Elkhorn Avenue and Moraine Avenue

#4 in Best Things To Do in Estes Park
 picture
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Key Info

Price & Hours

Free
24/7 daily

Details

Free, Cafes, Neighborhood/Area, Shopping Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 4.0Food Scene
  • 4.0Atmosphere

More than 200 storefronts line these two thoroughfares of downtown Estes Park. Following the Lawn Lake Dam's failure in 1982, much of downtown Estes Park was damaged by sudden flooding. Subsequently, the downtown area now showcases a mix of modern architecture alongside rustic, timber-framed buildings harkening back to the homesteading era. Many of the shopping, eating, and recreational businesses in Estes Park are independently owned, so you can happily shop knowing that every piece of candy, taste of ice cream or souvenir can't be found anywhere else. Art lovers will be particularly impressed by the galleries and studios that line Estes Park's streets.

Though the competition between candy stores is intense, past travelers insisted that you grab fudge or a candy apple from Laura's Fine Candies, which is located on Elkhorn Avenue. Mountain Blown Glass also proves a must-visit storefront, according to past visitors, thanks to its gallery of beautiful pieces and impressive live demonstrations, which are free to watch.

Hours vary between the various shops, restaurants and galleries along both avenues, but the Estes Park website offers a full directory on its website.

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More Best Things To Do in Estes Park

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#1 Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park encompasses more than 250,000 acres and boasts 124 named mountain peaks. Subsequently, the massive park draws visitors interested in camping, biking, fishing and horseback riding, among other outdoor activities. If you're not an outdoorsy type, consider a scenic drive or a picnic to make the most of the outstanding views. Winter activities like cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and sledding keep a flow of travelers visiting the park during the chillier months. The park's wildlife, which includes elk, bighorn sheep and moose, roam the verdant forests and glittering lakes, guaranteeing that every trip to Rocky Mountain National Park will be memorable.

One of the park's biggest draws is its collection of approximately 355 miles of trails. Avid hikers recommend the difficult Sky Pond via Glacier Gorge Trail, which runs about 10 miles and becomes more rewarding as you climb upward. For a more manageable hike, visitors suggest the roughly 3-mile Emerald Lake Trail. If you choose to tackle this trail, plan to arrive early in the day to beat the daily crowds that descend on the trail. For first-time hikers, travelers recommend the 2-mile Dream Lake Trail, a scenic out-and-back route that will prove manageable for most fitness levels.

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