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Estes Park or Breckenridge in May

Lafayette, Louisiana
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Estes Park or Breckenridge in May

We are heading there the beginning of May and I can't seem to make up my mind on which city to use as a base. Which would be better beginning of May for two couples? I just wanted to get some additional feedback.

Thank you!

Frisco, Colorado
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1. Re: Estes Park or Breckenridge in May

I suppose it depends on the kind of activities you want to do while here. Also the beginning of May is still kinda winter - Trail Ridge Road will not be open yet. There could be snowstorms, it will be chilly. If you stay in Estes then you will be close to Rocky Mountain National Park. If you stay in Breckenridge then you will have to go a few hours to RMNP - what about splitting your time - or staying in the Grand Lake area?

Breckenridge is near several other towns and has a lot going on. There are many great restaurants in our county as well as lots of things to do. Although the beginning of May is considered Mud season - so lots of places close down for local's to take a vacation. You should be able to get great lodging deals, and the area will be quiet then - not crowded at all.

Breck is a real mountain town with a lot of history, Main Street is great. There is almost always music, art, festival of some sort happening in the county - check the town calendar for your dates. There are certainly tourists in Breck - however a minimal amount in May, I feel Estes Park is too touristy; there may be locals there and it may be less touristy on the outskirts and maybe in May too, but I prefer Breck. I live here, so surely I must be biased!

www.GoBreck.com

www.Breckenridge.com

tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i21445-Summit_C…

www.SummitDaily.com

WestSlope,CO
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2. Re: Estes Park or Breckenridge in May

Breckenridge is at a higher elevation, so your chances for milder weather would be better in Estes Park and some of the areas in RMNP, but it is hard to say at this point whether trails in either location will be icy, snowpacked, muddy, or dry...or all of the above! (Were you hoping for some hiking or snowshoeing/YakTrakking?)

If you could tell us a little more about yourselves, it might help people give the best suggestions. What activities were you hoping to do? What kind of restaurants/nightlife/atmosphere etc. do you prefer?

I think the idea of splitting your time between both places would be a very good plan if you have at least 5 days. Estes Park has the advantage of Rocky Mountain National Park. Breckenridge is the better "base camp" from which you could explore not just Breck but drive over to Leadville, Buena Vista, Mt. Princeton Hot Springs, etc.

Edited: 12:27 pm, February 06, 2013
Windsor, Colorado
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3. Re: Estes Park or Breckenridge in May

Most shops and restaurants are open in Estes Park by early May as they gear up for the busy summer season to come. The first Saturday in May is the charity duck race on Fall River and the sidewalk sale for downtown shops. It is still low season and there are great lodging deals on hotels, cabins, condos, B&B’s, and vacation rentals. I love going to Estes/RMNP before the tourists really arrive.

Other things to do for early May in Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park--

Snowshoeing and hiking—depending on snowfall there will almost certainly be snowshoeing in the Bear Lake area. Hiking at lower elevations will depend on snowfall and weather but there are trails considered all season trails in RMNP and in adjacent Roosevelt National Forest. No special skill other than being able to walk is needed for snowshoeing. You can rent what you need from Estes Park Mountain Shop or Warming House for about $10. You can download the RMNP Spring 2012 paper and this will give you an idea of what to expect in RMNP. Some of the ranger guided activities may interest you. Spring 2013 will be similar. nps.gov/romo/parknews/upload/2012-RMNP-Sprin…

As a group, you might enjoy a guided snowshoe tour. www.estesparkcvb.com and click on things to do and snowshoe tours. The cvb site is a comprehensive site about almost everything in Estes Park.

Trail Ridge Road is usually open to vehicles to Rainbow Curve and all other main roads (except Old Fall River Road) in RMNP will be open. May is a great time to see wildlife (elk, big horn sheep, deer, moose, fox, coyote, wild turkeys, etc.) You might want to book a wildlife safari or other guided tour in RMNP. Yellow Wood Guiding and others (see cvb site) can take care of you.

Horseback riding is available in early May from both Jackson Stables and Sombrero Ranch. www.jacksonstables.com www.sombrero.com

People enjoy the historic and ghostly Stanley Hotel tours www.stanleyhotel.com/tours

Snowy Peaks Winery is a popular tour and wine tasting.

The Estes Park Museum is worth a visit. www.estes.org/museum

The Estes Park Marina opens the first of week of May for boating on Lake Estes. http://evrpd.com/marina/marina-info

Plan a couples massage or romantic carriage ride. www.coloradocarriage.com

Golf (you might have to avoid the elk who graze the course), rock climbing, fly fishing and cycling are all options. By early May, Trail Ridge Road is often plowed beyond Rainbow Curve and cyclists are allowed. They love it! You can also bike Old Fall River Road. The CR43/Devils Gulch Road ride is pretty and available almost year round.

Day trips from Estes--

Fort Collins for brewery tours and Old Town. The New Belgium tour is very popular so make online reservations up to 2 months in advance. Also check out Odell Brewing Company, Fort Collins Brewery and Anheuser-Busch (if the Clydesdales are in town). The Cache La Poudre Scenic Byway starts just 15 minutes from Fort Collins and is a beautiful drive. Have a full tank of gas as there are not many amenities along the byway. Whitewater rafting begins on the Poudre River by mid-May.

Boulder especially Pearl Street Mall plus the weather should be great for hiking in Boulder. www.bouldercoloradousa.com/

Central City and Black Hawk have casinos if that is of interest.

Idaho Springs and Georgetown are historic mining towns and you could visit both in one day trip. The Mount Evans Scenic Byway along 103 from Bergen Park to Echo Lake and from Echo Lake to Idaho Springs will be open and is a very pretty drive. www.historicidahosprings.com www.georgetowncolorado.com

Other scenic drives--some of these you will/can take on your way for day trips

Peak to Peak Scenic Byway--can drive this route from Denver to Estes or on your way to/from Idaho Springs/Black Hawk/Central City

Dramatic Big Thompson Canyon (highway 34 between Estes and Loveland) which is on your way to Fort Collins

North Fork of the Big Thompson (CR 43/Devil's Gulch Road) from Drake through Glen Haven and to Estes Park in Roosevelt National Forest

South St. Vrain Canyon on highway 7 between Allenspark and Lyons on your way to/from Boulder. Lyons is a cute town with some shops and restaurants. Oskar Blues is a favorite with locals.

Boulder Canyon (119 between Nederland and Boulder) and highway 36 from Boulder to Estes Park

Edited: 1:50 pm, February 06, 2013
Breckenridge...
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4. Re: Estes Park or Breckenridge in May

beginning of May- due to lower elevation and potential for dry trails to hike, I would go with Estes Park.

Matt

Lafayette, Louisiana
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5. Re: Estes Park or Breckenridge in May

Thanks everyone! I lived in Colorado when I was much younger. We lived in Drake between Estes Park and Loveland. My husband and I made a trip out there in 2009 and stayed in Estes Park. I wanted to try something different but I absolutely love the Estes Park area. Our friends have never been to Colorado and I would like to ensure they are blown away by the majestic views! How do the two areas compare in scenery? I am not familiar with the Breckenridge area. But I find the RMNP and Estes Park area breathtaking. Our friends want to snowboard, but I was thinking of heading to A-Basin for a couple days and then spend the rest of the time around Estes. We really want to possibly take a few hikes, enjoy beautiful scenery with food and craft brews. It's a tough one for me because I really like trying new things and I want to see Breckenridge but I absolutely love Estes Park and RMNP. Thanks for the feedback! This has helped and I will look into both sides and hopefully I can decide!

Colorado
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6. Re: Estes Park or Breckenridge in May

Well if your are thinking A-Basin why not stay in Breck? It is only a short drive over to the Basin and you have to stay somewhere. There is not lodging at the Basin, closest is Keystone which will be dead quiet at that time of year.

Know that unless we get tons of snow May is going to be iffy for skiing anyway..

I'd go both places. Or decide when it gets closer. It will be off season and you could make plans as you go. Depending on weather, ski conditions. There will be plenty of lodging to choose from. Might get cheaper too as you get closer to your visit.

Windsor, Colorado
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7. Re: Estes Park or Breckenridge in May

How do the two areas compare for scenery? RMNP and Estes Park get my vote. There are some very scenic drives in the Breckenridge area. Boreas Pass and Independence Pass will not be open in early May.

Breckenridge Scenic Drives

…whattodo.info/Breckenridge-CO/…518

You can also do the open parts of the Mount Evans Scenic Byway as a loop trip from Breckenridge. Enter at Idaho Springs, exit at Bergen Park.

For dining, music, shopping and nightlife, Breck is a better option. For scenery and wildlife, RMNP and Estes Park are better. Splitting your time would be ideal.

Snowfall is again below normal so far in Colorado. Snowpack statewide average is 77%. As alli said, don't bet on being able to snowboard in early May--right now looks very doubtful.

Lafayette, Louisiana
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8. Re: Estes Park or Breckenridge in May

Thanks you guys for all of this advice!! I think I will split it up. I get to show my friends what I love about RMNP/ Estes and also see a new part of Colorado! And thanks for the tips on scenic routes. I will look into those and work some in :). I appreciate everything, thanks again!

9. Re: Estes Park or Breckenridge in May

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