“It was October again … a glorious October, all red and gold, with mellow mornings when the valleys were filled with delicate mists as if the spirit of autumn had poured them in for the sun to drain — amethyst, pearl, silver, rose, and smoke-blue. The dews were so heavy that the fields glistened like cloth of silver and there were such heaps of rustling leaves in the hollows of many-stemmed woods to run crisply through.” – L.M. Montgomery
Fall is such a wonderful time of the year, and we are so excited to welcome this beautiful season. Below, we have listed our favorite spots during autumn in Estes Park.
If you take the Fall River Road entrance into Rocky Mountain National Park, you’ll quickly find yourself in the Endovalley! You can stop at the Sheep Lakes Information Station for a great view, or you can go a tad further and turn right onto Endovalley Road, stopping any number of times for the stunning views!
This spot is going to take a little more effort to get to, but it’s so worth it!
Bear Lake is a little more than a half-hour drive from downtown Estes; but if you’re going during peak hours, you’d be better off taking the shuttle and enjoying the hour or so ride through the park’s scenery. We’ve also found that if you go an hour or two before sunset, it tends to be much less crowded. The walk around Bear Lake offers some stunning views all its own, and you can also take a little more time to hike to Dream Lake and Emerald Lake (which are both incredible)!
3.) Black Canyon Inn and Twin Owls Steakhouse entrance
During the autumn months, when you turn in from MacGregor Avenue to visit Twin Owls Steakhouse, you are instantly greeted by the prettiest grove of fall trees. With the leaves glistening a golden yellow, it looks like something out of a painting!
Coffee of the Rocks is a little ways off the beaten path. If you take Moraine Avenue towards the entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park, you’ll see it on the left just after the Rock Shop. It is such a peaceful little gem, and grabbing a coffee and pastry then heading outside to sit next to the pond is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.
Lily Lake is both breathtaking and convenient. For those looking for an easy stop and quick access, Lily Lake is for you! There is a parking lot directly off of HWY 7, and the loop around the lake makes for an enjoyable, hour-long stroll. There are other trails that branch off from this area for anyone looking for something more, and the views of Longs Peak from the lake are nothing short of stunning.
Lined with ice cream stores, restaurants, coffee shops, pubs and more, Elkhorn Avenue is downtown Estes’ main thoroughfare. Just to the south is a beautiful riverwalk; there are benches where you can sit and enjoy the sound of the rushing river, scattered aspens to give a little shade, and even a few convenient spots to dangle your legs over the sandstone slabs and dip your toes in the water (if you’re feeling brave).
Do you have a favorite spot we didn’t list? We would love to hear your input!
All of the above photos are courtesy of Meghan with Visual Poetry