Rocky Mountain National Park, created by Congress in 1915, is 415 square miles of hiking trails, unmatched mountain vistas, rushing mountain streams, scenic highways (including the one-of-a-kind Trail Ridge Road), five established campgrounds and hundreds of acres of wilderness. Trail Ridge Road is usually open beyond Rainbow Curve only from late May through October (or until the first major snowfall). Trail Ridge Road below Rainbow Curve is accessible year-round, as are popular Bear Lake and other areas of the National Park.
Although many of the area's recreational opportunities fall within the boundaries of Rocky, the Town of Estes Park offers a full complement of outdoor recreational opportunities.
The Estes Valley Recreation and Parks District (EVRPD) oversees the operations of Stanley Park, the large park located on the banks of Lake Estes that was given to the town for public use by F.O. Stanley. Among other facilities, it includes the fairgrounds where numerous horse shows, rodeos, and other special events are held. The marina at Lake Estes, the 9-hole and 18-hole golf courses and the Estes Park Aquatic Center are just a few of the recreational sites managed by EVRPD. The golf courses are unique in that some of the greatest hazards on the course are elk that feed on the manicured greens. Estes Park is one of the few places in the world where visitors can play a round of golf and watch wildlife at the same time.
Roosevelt National Forest offers additional hiking trails and camp sites. There are also seven private campgrounds in the Estes Park area.
Horseback riding is available through one of several stables in the area. Riding trails can be found in town, in the National Forest, and in the National Park, as well as at some of the dude ranches nearby.
Mountain biking is extremely popular among the outdoor enthusiasts of the area. Equipment rental for most outdoor activities is available in town.
Short of downhill skiing (which is even available nearby) and deep-sea fishing, Estes Park offers almost every other type of outdoor recreation imaginable.
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