A Fall Morning in Estes Park, Colorado

The lake in Estes Park

Estes Park is essentially the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. With limited time in Colorado, we decided that a drive to Estes Park was the perfect way to spend a morning. Driving from Boulder, we passed so many cyclists out in packs. It was a relaxing and easy drive to this beautiful little town. The road climbed up the mountains and as the view opened up to Estes Park below, we caught sight of the blue lake and snow-capped mountains.

We drove around the lake, stopping at several points to take photos and headed to see the infamous Stanley Hotel. I was clueless as to why this stately hotel is famous, but it was the inspiration behind Stephen King’s The Shining. After spending a night at this hotel that is rumored to be haunted (some suspect by the late Mr. Stanley’s wife), Stephen King got the idea for this book. The movie is filmed elsewhere, but the miniseries was filmed at this hotel. On Wikipedia, I discovered that Dumb & Dumber also filmed a scene here (which I didn’t remember) and that the hotel plays the movie of The Shining 24/7 on one of its own channels.

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park

The hotel sits on 55 acres and due to it’s infamy, they charge $5 per vehicle for day visitors. We thought it was worth it to walk around and see the place.

Stanley Hotel staircase

Once through the front doors, one of the first things you see is this staircase. It looks charming.

Pictured above is the first room you enter into at the Stanley Hotel. The charming old decor and wooden details cause my imagination to run wild and I could buy into the haunting thing. (Of course I also hear noises when I’m home alone at night, so I’m not exactly the most rational person.). I’m certain if I stayed at this hotel, that I would find reason to join the haunted bandwagon.

Looking out from one of the ballrooms to the lake nearby.

From the front lawn of the hotel, the panoramic was simply beautiful. We visited in the fall, right before Halloween, so you might notice below that there are bride and groom pumpkin statues decorating the area.

View from the front lawn of the Stanley Hotel

On our way out of Estes Park, there was a point along a creek that displayed the most beautiful fall colors.

Have you been to Estes Park?

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