Author Topic: lodging near Rocky Mtn National Park?  (Read 4317 times)

bogart

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lodging near Rocky Mtn National Park?
« on: April 11, 2014, 07:47:24 PM »
Hi, all,

DH and I are hoping to travel west, along with our elementary schooler, this summer.  I won't bore you with details or our itinerary but it looks like we might be able to work in about 4 nights around Rocky Mountain National Park (we'll be flying to the Denver airport and heading toward South Dakota).  Any recommendations on lodging near the park?  We want something that includes standard plumbing and, ideally, a kitchen (microwave + mini fridge would be fine, though).  And much prefer something that allows a separate sleeping area for DS (doesn't really have to be his own "room," but needs to allow us to be awake while he is falling asleep in a private spot). 

We'll be getting a rental car, but would prefer to be either very near the park, or possibly in a small urban area within walking distance of decent-yet-affordable restaurants.

Obviously other things equal we'd prefer less expensive, but I'd happily pay more (within reason) for a place that doesn't have a television.

lizzzi

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Re: lodging near Rocky Mtn National Park?
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2014, 07:54:34 PM »
You'll want to stay in or near Estes Park, I think. It is a really nice little town--I actually lived there for six months in the early 80's, and my ex-husband's family is still there. The big hotel is the Stanley--probably more than what you want--but you should be able to go online and find some options. The "downtown" so to speak is pleasant for strolling, eating, finding souvenirs and whatnot…and Estes is the gateway to the Park. Try the walk around Bear Lake, and then of course you'll be driving up into the park and doing Trail Ridge Rd. There used to be a herd of elk that walked around right through the neighborhoods in Estes--sometimes my kids couldn't get to the end of the drive to get on the school bus because the elk were all over the front yard.

brewer12345

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Re: lodging near Rocky Mtn National Park?
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2014, 07:58:22 PM »
Heh, the Stanley.  Google it and "The Shining."

Estes park is a good place to stay.  If you want the real experience, buy a tent and camp out in the park or nearby in the National Forest.

bogart

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Re: lodging near Rocky Mtn National Park?
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2014, 08:11:34 PM »
Thanks.  Yeah, I'd be happy to have the real (tent) experience, but DH would not, so lodging it is.

Heart of Tin

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Re: lodging near Rocky Mtn National Park?
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2014, 06:15:04 AM »
When I was in middle school my family stayed near Rocky Mountain National Park at the YMCA of the Rockies (http://ymcarockies.org/). We had a great time, and my dad seemed to think that the rates were very affordable.

davisgang90

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Re: lodging near Rocky Mtn National Park?
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2014, 06:30:17 AM »
Another +1 for Estes Park.  Estes Park Brewery makes some yummy stuff.  We used to do a family reunion at a place call Glacier Lodge.  Old style log cabins and such.  Enjoy! 

Grateful Stache

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Re: lodging near Rocky Mtn National Park?
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2014, 10:39:19 AM »
No specifics for you, but I have some general information from a Colorado resident.

There should be plenty of lodging choices, and many of the national brands have representation. The Stanley is a beautiful, old hotel that was the inspiration for the Steven King book 'The Shining' (although the film featured a hotel in Oregon) . If you start early, you might be able to get a discount, otherwise it can be expensive, especially during peak season. The front porch is a beautiful place to sip a bourbon and recover from a long hike. Alternatively, you can check out VRBO and rent a house. I did this last time we had friends visit, and it worked out nicely. Many of the houses on VRBO are similar prices to hotels, especially if you have a lot of people. 

Downtown Estes Park is your average tourist town. Nothing special. Tons of t-shirt shops and pizza joints. In my opinion you should spend a majority of time in the park. Bear Lake is a major launch point for several worthy hikes. There is a huge parking lot, but you should get there early (otherwise there is no parking and you will have to take a shuttle). There was a lot of construction on Bear Lake Road last summer, so you should check the park website for details. 

Best of luck. It's a beautiful place.

NV Teacher

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Re: lodging near Rocky Mtn National Park?
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2014, 09:19:44 AM »
Estes Park is where I'd stay.  We went a few years ago and stayed in a nice little place I found on VRBO.  Have fun, it's beautiful there.

bogart

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Re: lodging near Rocky Mtn National Park?
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2014, 01:33:17 PM »
Thanks, all -- yes, I know VRBO and am exploring options there; the YMCA also looks like it may be a good alternative, many thanks for letting me know about that one!

j-lu

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Re: lodging near Rocky Mtn National Park?
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2014, 05:20:50 PM »
Thanks, all -- yes, I know VRBO and am exploring options there; the YMCA also looks like it may be a good alternative, many thanks for letting me know about that one!
+1 for YMCA.  We've had 2 family reunions here.  They book up fast, though

Heart of Tin

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Re: lodging near Rocky Mtn National Park?
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2014, 05:35:50 PM »
Thanks, all -- yes, I know VRBO and am exploring options there; the YMCA also looks like it may be a good alternative, many thanks for letting me know about that one!

When my family stayed there (10 years ago) there were some guided hikes to which we had free access since we were lodged at the YMCA, FYI. I'm not sure if that has changed in the intervening years, but it could be a nice perk!

gotaholen1

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Re: lodging near Rocky Mtn National Park?
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2014, 11:03:16 AM »
I was in Estes Park two summers ago.  I am pretty sure there are a few bus stops that will take you from various places is Estes Park to Rocky Mountain National Park.  These buses were either free or really cheap, and I remember one stop was the visitor's center in Estes Park.

Also Donus Haus is a great bakery.  Long lines in the morning but worth it and you will work off the calories on the amazing trails.


bogart

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Re: lodging near Rocky Mtn National Park?
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2014, 02:58:28 PM »
Thanks (again) all.  I've ended up going with a VRBO place in Estes Park and we'll definitely check out the recommended sites/resources.  Much appreciated.