If you're driving up the Big Thompson Canyon to Estes Park, turn off Hwy 34 at Drake. Take the right fork in the road that goes to Glen Haven. This is just another way to get to Estes if you get bored of the highway. It is also the most beautiful way to enter Estes. When you crest the hill and Estes and Rocky Mountain come into view it's breathtaking. There are also entrances to RMNP trails off this road that you don't have to pay for! :)
Although it is part of the Rocky Mountain National Park, Lake Lily is reached by HWY 7 and is several miles south of Estes Park. However, it is well worth the drive. It is a small lake and you can easily stroll all the way around it. But is has glorious views of the mountains and Long's Peak. There are restrooms and picnic tables there. It is beautiful no matter the time of day you go.
Heading west along hwy 36 with visions of Rocky Mountain magesties in your head, you'll see a clear blue lake, a seeming mirage in semi arid Colorado. This is Lake Estes and the town's recreation area. A path circles the lake, picnic tables are available and, from here, you can catch your first glimpse of Rocky just miles away.
Seated under the 'Two Owls' is McGregors Ranch. It's open to the public and once was the source of supplies for the town of Estes Park. It's a great opportunity to get out and see a western ranch. Seated in a bowl, the views south are fabulous. For more pictures and information about the museum/ranch, see my McGregor ranch travelogue
GENERAL PUBLIC - MUSEUM TOURS
Museum is open to the public June - July - August Tuesday through Friday 10 am to 4 pm
Self guided tours of the museum, milkhouse, smokehouse, blacksmith shop and horse-drawn machinery exhibits.
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!
When you are on one of the main streets where shops and restaurants located, you should go to the South part of that area.
First of all you'll find nice shadow from trees there.
Secondly, cold creek runs there. I think it is very nice. It gives some feeling of wilderness to that modern area of civilization.
This is one of the parts of shoppings in Estes Park.
I like the buildings on the water. That is why I took this picture. But maybe here is some hint. The builders decided to draw attention of shoppers with noice of the creek.
By the way it reminds me buildings in Manitou Springs. Have you been to there? No. You may look at my page, if it is built , of course :-)
To the East of Lake there is a damb. Nothing special, but, I think, it is a little charmful. I love falling water, and every dam makes me look at it for a while flying in my own thoughts