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Motels along the river and hikes

Lincoln, NE
Destination Expert
for Lincoln
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671 posts
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Motels along the river and hikes

We were in CO last summer and loved it. This fall we would like to return, a last minute idea, to be there when the elk are in rut. What is a reasonable place to stay, under 100.00 a night that is clean and not run down? We want something where we could hear the elk. Also, what are some good short hikes off of Trail Ridge RD. just out of Estes? Thank you.

Arvada, Colorado
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for Boulder
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1. Re: Motels along the river and hikes

Not sure exactly what week you are coming, but book quickly as it is very busy during elk rutting season. I'm not sure off the top of my head where you can stay in Estes that you will be able to hear the elk. We always camp, so we hear them all night. Or be at the park in the early morning and evenings when they are most active and bugling in the meadows.

Are you wanting to hike off the Trail Ridge Road specifically? There are a lot of great short hikes in the park which might be better. I would drive the road but hike else where such as around Bear Lake and up to Dream Lake and the other lakes in that area. The Cub Lake Trail that will loop around to I think the Fern Lake trailhead isn't really short, but you might see some elk along the way. Just keep a good distance. Last year at this same time of year we saw moose at Cub Lake.

Littleton, Colorado
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2. Re: Motels along the river and hikes

If you can plan your trip after Oct. 13, you'd have a better chance of finding nice lodging for that price, or even finding anything at all! My husband and I were trying to find a room without success for the first weekend in Oct. where we usually stay. We're going to try Boulder Brook for the first time, and hopefully it will live up to its #1 ranking! For lodging, look at the condo places along Fall River Road like the Woodlands or the Evergreen - this is the best and most scenic area to stay in Estes. If you do come that late, be prepared for colder weather, even some snow, but hope for sunny, warm days which are possible as well.

This website has very detailed descriptions and pictures of a lot of popular hikes in RMNP. thespiritoftherockies.net/spirit/HikingRMNP.…

The hikes around Bear Lake are perfect - not too hard and very scenic. A nice easy warm up hike is around Sprague Lake in the late afternoon - the view of a snow-covered mountain peak reflected in the lake is stunning! It will be too late for foliage, usually, but the elk are all over and an absolute must to view in the Moraine and listen to them bugle!

Lincoln, NE
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671 posts
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3. Re: Motels along the river and hikes

THANK YOU skiracermom and Shaken Bake for your rapid responses! We had thought about coming the last week of Sept. or first week of Oct.. If we wait until later in October (after the 13th), will we miss the elk rutting season?

Littleton, Colorado
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4. Re: Motels along the river and hikes

The elk will be rutting through October, so you won't miss anything! If you can find a place in late Sept., that is the best time to be in Estes to catch the foliage and the weather will probably be better; however, you will pay a premium and have a hard time finding any place at this late date - but try anyway, I'd say!

Mid-October and later gives you an advantage of lower prices and less crowds. You can still get nice weather, or it could snow, which brings its own charms too. This will be our seventh year spending the weekend there in mid-October and it's my favorite time!

5. Re: Motels along the river and hikes

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