If you’re thinking of living in Estes Park, welcome! Estes Park is a beautiful place to live, no doubt, and it’s conveniently located so that you can take advantage of the cultural and shopping attractions of the big city while still enjoying a rural lifestyle.
These are the top questions we’ve been asked about living here:
1) Just how isolated is living in Estes Park?
Estes Park has plenty to do, but you might want to weigh the sorts of things you like to do with those that are actually available here in town. If you like the outdoors, you like a bit of privacy, and you don’t need to go out every night to entertain yourself, living in Estes Park may be a good fit for you.
If, on the other hand, you like to go out a lot at night, you might want to reconsider. The local movie theaters and a few bars are pretty much your only options, unless you are willing to drive to Boulder or Loveland/Ft. Collins, the closest big towns, about an hour away.
2) How are the winters?
Not as bad as you might think. We get a ton of sun here (about 300 days a year), and we are on the drier side of the Rocky Mountains. So, while it does snow some, it also melts fairly quickly. It’s pretty rare that a trip gets delayed for more than a day or so due to snow.
The real evil of the winters is the WIND. I’m not kidding when I say that gale force winds (40-ish mph and higher) are relatively common. If you don’t like wind, Estes Park is not for you.
3) Is living in Estes Park expensive?
In a word, yes! And it keeps going up. Although it’s about 20% higher than the national average, it’s not as expensive as nearby Boulder, for example.
The trouble is the job market here–most jobs are seasonal and fairly low-paying, so when you combine that with the cost of living, the problem gets worse. Make sure to have both housing and a source of income lined up before moving here.