12 Quirky Places to Stay near Estes Park

EstesPark.com Team

Deer, rocky mountains, clear waters and fishing, are some of the things you associate with the Rockies.

But there are a few other things that add to the charm of the place. They include unusual places to stay when you go visit our mountain town.

Are you ready to live on the curious side of life? Check out the places below to make this happen.

A historic mountain lodge

You will find this 1920s lodge at the west entrance of the park. Visitors know it as the Grand Lake Lodge, and it overlooks two lakes: the Shadow Mountain Lake and the Grand lake.

This lodge has earned itself the humble name, “Colorado’s Favorite Front Porch”. Yet, don’t be fooled by the quaint name. The spectacular views from the lodge’s front porch are excellent all year round. You will enjoy all shades of colors of the Aspens ranging from red, yellow, orange, and green. Enjoy the circular fireplace, swings, and hickory rockers.

The Grand Lake Lodge is registered as a National Historic Landmark.

A mountain hut

Nothing says rustic and living off the grid-like a mountain hut. But this one comes with excellent modern facilities, not to mention to-die-for views. The huts are eco-friendly and all year round for hiking, cross-country skiing, biking, and snowshoeing.

The Broome Hut on the West of the Berthoud Pass is situated at an altitude of 11, 350 feet. That gives you magnificent views of the treeline on the second creek basin. It allows you to see the sunrise while capturing the beauty of the headwall.

The Grand Hut Association is working to create an extensive system of these eco-friendly huts. The goal is to sustain backcountry activities while keeping the environment safe.

The ecological huts will include the four that are around now below and five more in the future:

  • The First Creek Hut
  • The Second Creek Hut
  • The Twin Creek Hut
  • The High Lonesome Hut


It is fun to stay at the YMCA, at least this one at the Rockies. It is unlike any other YMCA you have ever seen or experienced. You will be staying in lodges and cabins on either the West or East sides of the Rocky Mountain National Park.

There are 9 lodges and 250 cabins sitting on 860 acres of prime land. You get spectacular views every day regardless of which cabin or lodge you get set up in. Space offers you trails to explore, catch and release fishing, or the option of unwinding by the pool.

The YMCA of the Rockies will erase your typical association of the Y with mediocre. You have the option of staying in rustic cabins, a vacation home, or even a yurt. In the summer, they offer rock climbing, trail exploration on horseback, and archery. You can ride on a sleigh drawn by horses, go snowmobiling or ride a dog sled in the Winter.

Rustic River Cabins

These provide an authentic traditional mountain experience. You get a feel of what mountain living is like. It will be similar to a scene from a movie from the old West. The fantastic view of the mountains surrounding you will make you feel calm and at peace. 

You are bound to feel like part of the mountains, even if for just the duration of your stay. They offer wood fireplaces, hot tubs, and activities like trout fishing and hiking. Families are also known to have picnics in the area. 

Built-in the 1940s, the Rustic River cabins remain in excellent condition and capture the true spirit of the Rocky Mountains.

Yurt villages

Have you ever wanted to stay in a yurt? In the RMNP, you get the opportunity to do so in the two yurt villages. on the western edge of the national park. The yurts are available all year round, and they allow dogs and underage children.

A tiny house

Join the minimalist lifestyle by living in a tiny house during your visit to the National Park. A small charming town that is a 45 minutes drive from the park will set you up with a little house at the WeeCasaTiny House Resort.

There are several houses to choose from, offering flush toilets and different themes. You can select from gnome features and wonderful color accents. WeeCasa is the world’s largest tiny house resort.

The Stanley Hotel

This hotel inspired the same one in Stephen King’s famous horror “The Shining”. But don’t be afraid because instead of being scary, it is grand with amazing views. If you are a whisky connoisseur, you will love their Whiskey-centric bar. They sell the best of Old-Fashioned whiskey that will warm you up in the Winter. The Stanley Hotel is stately with oodles of character and old charm.

The Seven Keys Lodge

With a fascinating history revolving around keys, this inn has inspired the world’s most extensive collection. The obsession originated from a mystery novel that featured a lodge. The writer visited Baldpate Inn, now known as the Seven Keys Lodge. He told the owner it looked like the lodge in his book “Seven Keys to Baldpate”. After this day, the name of the Inn changed to Baldpate Inn in honor of the book.

In honor of the book, which revolves around seven guests with keys to the inn, a tradition began where guests would leave their keys to keep the spirit of the original seven keys alive.

Go and leave a key even as you enjoy a classic bed and breakfast amid the Rocky Mountains’ grandeur.

A fire lookout tower

Imagine staying in a fire lookout tower. Now imagine no more and go to the Squaw Mountain Fire Lookout. You will have to drive 1 hour and 45 minutes to the Rocky Mountain National Park, but it is worth it. The experience you will have there is something special. 

This resort includes an incinerating toilet that burns your waste, a kitchen, a small heater, and comfortable beds.

You will enjoy unobstructed views from the fire lookout tower. The only thing you might not like is having to carry water up to your accommodation. There is no water up there, and this can become a burden.

A luxurious cowboy ranch

This ranch is right under the Devil’s Thumb rock formation, and it sits on 6,500 acres. The site is home to a legend about warring tribes that buried their differences in the Tabernash, Colorado mountains. They termed their reconciliation as burying the “devil”. But they left the devil’s left thumb protruding as a reminder of the war between them.

The Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort and Spa has luxurious ranch houses, three restaurants, a spa, and a pool. There are also a dozen trails to explore on your own. Some activities the resort offers are fly fishing, ziplining, and cross-country skiing.

A hot spring resort

Hot springs are relaxing and rejuvenating. But it also provides peace of mind and space from the usual distractions. So, you will not have access to a telephone, Wi-Fi, alcohol, smoking, and even pets. You don’t even have to cook!

That offers you the opportunity to enjoy life’s basic joys and revive your energy and spirit. The rooms have access to hot pools that come from seven natural springs in the area. If you feel the cabins are out of your budget, you can bring your RV or camp at Pioneer Park for free. The park is on the southern edge of the 80-acre piece of land within walking distance of the resort. And you can have access to the lodge for less than $20.

A hostel Bunkhouse

If you do not mind losing your privacy for a lower-cost accommodation, consider staying at the Colorado Mountain School. It is a hostel-style bunkhouse. You will have single beds at your disposal in three shared rooms.

You also have fun amenities like a ping-pong table, a lounge table, and Wi-Fi. And when you need to cook, you have access to a full kitchen. And there are airport shuttles to and from Denver International Airport daily.


The Rocky Mountain National Park needs to be on your bucket list. And with all these magnificent and fun places to stay that allow you to step out of your regular accommodation, you are bound to make memories to last you a lifetime.

About Pep Dekekr

Pep loves Estes Park, he lives here with his family and hopes to bring people to Estes Park and Estes Park to the people. Along with his wife Paige, they own EstesPark.com.