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This humble blog was started to document our travels around the country during the summer of 2006, We have opted to continue updating it due to the requests from family & friends. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Estes Park Aerial Tramway

August 19, 2019

Estes Park Aerial Tramway

Sunday morning we had decided to skip a day at Folks Fest and instead spend the day exploring the Estes Park area and to do some of the touristy type things there. While we seem to often find ourselves in Estes, in the recent past we really haven’t spent much time acting as tourists, choosing instead to just hang out with our friends there, which is pretty awesome in and of itself.

Since we had a pair of first time Estes Park visitors with us in our friends Dakota and her daughter Sloane, we wanted to just get out and see some of the wonderful offerings that this small mountain community had to offer. Our first stop was at the Estes Park Aerial Tramway. The tramway takes visitors in small contained vehicles to the summit of Prospect Mountain. One of just a few European style cable car systems operating in the US, the tram hoists visitors up above the treetops to the summit of the mountain.

We decided to start our day there just after they opened to avoid the crowds that come later in the day during the summer season. Kathy and I had tried to ride the tram on a previous visit only to find the wait time over an hour which we opted out of. This time we were able to just walk right up and board the tram for our 4 minute ride up the mountain.

The tram has been operating each summer since first opening in 1955 and has to date taken more than three million customers up the mountain. It is only open from May through September and has been owned and operated by the same family since opening.

Once at the summit there is a small concession stand and gift shop and a walkway where you can get amazing panoramic views of the city below and Rocky Mountain National Park. While feeding the wildlife is discouraged and in fact outlawed in many areas, the concession stand sells bags of peanuts that visitors can feed the many small ground squirrels, chipmunks and birds that surround the summit.

The greedy little rodents are used to the constant food supply and are very bold in approaching the human visitors. While interacting with the abundant wildlife is fun, the true beauty of the place can be found in the beautiful vistas that spread out before you in every direction. You really get an appreciation of the beauty and majesty of the Rockies from this vantage point and the mountain top is laced with trails that lead visitors to amazing views around every corner.

The tram ride itself is fun as well, and we were happy that we arrived early enough to escape the crowds that flock to this attraction every day. In fact the line waiting to come up and grown immensely in the time we were on the mountain and there was a long wait for those who arrived not really all that long after we did.

After the tram ride, we met Kerry and Andy for lunch at Smokin’ Dave’s Barbeque for some pretty yummy bbq. I have been on a bbq kick this year and Smokin Dave’s makes the cut as one of the better places I have tried, not Austin by any stretch, but still pretty damn good.


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