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The Perfect Family Vacation for Any Outdoorsman

Troy Thomas

Hiking in Eses Park, Colorado in July

Hiking in Eses Park, Colorado in July

by Colton Bailey

Round up the family, pack the bags we're are going to Estes Park, Colorado.

If you are reading this article, it’s likely because the title caught your attention. If it did, there’s a great chance you’re just like me—you love the outdoors. Hunting, fishing, camping and adventures all get you excited. If so, I have the perfect vacation for you!

A week stay in Estes Park, Colorado

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the beach. Blue water, beautiful weather and beachy vibes are great and all, but to me, it just gets old eventually.

Switching it up and heading to Colorado was a breath of fresh air, literally and figuratively. And if you’re an avid outdoorsman, I guarantee you would absolutely love this trip. Here is why…

Just make sure to bring a good digital camera, an action camera like a GoPro and a good pair of hiking shoes and you’re set! Estes Park has a ton of things to do and it’s just a short drive from Rocky Mountain National Park, perfect for pleasing all kinds of different people.

Views and Adventures

Every direction you drive, you will eventually find a hiking trail, an insanely beautiful mountain, gorgeous streams or a national park. It felt like you could be there for years and not walk the same trail. I really enjoyed this aspect because I love an adventure or anything that gets the blood going. Often times, vacation leaves you feeling drowsy and overweight from all the food you gorge down, but hiking was a nice change of pace and great exercise all throughout the week.

Go prepared and take a camera with a lot of storage space on it.  It seems the views just get more magnificent around every corner. You stop every now and then, and in less than an hour, you already have tons of pictures.

Quite frankly, the pictures never do justice to the things you see in the mountains. It’s hard to put into words, but this part of the country is astonishing.

Whether you’re hiking, fishing or white water rafting, there is no shortage of adventures to find.

Crisp Cool Air

Fly Fishing in Rocky Mountain National Park

Fly Fishing in Rocky Mountain National Park

That cool, crisp mountain air really is different! After a few days of adjusting to the elevation, the air just feels so clean and refreshing and there is absolutely no humidity. I love being outside, but I really do not like the heat, so being able to hike a few miles every day and hardly break a sweat was incredible.

I would choose pine trees and mountain air over sand and heat at the beach 10 out of 10 times. The cooler temperature and silence do nothing but get you fired up for hunting seasons. Hunters, have I convinced you yet that this is your next vacation destination?

Shops

Shops and shopping are words that usually make me cringe and tremble. I despise stores, always have and always will. Downtown Estes Park has them, a LOT of them. But when every store you walk into has a picture of a giant moose in a stream or a 350-inch elk in mid bugle, it isn’t to0 bad.

Additionally, there were stores that sold rustic mountain artifacts and gear. Multiple stores had elk and moose sheds laying around, along with shoulder mounts of moose, elk, mountain lion, mule deer and so on. Those types of stores I can handle.

And of course, the ladies are always going to love the shopping, and we all know a happy wife equals a happy life. Once you’ve seen all the outdoor stores you can handle, you simply hop in the truck and hit the road looking for some wildlife. This is when the trip becomes well worth it…

Wildlife

Elk on the Tonahutu Loop hiking trail

Elk on the Tonahutu Loop hiking trail

Hands down, this is the part that had me most excited about heading to Estes Park and the Rocky Mountain National Forrest. And if you’re a hunter, I promise you this aspect is worth the drive and stay itself.

The mountain wildlife is plentiful and they are easy to find in this area. Being from the midwest, I am blessed with a lot of whitetail and eastern turkeys, but we don’t get to see all the different species that roam the mountains of Colorado. We’re talking mule deer, black bear, elk, moose and big horn sheep just to name a few.

I was not disappointed! Below are some pictures I was able to take during my time there. The only problem was we didn’t stay long enough!

As you can see, wildlife is abundant and you can get fairly close. I was like a kid in a candy shop, snapping off as many pictures I could before my family would get bored and beg me to leave.

Unfortunately, we never set our eyes on moose, bear or bobcats, but I wasn’t complaining. The encounters we had made the trip worth it to me.

Next Family Vacation…

I can promise that if you love the outdoors or any facet of it, you will love what Colorado has to offer, especially in the Estes Park area.

Do it. Book the next trip and forget the beach. You’re headed to the mountains.

I mean, who doesn’t love that mountain air, no humidity and big elk roaming in the pines? Grab the GoXtreme cameras and the family, hit the road and see for yourself.

The post The Perfect Family Vacation for Any Outdoorsmanappeared first onWide Open Spaces.