We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

No snow in Estes Park?

Fort Collins...
Level Contributor
904 posts
1 review
Save Topic
No snow in Estes Park?

So I've been looking for a quick mountain getaway to enjoy the snow that the front range has apparently been missing the last two years. Looks like fort Collins has been around 30 inches on the season for the past two years, which is half of the normal snowfall.

Estes Park seemed like the perfect option, quaint town, an hour away and cheap winter lodging. The only problem is, it looks like Estes Park only averages 33 inches of snow per year! Can any locals confirm this for me? I would have guessed Estes park would be at least in the 100 inch range

WI
Destination Expert
for Wisconsin, Colorado Springs
Level Contributor
6,136 posts
117 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: No snow in Estes Park?

Crested Butte would be a good option for quaint town, and they just got the first snow last week sometime. http://www.gunnisoncrestedbutte.com/decided Obviously this option means you'll be traveling to get to it.

If you're looking at something up near Denver area maybe try Steamboat Springs or Winter Park as secondary options.

Windsor, Colorado
Destination Expert
for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
Level Contributor
10,166 posts
127 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: No snow in Estes Park?

There is a big difference in snow totals for the town of Estes Park vs. Rocky Mountain National Park. In fact, there is a big difference in snow totals in RMNP depending on where in RMNP you measure. The eastern side of RMNP is known as the drier side. I have been to Estes numerous times when there was no snow "in town" and there would be snow along Fall River Road, on highway 66 or up highway 7. Bear Lake in RMNP usually has plenty of snow which is why it is such a popular area for snowshoeing. Once the snow starts falling, you can almost always find snow somewhere in RMNP. It is amazing what a difference that short drive from Estes into the park can make.

The last couple of years, I can assure you Estes Park did get more snow than Fort Collins. I routinely and intentionally time my visits to my condo in Estes/RMNP for the snow and they frequently had snow on the ground when we had none. I live in Larimer County in Windsor but with a Fort Collins zip code. Estes tends to get more accumulating snow in February, March and early April than Fort Collins. The extra 2500 feet in elevation makes a difference as temps warm in early spring.

Historically, the official snowfall for Estes Park is less than for Fort Collins. I do not know where they measure in Estes for that official number.

Rky lives in Estes year round and can add observations.

rky
Estes Park, Colorado
Destination Expert
for Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park
Level Contributor
627 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: No snow in Estes Park?

Yes, indeed . . . the town if Estes does not receive as much snowfall as one may think. We get our share of wind, to be sure. As fv1989 points out, there is a tremendous difference in the amount of snow in the downtown area compared to just a few miles up the road in RMNP. My property right here at downtown stays relatively snow free year round. What falls melts quickly.

Best time to visit for snow is March and April.

florida
Level Contributor
458 posts
188 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: No snow in Estes Park?

As fv posted, as you drive up Fall River Rd to the park, you see snow you won't see in town. I don't live there, but our theory was always about the shade and shelter from some of the wind in some spots like that, as opposed to town where wind is less obstructed. often it blowing around, as well as more sun causing melting.

Charleston, South...
Destination Expert
for Charleston, South Carolina, Telluride
Level Contributor
11,076 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: No snow in Estes Park?

Are you looking to enjoy winter snow sports/activities or just see some snow?

Colorado
Destination Expert
for Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, Crested Butte, Gunnison
Level Contributor
6,021 posts
173 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: No snow in Estes Park?

"snow that the front range has apparently been missing the last two years."

It wasn't just the front range missing snow last year. It was virtually all of Colorado and most of the United States in general. The US is experiencing drought conditions that by many estimates haven't been observed in over a half-century.

As far as snow in the mountains, the higher you go, the more snow there is. Two years ago Gunnison received approximately 6-8 feet of snow. A half-hour away (and 1,500 vertical feet up the valley) Mt. Crested Butte received roughly 40 feet of snow. Even further up the Gunnison Valley, Irwin hit 100 feet for the year (+1,200 inches of snow). If you want to see snow, you just need to get out and explore this wonderful state we live in.

Fort Collins...
Level Contributor
904 posts
1 review
Save Reply
7. Re: No snow in Estes Park?

Yeah, I follow the weather and climate quite closely, guess that's why I was surprised to see such a low snow total at a place like Estes. Mainly looking to chill in town, possibly snowshoeing. I've been all over Colorado, just looking for something close.

Guess I'll just hope for some timely snow, thanks

8. Re: No snow in Estes Park?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 12:18 pm, December 14, 2013