The gateway to majestic Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP): Estes Park, Colorado. This mountain town offers things to do year-round, not just in winter. In warmer months, it’s great for hiking, horseback riding, golfing, and wildlife viewing. My cousin’s wife frequently posted pictures of elk roaming freely through their front yard when they lived at the base of Prospect Mountain. Take the gondola up the mountain for breathtaking views of the continental divide, the national park, and the entire Estes Park valley. In the summer, a free shuttle network shuffles folks all over town and to RMNP.
No matter what time of year you visit beautiful Estes Park, you’ll need a place to stay. The area offers quite a selection of Rocky Mountain cabins with beautiful views near downtown and the national park. You can also stay near Lake Estes or by the Fall or Big Thompson Rivers. We did the legwork for you and found some amazing Vrbos for the perfect alpine escape. Here they are, listed from most expensive to most affordable.
Cozy up by the stone fireplace in the courtyard of this vacation rental and take in mountain views. Or you can always gather around the fire pit or relax in the hot tub. Conveniently located just a mile and a half from downtown Estes Park and a few miles from RMNP, this home is located on a dead-end street with minimal traffic.
Grand Estates Lakefront Cabin
Overlooking Lake Estes, this gorgeous cabin offers a breathtaking view of the water through its floor-to-ceiling windows, from its patio, and from the hot tub on the deck. Plus, it’s an end-unit, so you’ll have some privacy! Warm up by the fireplace indoors or out. Get some exercise by walking the 4-mile path that encircles the lake and takes you past the downtown area. Rent a pontoon boat from the marina to explore the water.
Antlerview Lakeside Retreat B&B
Located on Lake Estes, this lakeside retreat boasts magnificent lake and mountain views. In addition to the lake, this three-bedroom vacation rental is in close proximity to RMNP, downtown, restaurants, and other activities. Recreational activities such as horseback riding, putt-putt, fishing, boating, kayaking, paddle boarding, paddle-boating, and golfing are all within walking distance.
Take a walk along the Lake Estes Trail and keep an eye out for wildlife such as elk and bald eagles. Relax on the porch and enjoy incredible views of the snow-capped Rockies.
Overlooking the Big Thompson River, this three-bedroom vacation rental offers views of Prospect Mountain. It is a short walk to Estes Park and an easy mile and a half drive to the Beaver Meadows entrance of RMNP. Bonus for summer visitors: This house has air conditioning — a rarity in this alpine region!
Part of the new Mountain Village at Lake Estes, an upscale residential-resort community, this luxurious cabin is surrounded by stunning lake and mountain views. Good thing it has floor-to-ceiling windows! Walk the four-mile path around the lake then relax in the hot tub or sit by the fire on the porch. Take a look out the southside windows for dramatic views of Long’s Peak and RMNP.
AspenHaus River’s Edge
Situated on the banks of the Big Thompson, this spacious riverfront lodge features river rock wood-burning fireplaces, an antler chandelier, and taxidermy mounts. You can find me in the jacuzzi tub next to the two-sided fireplace!
Community fishing, picnic, and playground areas are right outside the door. It is just a short walk to RMNP and a few miles to the heart of Estes Park. The hosts invite guests to “enjoy a short woodsy walk along the Big Thompson River and emerge to expansive views of Moraine Park. Visit the museum, catch the shuttle to other RMNP destinations, or continue your hike onto Cub Lake, where you will have extraordinary opportunities to view herds of elk along the way.”
Mary’s Lake Aspen Home
Mary’s Lake Aspen Home has 100 reviews and manages to maintain a five-star rating, which is incredible! This modern rustic townhome features spectacular mountain and lake views. Not only does it have central heat and air, but it also has heated floors in the downstairs bathrooms. Take in the views of aspen trees, mountains, wildlife in the meadow, and birds from the covered patio.
Both the RMNP Moraine Park entrance and downtown Estes Park are within 4 miles of this vacation rental. Lily Lake, a local favorite, is just a few miles away via the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway (also known as Colorado Highway 7). Bring a picnic and hike around the lake’s loop trail.
Loose Moose Lodge
Loose Moose Lodge is so named for the wildlife that frequents the area, so keep your camera ready. This mountain lodge offers outstanding views as well as a hot tub on the back patio. Whether you’re on the elevated deck or the lower patio, keep an eye out for deer or elk grazing throughout the neighborhood. You might see a moose, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, or black bears if you’re lucky! Downtown Estes Park is a mile away, while the RMNP entrance can be reached in 5 minutes by car.
The Wild Creek Lodge
Situated 20 minutes from Estes Park, this custom log lodge can be found on 20 isolated acres in Wild Basin on the edge of RMNP and the North St. Vrain Creek. Mount Meeker towers overhead at 14,000 feet. Enjoy convenient access to trails that lead up to waterfalls, high-mountain lakes, and fields of wildflowers. Hiking downstream, fish for wild native trout through the protected 10-mile canyon. Wildlife inhabitants include deer, elk, and oodles of ouzels.
A bunk room downstairs is perfect for kids who will stay entertained with a ping pong table, teepee tent, basketball hoop, horseshoes, and trampoline.
Arrowhead West House
Located in a quiet neighborhood, this lovely, clean, new construction home features high-end finishes such as a stacked stone gas fireplace. Watch for bull elk, coyotes, and bobcats from the front porch. Just minutes from the city center, it is also close to the RMNP Fall River Entrance.
Creekside Suites 21
Part of the Creekside Suites & Condos, this two-bedroom condo features a gas fireplace, mermaid tile in the kitchen, and a hot tub on the porch, which offers gorgeous views of alpine trees, mountains, and Fall River. Elk, deer, marmots, and bighorn sheep stroll by just outside the window.
Elk Ridge Lodge
Nestled in a quiet and serene neighborhood at the base of Prospect Mountain, this alpine retreat features a fire pit, hot tub, and game room, complete with darts and a foosball table. Wildlife, such as elk, deer, turkeys, coyotes, and even bears, roam through the yard. Shopping and dining can be found within a couple of miles, while Estes Golf Course is less than a mile away. The RMNP entrance is 5 miles from here.