It’s challenging to find a more beautiful part of the Rockies than Estes Park. Visitors adore the vast wildlife of the park, which is home to numerous elk, bears, and unique bird species. You’ll also find incredible mountains, forests, and peaks with unbelievable views of the surrounding areas!
If that’s not enough, Estes Park is close to wilderness areas like Roosevelt National Forest and the Summit of Prospect Mountain. Travelers also love the views over Olympus Dam and Lake Estes.
If you’re looking for a superb spot to get away from life’s stresses, you’ll struggle to beat a trip up here. To help you figure out where to stay in Estes Park, we’ve listed the very best accommodation options below.
Let’s get started!
- Where to Stay in Estes Park
- Estes Park Neighborhood Guide
- Estes Park’s Top 3 Areas to Stay in
- 1. Downtown Estes Park – Best Place to Stay in Estes Park for Your First Time
- 2. Lake Estes – Where to Stay in Estes Park on a Budget
- 3. Castle Mountain – Best Area in Estes Park for Families
- Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Estes Park
Best Hotel in Estes Park: Boulder Brook on Fall River
If you’re looking for a relaxing escape in the heart of nature, check out Boulder Brook on Fall River. It offers superb amenities, including hot tubs, lots of green space, and a great location next to Fall River.
Best Hotel in Estes Park: Murphy’s River Lodge
Murphy’s River Lodge is a superb spot if you’re looking to stay in the center of the area’s top bars, shops, and restaurants. It’s located in the heart of the downtown area, and is a great place to stay for people of all ages.
Best Resort in Estes Park: The Estes Park Resort
This gorgeous resort offers stylish rooms and a stunning lakeside location. Most rooms offer views over the lake and national park, as well as the mountains in the distance.
Downtown Estes Park
If you’re visiting Estes Park for the first time, you should stay in downtown Estes Park. Visitors have the best options regarding things to do, and if you’re looking for great attractions you’ll struggle to find a better area. Downtown Estes Park has attracted visitors for over a century, so you’ll never struggle to find remarkable things to do aimed at tourists.
Lake Estes is an excellent area to stay if you’re on a budget because you’ll find the widest variety of accommodation options. Not only that, but you’re also next to the area’s most fantastic attractions. Visitors love the close proximity to the local shops and restaurants, and you’re only a short walk from the downtown area.
The best place to stay if you’re visiting as a family is in the Castle Mountain area, where you’ll find incredible peace and quiet. Visitors love the incredible surrounding green scenery, but also the fact that you’re only a short drive from the downtown area and Lake Estes. There are so many family-friendly lodges to enjoy!
Estes Park’s Top 3 Areas to Stay in
If you’re looking for an unforgettable trip to the Rocky Mountains, then look no further than Estes Park. It’s divided into distinct areas, each offering its own unique features and stunning scenery.
Downtown Estes Park is the best place to stay if you’re visiting for the first time. It’s full of great options for accommodation and nearby attractions, as well as top shops and restaurants. It’s also got some of the best public transport connections, helping you easily explore the area.
If you’re traveling on a budget, check out Lake Estes. The area is full of natural attractions and affordable restaurants to discover. Accommodation options are a lot cheaper here, so you won’t have to worry about breaking the bank!
Finally, the Castle Mountain area is superb for families. The best place to stay is along Fall River, where you’ll find the best hotel options, as well as some superb restaurants and bars. It’s also an ideal base for exploring the surrounding areas, so you can enjoy an action-packed holiday.
If you’re visiting Estes Park for the first time, you should stay in downtown Estes Park. Visitors have the best options regarding things to do, and if you’re looking for great attractions you’ll struggle to find a better area. Downtown Estes Park has attracted visitors for over a century, so it’s very accommodating to travelers.
Besides, if you choose to stay in Downtown Estes Park, you’ll enjoy the best shopping and food options. There are more than 200 retailers in Downtown Estes Park, so you’ll never struggle to find places to hang out and go shopping. Most of the shops are independently owned, so you’ll directly impact the local community when you come here.
Best Airbnb in Downtown Estes Park – Bear Pause Cottage – Quiet Retreat in Estes Park
This Airbnb is reasonably priced and offers a fantastic location. The cottage has a relaxed feel, with vast outdoor space to relax and enjoy the sunshine. Downtown and all its attractions are a five-minute walk away.
Best Hotel in Downtown Estes Park – Silver Moon Inn
The best hotel in Downtown Estes Park is the fantastic Silver Moon Inn. Guests enjoy the wonderful downtown location, as it’s super close to all of the area’s main attractions.
If you’re looking to get to Rocky Mountains National Park—there are multiple public transport options nearby.
Best Lodge in Downtown Estes Park – Murphy’s River Lodge
If you’re looking to stay in a gorgeous lodge for your time in Estes Park, you’ll love this place. Accommodation is suitable for anyone from solo travelers to large groups, and the lodge features top amenities.
If you want to get around the area, you’ll find multiple public transportation options right outside.
Things to See and Do in Downtown Estes Park :
- Go shopping and discover over 200 retailers, including gift shops, antique shops, and excellent clothing shops.
- Enjoy the excellent mixture of outdoor entertainment, including the summertime jazz shows and outdoor concerts.
- Marvel at the fantastic paintings from the local painters.
- Check out some of the local art galleries.
- Enjoy the variety of excellent restaurants in the area.
- Look out for the local elk, who is sometimes found wondering the main streets.
- Enjoy the various cowboy sing-a-longs and riverwalk strolls with the locals.
- Check out some of the local wine-tasting events.
2. Lake Estes – Where to Stay in Estes Park on a Budget
Lake Estes is an excellent area if you’re staying in Colorado on a budget because you’ll find the widest variety of accommodation options. Not only that, but you’re also next to the area’s most fantastic attractions.
Needless to say, the lake is one of the coolest features of this location. There are multiple activities on offer here, including watersports and swimming during the hot summer months. There are also numerous camping areas all around the lake, perfect if you fancy pitching a tent and spend a night next to nature.
Best Airbnb in Lake Estes – King Suite with Spacious Deck and Mountain Views
If you’re looking for a top-budget Airbnb option in Lake Estes, you’ll love this suite. It’s located a 10-minute walk from Lake Estes and only 20 minutes from downtown Estes Park.
Two guests can stay here, making it perfect for solo travelers or couples.
Best Hotel in Lake Estes – Columbine Inn
The best budget hotel in Lake Estes is Columbine Inn. It’s almost unbeatable for its location, as it’s only a five-minute walk from the lake.
The hotel provides excellent amenities and vast green spaces. There are various activities around the hotel, including cycling and watersports.
Best Resort in Lake Estes – The Estes Park Resort
This resort offers stunning views over the lake and beyond. Downtown is a 10-minute drive away, but there are plenty of amenities on-site. These include a bar, restaurant, and fitness center.
The hotel offers multiple activities to visitors which take advantage of the location. These include canoeing, cycling, and horse riding.
Things to See and Do in Lake Estes:
- Explore the surrounding scenery and embark on some of the best hikes in the USA.
- Take a walk alongside Lake Estes, where you’ll find stunning views over the lake.
- Take a short drive and play some golf at the Estes Park 18-hole golf course.
- Visit the nearby Estes Park Mountain Shop for some excellent mountain hiking equipment.
- Eat delicious pizza at Antonio’s Real New York Pizza, home to some of the best pizza in the area.
- Eat some tasty steak at the Hunter’s Chop House, where you’ll find delicious meats that the restaurant sources locally.
- Have a relaxing walk or play sports at the Estes Valley Recreation and Park District.
- Walk towards downtown Estes Park, where you’ll find over 200 shops, restaurants, and all the best bars.
3. Castle Mountain – Best Area in Estes Park for Families
The best place to stay if you’re visiting as a family is in the Castle Mountain area, where you’ll find incredible peace and quiet. Visitors love the incredible surrounding green scenery, but also the fact that you’re only a short drive from the downtown area and Lake Estes.
The location makes Castle Mountain perfect for families, as it’s safely secluded but close enough to the action. There’s plenty of space to run around in, and lots of family-friendly accommodation to boot!
Best Airbnb in Castle Mountain – Bunkhouse @ Old Man Mountain studio – 1 ac retreat
This Estes Park Airbnb enjoys a quiet location in a secluded area. It’s stylish and comfortably furnished, providing a calming base in the Rocky Mountain surroundings.
The studio is simple but has all the essential amenities, including a full bathroom and well-equipped kitchen.
Best Hotel in the Castle Mountain Area – Woodlands on Fall River
If you’re visiting Castle Mountain as a family, then this is a fantastic option. You’ll be next to the stunning Fall River and just a short walk from all the nearby woodland and forests. Visitors enjoy an incredible array of relaxing amenities and personal space, as well as a gorgeous mountain backdrop.
Best Resort in Castle Mountain Area – Boulder Brook on Fall River
If you’re looking for an excellent resort in Estes Park, then look no further! Each room comes with a balcony, and guests can make full use of the onsite hot tub and BBQ facilities.
When you’re done exploring, there are plenty of books, DVDs, and board games to keep children entertained.
Things to See and Do in Castle Mountain:
- Take a short drive into the Downtown area, where you’ll find excellent shops, bars, and restaurants.
- Go hiking around the stunning local nature and parkland.
- Take a walk past Fall River, an excellent place to have a picnic during the summer.
- Take a short drive into the mountains for some hiking. Remember to bring along some bear spray.
- Head towards Lake Estes via car, bicycle, or public transport and relax in beautiful nature.
- Visit the Beaver Meadows Visitor Centre, where you’ll find the Rocky Mountains National Park headquarters.
- Take the family towards the Snowy Peaks Winery, where you can enjoy some of the best local wines.
- Visit the Estes Park Visitors Center, where you can find expert knowledge on the local area and things to do.
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Estes Park
The Rocky Mountains is undoubtedly one of the best national parks in the USA, and Estes Park is a beautiful spot to experience it. It’s full of accommodation options and has plenty of things to do. All the areas mentioned in this guide are pretty close to each other, so you can easily explore no matter where you base yourself.
If you’re still unsure where to stay, we highly recommend Downtown Estes Park. It’s got the best of both worlds, offering guests a great location while being also a short drive from the Rocky Mountains National Park.
That being said, wherever is best for you really depends what you want out of your trip! The good news is there really is something for everyone, so you can find somewhere to suit your travel style and budget.
And don’t forget to take out Travel Insurance for your trip! I have been using World Nomads for some time now and made a few claims over the years. They’re easy to use, professional and relatively affordable. They may also let you buy or extend a policy once you’ve started your trip and are already abroad, which is super handy.
Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!
Do you own an awesome hostel, hotel or apartment? Want to be featured in our list? Email [email protected] to find out how.
Find out how YOU can support the site.
We work hard to put out the best backpacker resources on the web for free! It’s all about helping out our tribe of awesome backpacker readers (that’s you!). Please visit the link to find out how you can help keep the site going 🙂
For the sake of transparency, some of the links in our content are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation, buy a piece of gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. We only link to stuff that members of the Broke Backpacker team has actually used and never endorse products or services that are not up to scratch. Thanks for your support!