Rocky Mountain day trip: Estes Park, CO

Hike through Rocky Mountain park then head into the historic town for a ghostly tour and good eats

Article by Jane McConnell

Why go in fall: Rocky Mountain National Park crowds have cleared out, and you can get your fix of fall color and wildlife.

Claim to fame: The town is the park’s eastern gateway.

In the news: President Obama signed legislation in March designating most of the Rocky Mountain park as wilderness.

Elevation: From the Estes Park gateway at 7,522 feet to the tip of Longs Peak at 14,259 feet, Rocky Mountain is well elevated.

Number of lakes in Rocky Mountain park: 147 Bring your binocs: Look for foraging wildlife like elk herds and bighorn sheep.

History lesson: Farmer Joel Estes is believed to have hosted the first tourists in 1859; as the spectacular scenery attracted more visitors, Rocky Mountain National Park was established in 1915.

Dress code: Hiking boots and a parka, and carry extra layers; the weather can change in a moment at high elevation. 

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