July 13, 2012

Rocky Mountain National Park: Area Attractions Other Than Hiking

Scenic drives, fishing, museums, river rafting/tubing, and a brewery make up a short list of some of the area attractions other than hiking.

Scenic Drives

Old Fall River Road is a one way dirt road northwest of Estes Park inside the Fall River Entrance along Trail Ridge Road.  The road travails along a canyon carved out by the Fall River.  Along the route, turnouts are available to create a base of exploration.  Several stops are at waterfalls.  There are no guard rails and lots of twists, bends, and long drops.  After a handful of miles (the road is 11 total miles), it leaves the canyon and peaks out at 11,796' in elevation above the river.  The drive offers very good wildlife viewing opportunities.  Fishing is allowed all along the river.

Fishing

There is a whole bunch of fishing in the Rocky Mountain National Park.  Most of it is trout (brook, Cotherelorado River cutthroat, greenback cutthroat, rainbow).  There are varying guidelines for how you fish depending on what lake you are fishing at.  Rather then break it all down.  Here is a link to a brochure detailing the various rules for each lake in Rocky Mountain National Park.  License for five days is $21; you can purchase online.  Fly fishing is very popular in the rivers.





Museums

Estes Park Museum
Permanent and temporary exhibits on the history of the area. Free Admission.
200 4th Street
Estes Park, CO 80517
(970) 586-6256
 Website
Moraine Park Museum
Moraine Park Museum & Visitors Center focuses on naturalist displays.
Located on Bear Lake Road in Rocky Mountain National Park
Estes Park, CO  
(970) 586-1206
MacGregor Ranch Museum
Preserving Colorado's homesteading & ranching heritage
180 MacGregor Avenue
Estes Park, CO 80517
(970) 586-3749
Website
Historic Fall River Hydroplant
This Hydroplant was built by F.O. Stanley to power his famous Stanley Hotel in 1909
1754 Fish Hatchery Road
Estes Park, CO 80517
(970) 586-6256 | (970) 577-3761 | (970) 577-3762 | (970) 577-3766
Website
Stanley Museum
Area History pertaining to F.O. Stanley's life in Estes Park including photography, music, steam cars, and antiques.
333 Wonderview Avenue
Estes Park, CO 80517
(970) 577-4110 | 1(800) 976-1377
Website

River Rafting

River rafting or river tubing is popular in the summer.  The Colorado River, Poudre River, and Clear Creek are all suitable for river trips.  The Poudre River is more advanced and requires professional guides for approximately $100 per person.  Per Lyle the Rocky Mountain Ranger, any of the rivers on the park can be used for recreational river tubing.  However, and also per Lyle the Ranger, the Rocky Mountains received only 35% of the average snowfall over this past winter and the rivers are not flowing at full capacity and may be slow and/or too shallow.

Brewery

Estes Park Brewery - best beer in Estes Park (supposedly)