Estes Park in May: Weather, Things to Do & More

Pep Dekker

Updated on:

Estes Park in May

May in Estes Park might only be the start of the tourist season, but it is nevertheless a great time to visit! 

The crowds are smaller, more accommodation is available, and the temperatures are rising – making it an ideal time for you to travel to the area.

You should never book a vacation before you do your research, so to give you a better idea of what it is like visiting Estes Park in May, this article will cover everything you need to know including:

  • May weather in Estes Park
  • What to do in May
  • Where to stay 
  • Where to eat 
  • Insider tips from a local.

Let’s get into it!

Weather in Estes Park in May 

May is the time of the year in Estes Park when the temperature increases, as the city eases out of springtime and into the summer months.

The average temperature high in Estes Park during May shifts from the 50° average seen in April to a much balmier 59°.  Additionally, the average low increases from 28.4° to 35.6°. 

Unfortunately, May is one of the cloudiest times of the year in Estes Park and the city is covered by clouds for 46% of the month. 

Additionally, May is also the wettest month for the city, with an average of 7.4 days of rain per month and 41.7mm of rainfall during this time.  

This rain also brings an increased chance of those famous Colorado afternoon thunderstorms!

However, despite May not bringing what many would consider “good” weather in Estes Park, this doesn’t mean that this isn’t a great time to visit. 

The average temperature is perfect for hiking and outdoor exploration in the nearby Rocky Mountain National Park, and there is so much to see and do in the Estes Park township on rainy days. 

Plus, the weather means that the town isn’t too busy – giving you a better chance of booking some of the usually harder-to-get into accommodation! 

Recommended Clothing

May in Estes Park can bring just about any type of weather, so you need to pack accordingly. 

Most importantly, I recommend you pack lots of layers. The weather can change instantly, and you don’t want to suddenly find yourself too hot or too cold!

Additionally, make sure some of these layers are waterproof to protect you from the sudden rainfall that can occur. 

No matter if you’re out exploring the national park or browsing some of the amazing local stores in town, you need to have enough layers to be able to adapt to any type of weather. 

If you plan on hiking while here in Estes Park, I also recommend you pack a high-quality, thick pair of waterproof hiking shoes. 

The ground can be very wet and slippery due to the increased rainfall, so you need to pack the right shoes to make sure you can make the most of your hike.

If hiking isn’t your style and you plan to spend most of your time in the Estes Park township, I also recommend you pack some nice dinner clothes. 

We have some incredible upscale restaurants here (which I will get into later) that everyone who visits Estes Park needs to experience!

However, some of these restaurants do have dress standards – so make sure you pack some nicer clothes to wear when you visit. 

Finally, anyone who visits Estes Park during May needs to bring a rain jacket. We get a lot of rain during this time, and sometimes it comes on unexpectedly. 

Rain jackets are far more practical and easier to pack than umbrellas, so I recommend you invest in a good one before making the trip to Estes Park!

Things to Do in Estes Park in May 

Despite not being our peak season, there is still much to do and see in Estes Park during May. Here are some of the best events and activities to add to your itinerary:

First Friday Art Groove

First Friday art groove
Source: First Friday art groove

On the first Friday of May is the Art Groove – a self-guided walk through Estes Park stopping off at the town’s best galleries and breweries. 

This walk is an amazing way to see all the local talent that Estes Park has to offer and to get a better idea of what life in the town is like!

While many gather on the first Friday of May to complete this walk, it can be done independently at any time. 

Mountain Blown Glass

Mountain Blown Glass
Source: Mountain Blown Glass

If you find yourself caught up in an Estes Park rainy day, then this indoor activity is perfect for you! 

Mountain Blown Glass is a locally owned business producing stunning works of art made entirely from glass. 

Visitors can attend the studio and watch demonstrations of the artists at work free of charge, as well as browse the incredible offerings in the on-site store.

Estes Park Rotary Duck Race Festival 

The Estes Park Rotary Duck Race Festival is an annual festival occurring in May that has been going on for 36 years!

Residents, businesses, and charities all adopt rubber ducks for a fee, with the earnings going towards various charities in the Estes Park area.

Then, come early May there is the rubber duck race day, where the ducks are released onto the water and race to the finish line! 

Race day is turned into a whole festival with lots of live music, great food, and extra activities that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

Where to Stay

As a tourist destination, Estes Park is filled with incredible places to stay. Here are some of my favorites that I always recommend to family and friends when they come to visit:

Estes Park Resort

Source: Estes Park Resort

The Estes Park Resort is possibly one of the best places to stay in Estes Park!

Located on the shore of Lake Estes, the resort is a slice of paradise that anyone would feel at home in. 

Offering views of both the lake and the mountains, guests can choose from rooms, suites, and even entire luxury cabins. 

Additionally, there is an onsite sauna, gym, spa, and restaurant. The prices start at around $200-$350 per night during May; however, it is worth it for all the amazing amenities the resort offers.

 Plus, guests are quite literally on the doorstep of the Estes Park township – making it easy to walk everywhere!

Whether you’re bringing your entire family or looking for a place to stay on a romantic getaway, the Estes Park Resort should be at the top of your list.

The Inn on Fall River 

The Inn on Fall River 
Source: The Inn on Fall River 

If you’re looking for a place to stay that’s brimming with typical Colorado mountain charm, look no further than the Inn on Fall River!

Nestled on the banks of the Fall River, this hotel is a nature lover’s paradise as it is surrounded by woodland. 

However, despite the nature-centric location, guests are never far from the action as the hotel is located just two miles from the town of Estes Park and 3 miles from Rocky Mountain National Park.

The hotel also has some amazing amenities for guests to enjoy, including a communal hot tub, access to firepits, and playgrounds. 

Guests can choose from rooms that come with wood-burning fireplaces, or even private hot tubs on the balcony!

Prices for the Inn on Fall River are fairly reasonable, starting at around $140 per night. This is my go-to hotel recommendation for friends and family who are coming from out of town.

Della Terra Mountain Chateau

Della Terra Mountain Chateau
Source: Della Terra Mountain Chateau

We deserve to treat ourselves every once and a while – and when you’re visiting Estes Park during the rainy season, there is certainly nothing wrong with treating yourself to some cozy luxury accommodation! 

Della Terra Mountain Chateau is one of the nicest boutique hotels in the state, and it is well worth the consideration when booking accommodation in Estes Park. 

Located within the Rocky Mountains (and right by an entrance to the National Park), the lodge consists of just 14 luxury suites. 

Each suite is equipped with a fireplace, private balconies with hot tubs, walk-in showers, and private soaking tubs. 

Additionally, guests have access to the onsite spa, sauna, movie theater, and beauty salon. There is also a free breakfast included for all guests, served in the stunning rustic dining room. 

Prices start at around $300 a night during May. However, if you are looking for the perfect place for your next Colorado escape, then every cent at Della Terra Mountain Chateau is money well spent! 

Where to Eat 

Estes Park is home to some amazing cafes and restaurants. Here are some of my favorites that I always find myself visiting and recommending to my friends and family:

Egg of Estes 

breakfast at The Egg Estes Park
Source: Egg of Estes

Egg of Estes is a casual diner-style cafe that has quickly become one of my favorite spots to grab breakfast or brunch since moving to the city. 

You can expect to find all your classic breakfast dishes such as eggs, pancakes, and french toast, as well as unique dishes such as their Tuscan scramble and Mexican omelet!

Latitude 105 Alehouse

Latitude 105 Alehouse
Source: Latitude 105 Alehouse

If you’re looking for a chilled-out establishment that still serves amazing food, you can’t go wrong with Latitude 105 Alehouse at the Ridgeline Hotel. 

This restaurant serves all the gastropub classics as well as their hearty dishes, making it the perfect place for a family dinner or friend catch-up. 

Plus, they serve happy hour from 4 pm-6 pm daily so that you can enjoy some of their amazing cocktails alongside your food!

Ember at The Estes Park Resort

Dunraven at The Estes Park Resort
Source: Ember at The Estes Park Resort

Ember at the Estes Park Resort is the go-to place for an upmarket, high-quality dinner. 

Serving up modern American, steak, and seafood dishes, everyone can find something that they like on the menu. This is the perfect restaurant for celebrating a special occasion, as the service and food are both top-notch. 

Serenitea’s Tea Room

Serenitea’s Tea Room
Source: Serenitea’s Tea Room

Our friends across the Atlantic may have invented the art of afternoon tea, but Serenitea’s Tea Room does it just as well!

This elegant tea room and cafe serve some of the best food in Estes Park and should be high up on your list for your next visit. 

While there is an a la carte menu, I recommend the afternoon tea special – complete with a decadent three-tier dessert stand and some of the finest teas money can buy.

Brunch and Co. 

Located at the Stanley Hotel, Brunch and Co has been aptly named as brunch is what this establishment does best. 

The restaurant offers a chef-designed brunch and dinner menu that will blow you away, showcasing the finest elements of local cuisine and produce. 

This is a higher-end restaurant, so you can expect the quality of the food to match!

If you want to squeeze in a fancy brunch during your stay in Estes Park, I couldn’t recommend this restaurant more. 

Some Insider Tips for You 

Here are some of my best insider tips to help you prepare for and make the most of your visit to Estes Park in May:

  • Bring your raincoat everywhere: May in Estes Park brings unpredictable weather and an increased chance of rain. The weather can turn at any moment, so make sure you are never caught off guard by bringing your raincoat with you everywhere you go!
  • Don’t discount the township: Many people stay in Estes Park as a base for exploring the Rocky Mountain National Park and completely forget that there is a whole township here too. Make sure you leave enough time during your stay to explore Estes Park itself and all of the cafes, galleries, and restaurants it has to offer
  • Shop around for accommodation: May is not the peak season for Estes Park tourism, meaning accommodation is a lot more affordable. Make sure you shop around before booking a place to stay to ensure you get the best deal possible!
  • Pack for every weather pattern: A day in May in Estes Park can be sunny, hot, snowy, or rainy, and your packing needs to reflect this. Bring a variety of clothing suitable for all types of weather to make sure that you are appropriately dressed at all times.


  • Pep Dekker

    Hey. I’m Pep, Paige's husband, and dad to Juliana, Lucille and Maxine. I'm founder and writer here at I've been living full-time in Estes Park for 3 years now and been visting the Estes Valley for 8. I'm a seasoned traveller, and all around expert on all things Estes Park, Colorado and I'm excited to share all that I've learned with you.