Estes Park in Summer

Summer Itinerary in Estes Park

Planning a Colorado vacation is very fun but can seem overwhelming, especially with the great variety of summer activities in Estes Park! To help guide you in the right direction of the perfect summer vacation in the Rockies, check out our summer itinerary to get some ideas for your travel plans.


Check-in and get the keys to your accommodations to start your Estes Park summer vacation!

Take to skies and get a bird’s eye view of your home for the next few days on the popular Estes Park Aerial Tramway! A ride is only $12 per adult and connects you to hiking trails, picnic areas, as well as fantastic spots to snap a photo or two of the gorgeous view.

After getting your bearings, it’s time to eat! Stop at Big Horn Restaurant, an Estes Park favorite since 1972, and dine on their famous BBQ or find a classic American dish. Big Horn can also make anything on their menu available for pick-up if you want to eat back in your room or have a little picnic on the grounds.

Tonight, you’re heading into Rocky Mountain National Park to gaze up at the summer stars through the park’s night sky & astronomy programs. Learn more about the stars above and have the chance to ask park rangers any questions you may have. These programs typically last about an hour and a half or so.


Rise and shine, it’s hiking time! Today, you’re exploring Rocky Mountain National Park (for free on these days) and its many hiking trails. Whether you want a more leisurely stroll around a lake or if you want a strenuous climb, the park has trails for every hiker. During your trek, keep your eyes peeled for the wide range of wildlife that calls the park home.

After your hike, continue to explore the park with a scenic drive to rest your legs but still take in the impressive views.

Back in town, chances are good in the summer that you’ll be able to attend a festival or signature event! From Memorial Day to early October, Estes Park has markets, art and music festivals, marathons, educational events, firework displays, and cultural events to keep locals and visitors entertained. Many events are free to enter with food and drink at an additional cost.

Tap into Estes Park’s spirit with a spirits tasting at either Snowy Peaks Winery, Estes Park Brewery, or Dancing Pines Distillery! Enjoy the tastings of our artisanal beverages and learn more about how it’s made from the friendly staff at any of these locations.

While in town, stop at a grocery store or market and pick up supplies for dinner. Tonight, you’re using the community grills and eating al fresco! Enjoy the sounds of the river and gentle breezes as you cook out.


Sunday morning starts off with a delicious brunch at The Rock Inn! From favorite menu items like the breakfast burrito or pancakes, to unique crepe creations, you won’t want to miss this brunch! Besides, you’ll want to be fueled for your day of fun.

Take the reins and take it nice and easy on a horseback riding adventure in the mid-morning or early afternoon. Many tours take you back into the park for amazing views of the Continental Divide and you might even glimpse some wildlife atop your trusty steed.

After an afternoon exploring the meadows and open expanses of the park, come back into town and explore the variety of clothing, souvenir, and candy shops dotted along Elkhorn Avenue! There are several restaurants on this street, making it the perfect destination for a lazy afternoon stroll.


On Monday, you’re riding the rapids on an exhilarating whitewater rafting trip. Your guide will take you through the canyon of the Cache La Poudre with trips ranging from mild to rip roarin’!

After rafting, stretch out your legs with another hiking adventure into the park and find a spot for a light picnic lunch!

Tonight, you’re in for a real treat with dinner at Dunraven Inn. With its extensive wine list, delightful dishes, and friendly service, you won’t be disappointed!

After dinner, make use of the swings next to the river and relax or stop in town for some live music at a local bar.


The early bird catches the worm, or early fisherman catches the fish on a fishing excursion. You can bring your own equipment, rent some from a local outfitter, or go on a guided fishing trip. Every angler over the age of 16 must have a valid Colorado fishing license, which can be picked up at many retailers.

In the afternoon, it’s time to leave the streams and lakes for the open road with a mountain biking journey. For bicycle enthusiasts, rent some bikes from in town and bike the trails yourselves or book a guided biking tour to combine biking with learning more about Estes Park.

For dinner, you can either grill the fish you caught that morning or head over to The Grubsteak and try some of the wild game menu items!


Before you hit the road on your way out of town, stop for breakfast at Claire’s on the Park for its generous selection of benedicts and classic breakfast dishes.

Be sure to stop at our front desk before your departure to let us know when you’ll be returning!