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rmnp in the winter

Winter Events

Welcome to the season of Solitude. The days grow shorter and the tall peaks get whiter. The misconception is that Estes Park is cold and snowy. During the day, we have an average temperature of 40 degrees and low in the 20’s. The sun still shines and the snowshoeing is at its best. The snow accumulation in Estes Park is light and may only last a couple of days. Avoid the madness of the ski areas and the traffic to get there. The traffic in Estes Park is minimal as well as traffic in Rocky Mountain National Park. Hit the hiking trails and have them to yourselves. Walk through the downtown shops at your leisure. Make this your quiet mountain retreat. Check out our Estes Park vacation rentals. For less than a night in a hotel in any major city, you get your own private, fully equipped mountain cabin.

But you say the wind blows! Yes, Estes Park does get high winds. There are still plenty of places that are protected for hiking or snowshoeing. The wind may also be someone’s way of saying stay in, enjoy Solitude Cabins, enjoy your family, your loved one or your friends. Let the winds blow in new laughs, smiles and unforgettable memories.

Catch the Glow Holiday Celebration and Parade - November 25, 2017

Estes Park celebrates the beginning of the holiday season. Beginning at noon children will be able to visit with Santa and enjoy hayrides and pony rides. Whimsical characters and festive carolers will entertain throughout the downtown area. At dusk, floats from the Catch the Glow Parade will feature thousands of tiny twinkling lights, storybook figures, angels, snowmen, marching bands, entertainers, wildlife characters and of course, Santa ends the parade!

Estes Park Winter Festival

The Estes Park Winter Festival is a fun-filled weekend for all ages and interests. Held every year over Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend in January, it is four days of events including:

  • Amateur Chili Cook-Off (CASI sanctioned rules must be followed)
  • Chili Cook-Off with local chefs
  • Wine tastings with Colorado wineries
  • Beer tastings from local microbreweries
  • Live music from local and guest bands

All-you-can-taste chili tickets are $5; all-you-can-taste wine and beer tickets are $20 and include a commemorative glass.

The Estes Park Winter Festival kicks off with the EarthFest celebration, planet, and star gazing at the Estes Park Memorial Observatory on Friday night and continues through Monday with lots of activities throughout:

  • Cowboy Poetry & Ghost Stories (with smores and refreshments)
  • Scavenger Hunt through town
  • Horse & Carriage Rides
  • Horseback Riding
  • Art Gallery Walk
  • Winter Trails Day in Rocky Mountain National Park

Many events are held in Bond Park under a heated Big Top tent, while other celebrate the outdoors with family activities and snow games including a snowman building contest.

Come to experience everything the Estes Park Winter Festival has to offer. While you are here, come to stay in our Estes Park vacation rentals and enjoy some Solitude after each day’s events.

Winter Trail Days - January 16, 2017

There’s more than one way to experience outdoor winter fun. Many find the thrill and adventure of walking in the snow in pristine areas far outweigh the experience of paying to schuss down an icy slope. For those interested in learning how to experience nature while enjoying the winter landscape, the Winter Trails organization and Estes Park's Winter Festival organizers have just the answer: Winter Trail Days.

Learn how to snowshoe, try complimentary snowshoes from your choice of manufacturers (Tubbs, Atlas, MSR, Crescent Moon and more). Receive expert advice on selecting and fitting snowshoes, along with other fun ideas about how to enjoy winter in the mountains. Don't miss the igloo - a crowd favorite! Participants can attend free informational clinics which include educational stations on winter activity basics, safety techniques, nutrition and hydration tips, essential conditioning exercises and how to dress for winter hiking and camping. The national Winter Trails organization and REI sponsor the free event.

Winter Trails Day will be held at the Park and Ride lot on Bear Lake Road in Rocky Mountain National Park. All activities are free, including entrance to the National Park.