For more than 100 years, Estes Park has been a premier destination for visitors looking to have an authentic Colorado experience. Known as “The Gateway to the Rocky Mountain National Park,” if you want to experience the Rockies in all their glory, paying a visit to Estes Park is a must!
Below, we will take a loo at the rich history of Estes Park that showcase exactly how special of a place it is.
Where the Name Estes Park Comes From
William Byers, editor of the Rocky Mountain News, was the first to dub the area Estes Park in honor of its first Anglican residents, Joel and Patsy Estes. Byers quickly predicted that the area would become a favorite resort town due to its natural beauty and proximity to mountain activities.
Establishing the Town of Estes Park
In the early 1900s, Abner Sprague plotted and surveyed the area, creating the layout that has largely stayed intact to this day. Steam car pioneer F.O. Stanley (for whom the famous Stanley Hotel is named) contributed his expertise to establish the town’s infrastructure, and the citizens were almost entirely self-sufficient during the early years of the town.
The Creation of Rocky Mountain National Park
While Estes Park became a town several years before the Rocky Mountain National Park was established, it was integral in ushering in a new era of land preservation. The Rocky Mountain National Park was established in 1915, and when Estes Park was officially incorporated in 1917, it was a natural stopping point for travelers hoping to relish the beauty of Colorado’s mountains.
Experiencing the History of Estes Park
When you visit Estes Park today, there are many ways you can experience the rich history of the town and the surrounding wildlife.
Estes Park contains many areas listed in the National Historic Register, including the Stanley Hotel, Moraine Park, McGraw Ranch, Fall River Pump House, and Leiffer House. The town is also home to two museums, the Estes Park Museum and the MacGregor Ranch Museum, which are must-sees if you are a history enthusiast!
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