a cup of owl estes park colorado

My family made the 13-hour trek from Dallas, Texas to Estes Park, Colorado over the Christmas weekend. Someone please remind me why we decided to do a road trip? We haven’t done a ride like this since we were little, so it was a fun drive although it was exhausting!

a cup of owl estes park colorado

If you’ve kept up with my blog for awhile now, I went to Estes Park before (video and blog post). It didn’t snow as much as w expected, but we were thankful to have seen ANY snow coming from Texas!

a cup of owl - estes park
View from outside the cabin
river stone resorts, estes park - a cup of owl
Upstairs loft
river stone resorts, estes park - a cup of owl
Upstairs open loft

The cabin we stayed at was probably one of my favorites and the cleanest! We stayed at River Stone Resorts and Pear Paw, which is about two miles away from the entrance to the Rocky Mountain National Park. You can see a virtual tour of our condo here. I really wanted to stay at the Stanley Hotel, but they’ve been fully booked since I started my research. Maybe in the future someday!

a cup of owl estes park colorado

We honestly didn’t have the best luck getting to Estes Park. Unexpected situations like running out of gas in the middle of NOWHERE (literally) and spending a couple of hours there took up a lot of extra time than we had originally planned. One day to make the most out of what we had!

Our luck, because all the roads in the Rocky Mountain National Park were “closed” due to the government shutdown. All the tourists ended up walking around the Park anyway, so that’s how we got a little dosage of the beautiful scenery of the Rockies. I guess one good thing we got out of the government shutdown was saving $100 in admission fees!

a cup of owl estes park colorado
a cup of owl estes park colorado
a cup of owl estes park colorado
estes park colorado - a cup of owl
a cup of owl estes park colorado

We drove to Longs Peak and Lily Lake (both free attractions) since we couldn’t take our car inside the Rocky Mountain National Park. About a 10-minute drive from the main city, the scenic drive on the way to Longs Peak was beautiful. Some locals I spoke to said this is a route they like to take when they don’t want to go home right after work! Wish I had a road like this close to my workplace 🙂

estes park colorado - a cup of owl
a cup of owl estes park colorado

Downtown Estes Park was also super cute with different coffee shops, boutiques, and a bunch of souvenir shops that were decked out with holiday gear and items. The town itself is so charming and was full of Christmas spirit when we stayed. I just wished there was more snow!

estes park colorado - a cup of owl
estes park colorado - a cup of owl
estes park colorado - a cup of owl

Colorado is always a nice place to go to breathe in fresh nature! Away from home, but not too far. I love to complain about being in the car but I guess road trips are sometimes worth it. This family getaway was a nice way to wrap up the year!

As always, thank you for reading 🙂
CRYSTALL

A Cup of Owl