Things to do in Estes Park in winter

10 Unforgettable Things to do in Estes Park in Winter

Welcome to Estes Park In Winter!

Welcome to Romantic RiverSong! Here, we’re including a list of our 10 favorite and memorable things to do in Estes Park in winter. If you’re looking to book or already made your reservations, like many who come to visit, you may find yourself wondering what in the world you’ll be able to do during your winter getaway in the mountains! Don’t worry! Get ready for picturesque views, winter stillness that refreshes the soul, captivating snow-capped mountains, and a town that will make you feel like you’re in a Hallmark movie.

Wintertime in Estes is undoubtedly an all-time favorite. Below are commonly asked questions about winter in Estes as well as some favorite activities of guests and locals. We hope it serves as an inspiration to create a memorable vacation! 

couple walks in winter wonderland, things to do in Estes Park in Winter

Aerial View of The Continental Divide In Winter

Is Estes Park open in the winter?

Yes! While much less crowded, it is still open and buzzing with activity. Because of its name, and location to Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes is sometimes thought to be a park itself. Estes Park is a town, and very much alive, with warm hearths, delicious food, and activities afoot.

Are the shops open?

Even during the quieter months of winter, most shops and accommodations in the charming mountain town of Estes Park remain open. So, regardless of the season, you can always enjoy a visit to Estes Park.

What are winters like in Estes Park Colorado?

Have you ever gotten lost in the time standing-still magic of a snow globe? Imagine that for just a moment, and you’ll get a glimpse of what winters like in Estes Park. Wildlife wander the valleys, and sometimes even the town, over blanket white snow. With a hot coffee or cocoa in hand, down town Estes feels like your caught in a movie scene where fresh new beginnings always seem to take place. The snow-capped mountains of the Rockies surround you in beauty and surrender to the healing of stillness. This is winter in Estes!

Things to do in Estes Park in winter

Bobcat in winter


Bobcat Sighting in winter at Romantic RiverSong Inn

1. Patterson’s Glass Studio

Stop at Patterson Glassworks studio to watch master glass-blowers at work. Numerous other galleries and shops are near the studio in the Downtown area. Perfect for an afternoon spent snatching up some unique holiday gifts or souvenirs.

2. Elkins Distilling 

While you’re downtown, swing by Elkins Tasting Room on Elkhorn Ave, for locally crafted whiskey cocktails that are sure to warm you up! If tasting tours are your idea of a good time, check out our blog post highlighting all the local wineries, breweries and distilleries in Estes Park. 

3. Ice Climbing, Backcountry Skiing and Splitboarding

Feeling adventurous? The day classes at Colorado Mountain School are offered for both beginners and advanced mountaineers. Try your hand at something new!  It’s a great way to get some experience and training from accredited mountain guides. Check their website for availability.

4. Rocky Mountain National Park

With adequate preparation, winter is one of the best times to visit RMNP! Low crowds,  majestic, snowy peaks and frozen lakes are the definition of a winter wonderland. Make sure to check current conditions and closures at the park before venturing out.

5. Bridal Veil Falls

One of our favorite year-round hikes as things to do in Estes Park in winter, also featured in our Adventure Honeymoon post, is Bridal Veil Falls! The trailhead is about a 30 minute drive from Romantic RiverSong and outside of the more popular RMNP trails. Expect the falls to be frozen in the winter months and plan for winter hiking conditions.

6. Winter Wildlife

Elk near the Inn in winter


Elk wanders in wintertime at Romantic RiverSong Inn

Elk, moose and deer are all regular visitors at RiverSong, and around Estes Park during the winter months, as the herds move to lower elevations for the cold season. Estes is also home to bobcats, snow hares and many species of birds. For more viewing locations, see this post.

7. Scenic Drives

When driving conditions are favorable, scenic drives during the winter months can be absolutely magical. In addition to stunning views, many of these drives also provide great access to view wildlife. See the Rocky Mountain Conservancy’s Top 5 Winter Drives here.

8. Sunrise, Sunsets & Stars

Late sunrises, early sunsets and longer nights make winter one of the best times to experience these beauties. With private decks and skylights in a number of our rooms, we are a perfect dark and quiet spot for viewing. See our full blog post for more details.

9. Soak in a Hot Bath

We all get tired of the frigid temps during winter, no matter how many layers we pack on! Start a steamy, hot bath and soak until you’re warm to the very center. With a soaking tub in nearly all our rooms, it’s hard to pass up this simple delight. All our room amenities can be found here.

10. Stars in Your Eyes Luxury Package

Can’t wait to run away with your sweetheart and indulge yourselves? This package provides two in-room massages. With little to worry about, you’ll feel nourished and refreshed after a holiday catered just to you.

Couple enjoying winter


Is Estes Park Worth Visiting In Winter? Here are Our Favorite Estes Events

No winter trip to Colorado is complete without a visit to the enchanting town of Estes Park. The community spirit shines brightest during these cold months, precipitating a plethora of lively events, festivals, and activities that truly celebrate the season.

From food lovers to outdoor adventurers, from festival-goers to wildlife enthusiasts, there’s something for everyone in Estes Park in Winter- especially when you can catch an event happening. Embark on a frosty getaway to Estes and discover more than just snow – unearth a cornucopia of fun, excitement, and winter magic that will undoubtedly make your trip unforgettable. Come, immerse in the winter festivities and witness how Estes Park turns into an idyllic winter wonderland.

  • Catch the Glow Christmas Parade – Kick off the festive season with a spectacular illuminated evening parade, perfect for all ages.
  • Winter Trails Day – Tap into your adventurous side with activities such as cross-country skiing, snowshoe walking, and winter survival skill sessions.
  • Estes Park Winter Festival – Savor your weekend with tasty food, local beer and wine, live music, and thrilling winter sports demonstrations.
  • Annual Winter Wildlife Celebration – Admire the awe-inspiring elk during their winter visits. The celebration includes guided tours and information sessions all about these magnificent animals.
  • Wine and Chocolate Festival – Indulge your senses in this elegant event. Sample an array of local wines and handmade chocolates, a perfect treat for the winter season.
  • Whiskey Warm Up – Stay warm with a glass of the best whiskey selections in town. Learn how to pair this classic spirit with food while enjoying a cozy bonfire and live entertainment.
  • Frozen Dead Guy Days – A quirky and fun festival that celebrates a unique story of a man cryogenically frozen in a local resident’s shed. The events include coffin races, a polar plunge, live music, and more. Don’t forget to try the chilled beer and local food on offer.

Each of these winter events in Estes Park offers a unique and lively experience to add excitement and adventure to your frosty getaway and make your trip to Estes in Winter absolutely worth it!

Be sure to pack your winter layers – thermal underwear, wool socks, warm gloves, hats and scarves. All your outer layers, including hiking boots should be waterproof to keep you warm and dry while out exploring. If you’re in need of gear while you’re here, Estes Park Mountain Shop provides a large variety of rentals.

We can’t wait to see you!

Browse through our gallery to see rooms, amenities, activities, and a glimpse of things to do in Estes Park in winter!

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