Boulder Brook Blog

Downtown Estes Park History Walking Tours

In 1905, Abner Sprague was hired by Cornelius Bond and the Estes Park Town Company to plat the town. Within weeks, lots along the street named “Elkhorn” were taken up and new businesses were planted. Over the course of a decade, the basic footprint of the town we know today had put down roots.

Discover the hidden past on a guided walking tour of downtown with a docent from the Estes Park Museum. Explore historical photographs from the Museum’s collection to aid in comparing the past to the present — What used to be there? Is it still? What is it now? 

Tours run weekly on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday through September 16, 2016. Admission is $8.

Tours start downtown with check-in at 8:15am in Bond Park by the Enos Mills sculpture. Tours begin promptly at 8:30am and returns to Bond Park by around 10:00am.

For more information contact the Estes Park Museum:

Estes Park Museum Friends & Foundation, Inc.
200 Fourth Street
Estes Park, CO  80517

(970) 577-3766


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Go Fish!

With over 350 miles of trails covering over 265,000 acres, RMNP offers numerous fishing opportunities for the casual angler or seasoned expert.   Fish here for all wild trout including Brook, Rainbow, Brown, and Cutthroat including the Greenback.  There are options for Catch and Release fishing as well as Catch and Keep throughout the park


Anglers can choose to cast their lines in the Big Thompson River below Lake Estes where the first 8 miles is a Catch and Release area.  For even more of a river experience, the Big Thompson Canyon offers more than 20 miles of public water between Estes Park and Loveland with 10 miles of prime Catch and Release fishing between Olympus Dam and Waltonia Bridge where anglers will find Rainbows and Browns.


If you want to fish with bait and/or fry up your fresh catch for dinner, Lake Estes is stocked with  Rainbow Trout and is populated by Wild Brown Trout, Yellow Perch, Walleyes, and a few, rare Tiger Muskies.


Within RMNP, Sprague Lake is beautiful, and with easy access from the parking area is also stroller, wheelchair, and family friendly.  Catch Brook or Brown Trout with bait while watching for the Moose that live in the immediate area.


Lily Lake is the most accessible greenback fishery there is with fish reaching the 20-inch mark. It’s also family, stroller, and wheelchair friendly and features abundant aquatic life and fun hiking trails that meander off the sides.


Several great resources fo information, daily reports, equipment purchase and rental, and/or guided trips are available in Estes Park. A Colorado fishing license is required for all RMNP fishing.




Fishing Estes Park

Kirks Flyshop

Estes Park Mountain Shop

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Rooftop Rodeo

We’re gonna be kickin’ up some dust in Estes Park next week! On the heels of our Independence Day celebration the Rooftop Rodeo swoops in live and in color! From July 6-11, 2016 there’s non-stop, rip-roarin’ cowboy action in store for rodeo fans at Estes Park’s annual Rooftop Rodeo. This is a PRCA sanctioned event and one that has been recognized as the best small rodeo in the nation along with being named the top medium-sized rodeo in the Midwest, and the #1 summer rodeo in Colorado by Real American Cowboy Magazine. Nightly professional rodeo performances combine with Mutton Bustin’ competition for the kids, a parade through downtown Estes Park and dance during the annual affair.

The Rooftop Rodeo Parade kicks off the event on July 6th when entries make their way from the west end of town on Elkhorn Avenue (Estes Park’s main street) to Fourth St. on their way to the Estes Park Events Complex, adjacent to Lake Estes at U.S. Highway 36 and Community Drive. The parade traditionally features hundreds of horses, marching units, hitches, cowboys and cowgirls, floats, and antique cars.

On Saturday, get out your dancing shoes and pearl-snaps for the country-western Queen’s Dance where everyone dances up a storm. This annual event is held from 9:30 pm to 1:30 am at the Estes Park Event Center. Admission to the dance is $12 and there is a cash bar. Free local shuttle service (Silver Route) runs until 10 p.m. and taxi services are available for safe rides home.

Behind the Chutes Tours offer an exclusive behind-the scenes look at all the rodeo action and are scheduled for 4:30 and 5:30 pm each night. Tickets are $10 for adults; $5 for children three- to 11-years old, and can be purchased online (online sales coming soon!). In 2013, these tours sell out each night, so get your tickets early. Groups of 20 or more may make arrangements for special tours (call 970-577-3920).

Gates to midway fun open at 5:30 pm. Come early to snag the best seats, shop with a variety of vendors and grab a bite to eat. Spend time with face painting, Western music and more. Evening kick-off performances start at 7 pm each night and rodeo events begin at 7:30 pm at the Estes Park Events Complex. Mutton Bustin’ happens each night at 8:30 and a Cash Catch is held at 9 pm on weekend nights.

Friday Night the Rooftop Rodeo teams up with the Man Up Crusade for Purple Night. The Man Up Crusade is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating public awareness on the issue of domestic violence. Purple is the color of choice for survivors and victims of domestic violence and on Purple Night all rodeo participants, fans and support personnel are encouraged to wear purple to show their support.

Saturday is Tough Enough to Wear Pink night, where everyone is encouraged to wear pink to show their support for cancer awareness. All proceeds of the Tough Enough to Wear Pink merchandise (available in the rodeo midway) will go to a local charity. New this year, the Estes Area Lodging Association is giving away free pink bandannas to all in attendance on Saturday to make sure you show your “tough enough to wear pink” support! Come early and enjoy the midway festivities.

Both general admission and box seat tickets are available for each rodeo performance. General admission seats are not reserved and prices are $30 for adults and $15 for children ages 2-12, seniors and military. Box seat tickets are $30 for all ages when purchased for one night. Reduced rates for seniors, active military and groups are available. Online Tickets available soon!

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Cool Cars and Fireworks-4th of July 2016 in Estes Park

The 18th annual Coolest Car Show takes place this July 4th, 2016, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Estes Park Event Center, located at Stanley Fairgrounds. This year’s theme is “Classic Rock Songs-And The Cars That Inspired Them”. Local Estes Park folk musicians, The Mountain Music Makers, will start off the festivities at 10:00 a.m. followed by Denver-based band Ugly Rumor beginning at 12:00 p.m. that afternoon. Admission is only $5 for adults, $2.50 for ages 6-17, and free for kids 5 and under. Tickets will be on sale that day in front of the Event Center main entrance and also inside in the lobby. The event features more than 100 “steam to electric” vehicles! The concession center opens at 11:00 a.m. that morning and there will be a “Coolest Kids Car Corner” with games and crafts plus several additional attractions.

A free concert by the Estes Village Band begins at 7 p.m. at the Performance Park Amphitheater, at the west end of downtown.  The concert will feature the patriotic works of John Philip Sousa and others.

The Fireworks Show starts at 9:30pm over Lake Estes-undoubtedly one of Colorado’s most glorious fireworks displays!

To make it easier for all Estes Park guests to get around on July 4th, the Estes Park FREE Shuttles have extended evening service hours so all can easily attend the evening festivities.

Such exciting festivities make celebrating Independence Day in Estes Park an unforgettable experience!

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Play Me Some Mountain Music!!!

Come on down and enjoy the 20 year anniversary of the Bond Park Cowboy Music Program. The program runs from June 12 through August 16, 2016 and features Estes Park’s own Cowboy Brad Fitch. The free programs will be held Sunday, Monday and Tuesday evenings beginning at 7:00 PM. The programs are family friendly and open to the public.

Watch Cowboy Brad Fitch talk about his upcoming shows:


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RMNP for Memorial Day

Rocky Mountain National Park staff invite you to two special programs this Memorial Day weekend on Saturday, May 28 and Sunday, May 29 at 7 p.m. at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center.  Commemorate one hundred years of the National Park Service and honor those who serve.


Trail Quest on Saturday May 28, at 7 p celebrates one of the most popular activities in he park: hiking.  Have you ever dreamed about hiking all of Rocky’s 350 plus miles of trails?  Dreams can come true.  Follow park ranger Don Stewart’s stories and adventures exploring the park’s backcountry wilderness areas and vast trail system.


Navy Band Northwest on Sunday May 29, at 7p  Rocky Mountain National Park is honored to showcase the Navy Band Northwest Brass Quartet and Low Brass Quartet performing a joint concert in the auditorium at Beaver Meadows Visitor Center.  Navy Band Northwest is under the leadership of its Director, Lieutenant Bruce Mansfield. This long standing group traces its history back to 1925 and since then provides musical support for official Navy functions and Navy Recruiting efforts, as well as community outreach performances for the communities of the Pacific Northwest in Alaska, Northern California, Colorado, Idaho, Western Kansas, Montana, Western Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Both evening programs are held at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center, Rocky Mountain National Park at 7 p.m.  Programs are free and open to the public.

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Calving Season – Irritable Moms, Relaxed Dads

It’s spring! Everything is blooming, eating, and birthing!


Bull Elk are shedding winter coats, eating to recover stamina, muscle, and strength after the challenges of winter and growing new antlers in preparation for the Autumn Rut.  Not yet ready for sparring, the Bulls can often be seen in large foraging or resting groups all around the Park, town and even in our front yard!  They seem at ease as they relax in the shade, eating, napping and chewing, enjoying the fresh air and warm earth, perhaps, as much as the small groups of visitors taking pictures from safe distances enjoy their grace and majesty.


Elk Cows, on the other hand, are either heavily pregnant or are recovering from giving birth.  At this tender time, they are hyper-vigilant — irritable, jumpy, and highly protective of their young.


For the first several weeks of their lives, the calves remain hidden while the cows browse and recover much-needed nourishment and strength after birthing.  It is very important to observe from a very safe distance. Never get between a cow and her calf, and be respectful of their sensitive condition.


Here are some guidelines for safe wildlife viewing:


Be aware of your surroundings. Remember, Elk see you long before you see them. Awesome Elk Fact: Elk have evolved the ability to detect even the slightest motions.  They can rotate each eye independently and have extreme wide-angle vision so they are able to see to both sides and straight ahead simultaneously. They will detect your presence long before you detect theirs.


Observe trail and detour signs. If a trail or path is closed, choose an alternate.  The bird sanctuary along Lake Estes Trail is a popular “nursery” but Elk can be anywhere.


You are way too close if: an animal is carefully watching you, if her ears are up and her head is down, if she paws the ground or reacts in any way when you move or if she appears “jumpy.”  Never make eye contact with a wild animal. It is received as aggressive, dangerous, or threatening and can trigger aggression. For everyone’s safety, look away and back away.


Keep dogs leashed and quiet. Do not allow them to bark, lunge at or chase wildlife.  Elk frequently cross the roads in and around Lake Estes. Never allow your dog to bark at wildlife from open windows of your vehicle.


Do not block traffic or stop in the middle of the road. “Elk Jams” are dangerous for both  animals and other drivers. Pull safely to the shoulder or park in designated areas.


Elk know no boundaries, but people do. Remember to respect private property as well as the herd and one another when viewing wildlife.

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Come Visit Boulder Brook

Nestled next to the rambling waters of Fall River, Boulder Brook is ideally located to take advantage of the unique shopping of downtown Estes Park or the rugged splendor of the Rocky Mountain National more