Visitor Resources for Estes Park
Welcome to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. Here you will find visitor resources that will help you find things to do in Estes and RMNP as well as provide valuable information to keep you safe and to make sure you don’t miss any outdoor activities, wildlife & bird watching, events, day trips, or the splendid variety of attractions and tours. With these tools you have everything you need to discover and explore all of nature’s bounty in the Park as well as experience the delicious dining, unique shopping, invigorating, spas and health clubs offered in Estes Park.
HOW TO BEST ENJOY WATCHING WILDLIFE
Never, ever feed wildlife. Feeding reduces its ability to survive the long mountain winter. When they panhandle by roadsides, animals fall easy prey to automobiles. As they become habituated to humans and lose their natural fear, the animals become aggressive and may be destroyed. Feeding or harassing wildlife is illegal in all national parks.
- Watch from a distance. Use binoculars or a telephoto lens to get close-up views. Following larger animals too closely to get a photograph or a better look can stress them and threaten their health. If animals notice you or if they seem nervous, you are too close. Move away quietly.
- Obey all signs posting closed areas. At different times of the year, some areas are closed to protect wildlife during nesting, mating and birthing seasons.
- Use of wildlife calls and spotlights is illegal. They stress animals and alter their natural behavior.
- Keep pets in your vehicle. They may scare wildlife, and wild animals can hurt your pet.
- Large animals such as elk, sheep, bears and mountain lions can be dangerous. Check at visitor centers for valuable tips on safety around wildlife.
- Drive slowly and cautiously. Watch for animals crossing the road. Deer and elk are seldom alone. If you see one animal, look for others that may follow.
- Stop your car to watch animals only if you can pull off the road safely. Do not block traffic.
- When possible, get away from roadsides and sit quietly to observe and listen for wildlife. Talk only when necessary, and do so quietly so you don’t disturb the animals or other wildlife watchers. If viewing from your vehicle, turn off the mot
Classes and Seminars
Classes, lectures and guided hikes are offered almost daily. Ask a ranger, inquire at a visitor center or pick up a copy of High country Headlines. In addition, the Rocky Mountain Nature Association offers dozen of seminars that focus on a wide range of topics. Classes include such things as aquatic ecosystems, painting the Rockies, elk studies, mountain ecology, macro-photography and wildflowers.
Kids in the Park
Kids get special enjoyment out of Rocky Mountain National Park.
- The park’s specially designed program for children is called “Rocky’s Junior Rangers.” Visitor centers provide books that list a variety of things to do. After children complete the activities, they hand the book back to a ranger to receive a badge. Activities focus on wildlife, natural preservation and safety.
- The Rocky Mountain Nature Association hosts an art program designed for children to participate in guided art activities. A small fee is charged and a sketchbook is required.
- During ranger-led “Junior Ranger Adventure” children ages six to ten learn about how nature works and how humans affect it. Check High Country Headlines for days and times.
- Rangers perform wildlife-oriented puppet shows at Moraine Park Museum twice a week. See the High Country Headlines fro days and times.
- “Rocky After Dark” is a ranger program for kids and adults that explores the activities that darkness brings, many animals only come out at night. Kids also learn to identify things by touch alone. Bring a jacket and a flashlight.
- Horseback riding, particularly for older children, is a great way to get a different perspective of the park and spend some quality time in the wild.
Five Best Views
In 415 square miles, great vistas are sure to reveal themselves. Here are five of the best:
- Longs Peak from the Moraine Park Museum.
- Hallett Peak from Nymph Lake
- Longs Peak from MacGregor Ranch
- The Big Thompson River Valley from Forest Canyon Overlook
- Estes Park form atop the Aerial Tram
An excellent source of information, High Country Headlines, is handed out at entrance stations, visitor’s centers, and ranger stations. It contains advice about using the park and publishes a schedule of seasonal and ranger-led activities and events.
Emergency Telephone Locations
Bear Lake Parking Lot, Cow Creek Trailhead, Lawn Lake Trailhead, Longs Peak Ranger Station, and the Wild Basin Ranger Station.
All visitor centers are handicap accessible, providing parking spaces and ramps where needed. Fully accessible restrooms are located at Moraine Park Museum, Kawuneeche Visitor Center, Park Headquarters and the Alpine Visitors Center. Facilities at Bear Lake are also wheelchair accessible, as are some of the campgrounds.
Important numbers for Rocky Mountain National Park
Lost and Found: Call 970-586-1242 to track down any lost or to report any found items.
RMNP Recorded Information
RMNP Visitor Information
RMNP Backcountry Office (backcountry camping and permits)
RMNP Office TDD
RMNP West Side Information
Estes Park Post Office (80517)
Rocky Mountain National Park steams and lakes may look harmless, but many of them contain a microscopic organism called Giardia lamblia. Within a few days of ingestion, these parasites may cause diarrhea, bloating, cramps and weight loss. A doctor’s treatment is required. Any water should be boiled for five to ten minutes prior to drinking to prevent this.
The ultraviolet rays of the sun burn with particular intensity at higher elevations. Protect skin with long pants and long sleeved shirts. Wear plenty of sunscreen. Wear sunglasses.
Oxygen concentrations in the park at high elevations are only about half that of the air at sea level. Even fit climbers often notice the effects of the altitude. Symptoms of altitude sickness include shortness of breath, headache, tiredness, nasal congestion, dizziness and nausea. While these may cause mild discomfort for some, they can be quite serious for others. If symptoms persist or worsen, go to a lower altitude and see a physician. The best way to avoid altitude sickness is to acclimatize gradually. Stay a day or two in Estes Park before you hade across Trail Ridge Road. The park also advises limiting strenuous activity, rest eat lightly, avoid alcohol and increase your fluid intake. If you crave a nap, take one.
The low humidity of the high country, sometimes coupled with strong winds, can cause dehydration. Drink plenty of fluids, even if you are not thirsty. Always carry water on hikes.
Pets are not allowed on any of the hiking or nature trails, or in the backcountry. Certified guide dogs are allowed on trails and in buildings. Pets are allowed, however, in established campgrounds, picnic areas, on roadways and in parking lots. They must be on a leash with a maximum six foot length, or in a cage. Owners must accompany their pets at all times.
Christian Church of Estes Park 970-586-8586
Christian Science Services 970-586-2729
Community Church of the Rockies 970-586-4404
Estes Park Baptist Church 970-586-2463
Estes Park Wesleyan Church 970-577-1158
Jehovah’s Witnesses 970-586-2985
Mount Calvary Lutheran Church 970-586-4646
Mountain View Bible Fellowship 970-586-3395
Our Lady of the Mountains Catholic Church 970-586-8111
Park Fellowship Church 970-586-4340
Rocky Mountain Church 970-586-0873
Seventh Day Adventist Church 970-586-2830
Shepherd of the Mountains Lutheran Church 970-586-3113
St Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church 970-586-4504
St. Francis of Assisi 970-577-0601
United Methodist Church of Estes Park 970-586-4153
Commercial Free Christian Radio – Klove.com