AS THE MASCOT OF COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY IN FORT COLLINS.
THIS RAM STANDS GUARD AT THE EAST END OF ELKHORN AVENUE. YOU PASS IT AS YOU ENTER THE DOWNTOWN SECTION OF ESTES PARK. GOTTA LOVE THE RAM
Hiking with Henrik
Hiking in Estes.The improved trails are challenging and still fun. Lovely park with wheelchair accessable trails! I saw several people with different levels of disabilities enjoying the great views. Make sure to bring broken in hiking shoes or boots. I had new ones that I had only worn twice and I had blisters!!!
Climb the rocks next to a waterfall
My friend, Ken, and I took the road less travelled by, a very narrow road that the park attendent suggested to us. It is a one-way road about 4 miles from the East entrance of the park. We came across this large waterfall where a few people were. It was very cool because we climed the big boulders alongside the waterfall. We only got halfway up, but the view was great!
Where the Locals Eat Breakfast
This restaurant is known as where the locals go for breakfast and lunch. It's in the strip mall next to Safeway, so it doesn't have the benefit of a central location of many other popular establishments, although plenty of free parking is a draw! The decor is mom-and-pop diner; crafts and photographs on the wall and unremarkable tables and booths in a brightly lit space. They also have a small outdoor patio for warm weather dining. They serve breakfast and lunch all day until 2:30 pm (no dinner service).
We arrived around 10 am on a Columbus Day Monday and were surprised at the crowd; the hostess explained that because they never usually have such traffic on a weekday, they only had one waitress for all the tables. We weren't in a hurry and agreed to be patient with the service. The waitress was friendly and apologetic and the wait to get our orders was not unduly long.
The Mountain Home Cafe menu has an extensive menu with standard breakfast and lunch fare. Fruity pancakes are popular, as well as their famous Baked Alaska Oatmeal. Unfortunately, my meal selection wasn't as tasty as I expected! I ordered a Veggie Scramble (no further description), which seemed harmless enough. Yuck! I expected the vegetables to be onions, peppers and tomatoes, what one would normally find in an omelet. What I got was formerly frozen carrots, peas and zucchini tossed into scrambled eggs! I was able to separate the vegetables from the egg and have enough to eat, but given the service situation, I didn't want to complain. My bad for not confirming what was in the dish! My husband had pancakes and sausage and enjoyed every bite!
The prices seem to be on par with other tourist breakfast spots; our bill totalled $17.00 including coffee, tea and juice. The portions were generous and came with sides like hashbrowns and toast, so it's not a bad value. Although I didn't have good luck with my order, I would try them again and make sure I asked about what goes into the dish if I'm not sure! Anything else but the Veggie Scramble!
The Stanley Hotel
No visit to Estes Park is complete without a visit to the Stanley. The hotel is now over 100 years old! It's most famous for inspiring Steven King's novel "The Shining." The hotel does not allow visitors to freely wander the hallways if you're staying, but the lobby, gift shop and bar are open to everyone. If you'd like to see more, but aren't staying, you can take a ghost tour ($15) of the hotel. The hotel is a step back in time and the view from the grounds is incredible.