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Estes Park May Weather

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Houston, Texas
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Estes Park May Weather

Good morning!

My family (six adults, two babies) are going to Estes Park next week. I know the highs are going to be in the 50s and the lows in the 30s, but I'm still unsure how to pack. We're from south Texas so humidity plays a big part in how hot and cold everything feels. Will we really need heavy coats? Would shorts just be a complete waste of packing space? Any clothing suggestions would be great.

Also, any must see stops in the area?

Thanks in advance.

Windsor, Colorado
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for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
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1. Re: Estes Park May Weather

There is a big difference between the weather for Estes Park and the weather for Rocky Mountain National Park. Here is the weather link for popular Bear Lake in RMNP.

forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php…

Currently, Bear Lake still has 45 inches of snow on the ground.

It is too early for shorts in Estes Park and RMNP. You need layers not heavy coats so that you can adjust as the temperature dictates. If any of your party plans to hike or snowshoe, the layer next to your skin needs to be a moisture wicking synthetic - not cotton. Bring warm non-cotton socks, gloves and a cap. If you want to play in the snow or if it actually snows while you are here, a waterproof jacket and waterproof shell for your pants are very helpful. Estes Park and RMNP are also often very windy.

As for must see stops - that is all of RMNP. I will give you details. Are you flying into Denver or driving from Texas?

Houston, Texas
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2. Re: Estes Park May Weather

We are flying into Denver. Thanks for the clothing information!

Windsor, Colorado
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for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
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3. Re: Estes Park May Weather

Normally, I send people from DIA through Boulder then up the Peak to Peak to Estes Park. However, the weekend of May 9, 10 and 11 is graduation weekend in Boulder. If you are flying in around that time, avoid Boulder!

Also avoid the E-470 toll road around DIA as rental car agencies assess a daily surcharge plus the toll if you use this road even once.

If you are not in a rush to get to Estes Park, here is the scenic route to take to Estes Park.

http://goo.gl/maps/lRLYw

At Nederland, you and the babies might enjoy a $1 ride on the Carousel of Happiness. You can also grab a snack or meal in Nederland.

http://www.carouselofhappiness.org/

If you are in a hurry or for your return trip to DIA, this is your best route which avoids the road construction on highway 36 between Estes Park and Lyons.

http://goo.gl/maps/jco3I

Scenic driving tour of RMNP

http://goo.gl/maps/FYqFi

On the above link, Trail Ridge Road is currently open to Rainbow Curve. That can change with the weather. Also drive into the Moraine Park Visitor Center parking lot across from the turn off to Fern Lake Road. The views are great. There are many overlooks along the route. You will see them. You have a great chance to see wildlife.

There are fun things to do in Estes Park and RMNP. The adults may need to swap out babysitting or I can send you some sitter info by private message.

Horseback riding with Jackson Stables or Sombrero

Off road jeep tour with Rocky Mountain Rush in Roosevelt National Forest (usually begin around May 15 depends on trail conditons and the area has had lots of snow)

Drive your own off road vehicle with Backbone or Estes Park ATV - ditto about trail conditions

Wildlife Safari with Yellow Wood Guiding - May is a great time to see wildlife in RMNP.

Ghostly and historic Stanley Hotel Tour

Wine tasting at Snowy Peaks

Hiking in RMNP - Some trails in RMNP are all season trails and some clear earlier than others. Depending on the age of the babies - you can rent hiking carriers at Warming House and Estes Park Mountain Shop. Rangers at the RMNP Beaver Meadows Visitor Center can give you trail conditions and suggestions. There are shorter (less than a mile total) scenic trails in RMNP like Lily Lake/Lily Ridge, Bear Lake and Sprague Lake. Other easier/shorter trails - Bear to Dream Lake, Alberta Falls, Fern Lake Trailhead to The Pool, Upper Beaver Meadows, Gem Lake (all season and more moderate than easy)

Play golf with the elk at the 18 hole or 9 hole courses in Estes Park. I am not kidding about the elk. They love the golf courses.

Fly fishing, rock climbing, biking on a pretty day, boating on Lake Estes are all fun options.

And if some of you are feeling adventuresome, whitewater rafting starts up around mid-May on the Poudre River. Rafting companies in Fort Collins are about an hour and 15 minutes from Estes Park. Snowpack was good for the Poudre and those early trips will be cold (wear wet suits) but should be a thrilling ride.

www.shoprma.com/poudre_river_rafting.htm

http://www.raftmwd.com/river-trips/plunge/

http://www.a1wildwater.com/trips.html

awanderlustadventure.com/poudre-river-raftin…

While you are in Fort Collins, if you can get online reservations, check out the #1 brewery tour here on TA at New Belgium Brewery. The weather has been shorts weather in Fort Collins lately. When not out on tour, the West Coast Team of Budweiser Clydesdales call the Fort Collins stables home. You do not have to take the brewery tour to see the Clydesdales, but here is the tour schedule. Call the phone number to see if the Clydesdales are home.

October–May

Thursday–Monday 10am-4pm, Gift Shop 10am-5pm Daily

June–September

Daily 10am-4pm, Gift Shop 10am-5pm Daily

2351 Busch Drive, Fort Collins, CO 80524

(970) 490-4691

After graduation weekend, Pearl Street Mall (pedestrian only) in Boulder has interesting shops and restaurants to explore. There are also warmer and clearer hiking trails around Boulder.

http://www.bouldercoloradohiking.com/

Edited: 4:37 pm, May 05, 2014
Windsor, Colorado
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for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
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4. Re: Estes Park May Weather

Do check the weather before you come. Early to mid-May in the mountains can mean warm sunny days or a foot of snow - all within 24 hours of each other. Use the Bear Lake weather link for RMNP.

http://www.estesparkweather.net/index.php

Houston, Texas
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5. Re: Estes Park May Weather

Thank you so much! What a big help.

Nederland, Colorado
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6. Re: Estes Park May Weather

When do you arrive? It could be snowing on Sunday, just so you know.

Houston, Texas
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7. Re: Estes Park May Weather

Saturday. Thanks. We're looking forward to it.

Madison,WI
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8. Re: Estes Park May Weather

Wow. A double thank you. We're flying to Denver Sunday night for a week to do that exact same type of trip. Usually we go skiing, but this time it will be more sight seeing and exploring. Thanks.

rky
Estes Park, Colorado
Destination Expert
for Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park
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624 posts
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9. Re: Estes Park May Weather

Yep, it is a snowy Mother's Day here in Estes Park! Several inches overnight and it is forecast to continue all day today. Anyone who is headed this way should just take time and travel safe!

Windsor, Colorado
Destination Expert
for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
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123 reviews
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10. Re: Estes Park May Weather

From reply #4 - "Early to mid-May in the mountains can mean warm sunny days or a foot of snow - all within 24 hours of each other. " That was famous last words. You can check road conditions in Colorado at www.cotrip.org even view live webcams of the roads in some areas by clicking on the camera icons on the road conditions map. There is a camera in Big Thompson Canyon along highway 34 to Estes Park. There are two cameras on the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway - one on highway 72 at Ward and another one on highway 7 at RMNP Lily Lake.

Get answers to your questions about Estes Park