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  • Meagan Butler

Elk Meadow Lodge and RV Resort {Estes Park, CO} {Rocky Mountain National Park}

Celebrate! Happy 100th birthday to The National Park Service! To help support one of the best parts of America, Pat and I decided to visit one of our favorite places, Rocky Mountain National Park. Not everyone is lucky enough to have the Rocky Mountains in their back yard, but we are, so we try to visit at least a few times each year.

When we visit RMNP, we always like to take the RV. This year, we hoped to have a better experience with the RV park than we did last year. Not that we had a terrible time on our last trip, but the KOA in Estes just wasn’t our favorite place to tow and camp. You can read about our KOA Estes Park experiences here. 

After researching the RV parks in the Estes Park area, we chose Elk Meadow Lodge and RV Resort, a smaller park with a historic past located at the base of Rocky Mountain National Park. Visitors to the park should make a point to walk inside the lodge and visit the office where the park volunteers can share information on the torrid past of the park’s buildings {The building came from Central City, CO, and was once a brothel during the height of Colorado Gold Mining in the 19th century}. The buildings as well as the property have quite the historic past, and people who are interested in the Wild West and Gold Mining should ask about the famous elements that make this park so unique. One of my favorite stories is how Calamity Jane’s bullet holes are rumored to mark the bar inside of the lodge. She apparently lost her temper as a result of someone telling her that women couldn’t be served inside the establishment where the bar once stood. I guess she showed her feisty side and used her gun to prove her disdain at the unequal treatment to women!

Aside from the historical buildings, the Elk Meadow Lodge and RV Resort is a fantastic place to stay. When we pulled into the park, we were amazed at the clean premises and all of the elk freely wandering around the facilities. We stayed in a full-hook up pull through site. We were within minutes of clean bathrooms and shower houses as well as dumpsters to dispose of our trash. There were a lot of people staying, but we didn’t feel crammed next to people, and everyone was respectful of each other’s space. Sitting outside with RMNP in view has to be one of my favorite activities. I love when an RV park makes me feel like I am part of nature, instead of a person parked on a concrete slab with RVs bumping up next to one another. The view from our site was spectacular, and we were minutes away from an entrance to RMNP.

While we didn’t utilize all of the facilities, this park has horseshoes, dog runs, a propane station, picnic pavilions, ice machines, 50 and 30 amp hook-ups, dry camping, tent camping, cabins for rent, laundry, a game room, grills, a heated pool and hot tub, tee-pee camping, mini golf, and much more. For all of the people who can’t go unplugged–there is free wi-fi!

Of course, the Good Sam’s Club rates this park highly, and we agree wholeheartedly. Currently the ratings are 9 for the facility, 10 for restrooms, and an 8.5 for appeal. I’d say that makes this RV park a place to visit again and again.   If you are planning an RV vacation to Estes Park, the Elk Meadow Lodge and RV Resort is a place you need to check out.


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