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Beautiful Estes Park, Colorado, is known as a main gateway to scenic Rocky Mountain National Park.
Within this small scenic mountain town, there are many different shops to explore and restaurants to choose from for great food, not to mention there is an abundance of wildlife to be found all around!
During some of our visits to Colorado, we have stayed at motels in Estes Park as well as have camped at Estes Park Campground at Mary’s Lake, a great campground for those who love wildlife and being outdoors.
Estes Park Campground at Mary’s Lake is conveniently located in an incredibly scenic valley with an elevation of about 8,000 feet. Everywhere you look, for as far as the eye can see, you will find you are closely surrounded by magnificently majestic views of the Great Rockies.
This particular campground is also very close to Mary’s Lake, where you can enjoy more of the great mountain landscape and scenery, rest at its peaceful waters, try your hand at some mountain fishing, as well as enjoy seeing a variety of different wildlife quenching their thirst while wandering along the shores of this beautiful lake.
The campground at Mary’s Lake is open to all types of campers, from RV’s to tents. The times we have stayed there, we had pitched our huge family sized Ozark Trail 10 Person 3 Room XL Family Cabin Tent* at one of the highest locations in the campground and enjoyed the spectacular views.
At this particular spot at the campground (which has become a repeat-worthy family favorite), we found excellent views of the sprawling valleys and towering mountains around us – giving us a greater opportunity to watch and observe the wildlife from the comfort of our camping chairs we had set up at our campsite, and from inside our tent during early morning and evening hours as well as during some rainy days.
We also had a really great view of a small water stream nearby where we had the pleasure of enjoying wildlife such as water birds, coyotes, muledeer, elk, rabbits, mountain squirrels, and on a couple of occasions, have seen wolves in some of the mountainous areas around us. Though the spotting of wolves is rumored to be somewhat scarce in this part of the Rockies, they can still be found in many areas.
On one particular camping trip to the Estes Park Campground, I suddenly found myself surrounded by a whole family of adorable muledeer, all moving closer to where I was at as they eyeballed our super-sized submarine sandwich, chips, and apples I had laid out on the picnic table for our lunch.
Within minutes, I found myself backing away from our table (mainly because I was out numbered by deer, which made me a bit nervous) and watched as the muledeer licked at the larger portions of our sandwich without eating it, licked at the apples and sniffed at the chips until I thought it all would disappear up their nostrils.
After a few more minutes, the deer looked at us like they were disappointed in our choice of food, and slowly wandered off, leaving us to pick the mess up and toss it all in the garbage (after all, nobody likes deer slobber on their food), except the apples which were tossed out into the valley for the critters.
It really is an experience like this that creates some great memories as well as some excellent photo opportunities.
While camping, we have also awakened in the early morning hours to find large moose and elk at the door of our tent as though they were curious and wanting to know what is inside of it.
It absolutely amazed me to see these large creatures act as though they are unafraid of humans, checking out everything they could possibly find in our campsite until they finally decided to wander away, walking so softly and so quietly you would have never known they were there if you had not seen them with your own eyes.
At night you will hear anything from frogs to owls to bats to wolves and coyotes howling – reminding you that you are very much out in the rugged wilderness – on THEIR terrain.
They are sounds I have grown very accustomed to during my many years of traveling to the mountains, and are sounds I welcome with peace, knowing its only natural for the wildlife that live in these areas to go about their lives regardless of whether there are humans camping nearby or not.
Estes Park Campground at Mary’s Lake being located so close to the main entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park, as well as close to the town of Estes Park for exploring and relaxing in the parks, getting in some shopping, or ending your day by dining at one of its many restaurants is another added plus and is what makes this particular campground location one of the very best in the Estes Valley area.
Estes Park also has fun and exciting things to do such as golf, swimming, theaters, recreational parks, and hosts many different activities for the public to enjoy while visiting there.
The mountain views are beautiful, with many of its motels or hotels having rooms which face the mountains – making for some of the most perfect scenery to wake to in the morning.
Estes Park at night becomes lit up with beautiful lights you can see for miles around.
Coming from the mountains back down to town during the night time hours, you can see the glow of Estes Park, its many colorful hues giving it an ethereal appearance as it lights up the sky and the surrounding valleys and mountains.
Absolutely beautiful to see, but even better to personally experience and enjoy.
If ever you decide to visit Rocky Mountain National Park, be sure to spend some time in Estes Park. You will surely be glad you did.