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Log Home Destination: Estes Park, Colorado

It turns out heaven does exist All it takes to get there is a visit to the ethereal mountain town of Estes Park, Colorado.

We talked with the kind people at Visit Estes Park, and found that Estes Park is not only a great destination for a rustic vacation in the mountains, but it’s also a naturally beautiful location to build or buy a log home.

Photos courtesy of Visit Estes Park

The log home landscape

Log homes are very popular in our area with a wide variety of sizes and designs and can be found in most every area of the Estes Valley. Log homes are popular with locals and guests alike! Visitors flock to Estes Park to escape and experience an authentic mountain getaway.

Estes Park also has historical log homes that vary from homesteads to early vacation cabins. These include the Twin Owls Steakhouse building built as a home in 1929 for the Stacey Family and the Historic Crag’s Lodge. There are still homesteads in the meadows along the trail of Big Elk Meadows where you can see actual rooms and “appliances.”

It's likely that most log homes are rented out to visitors on a short-term basis, but keep in mind that those homes are owned by people that use them for their own vacation use and then rent them out when they are not in Estes. Log homes available for purchase are not quite as common and buyers typically pay a price per square foot premium over standard construction.

Land availability in Estes Park

From the earliest days of Estes Park more than a century ago all the way through 2017, there's a wonderful history of unique log homes and structures throughout the area including historic log cabins that still reside within the boundaries of Rocky Mountain National Park.

Log home construction remains quite popular and new log construction can be found around the valley on a regular basis. The splendor and isolation of the Rocky Mountains provides solace from the hustle and bustle of city life, yet is only 90 minutes from Denver International Airport and accessible to four other metropolitan cities within 45 - 80 minutes.

Estes Park is not only a destination, but a way of life for some. Life’s challenges are diminished by the scenery and nature reigns supreme. There are spectacular 360 degree views surrounding the entire valley. If you’re interested in building your own dream log home in Estes Park, the best time of year to build is in the summer months, however construction occurs in the spring and fall and can extend through the winter as well, depending on the weather. There are currently 60 parcels of residential vacant land for sale priced between $75K and $800K.

Estes Park as a destination

Estes Park is an authentic and approachable mountain village that has always been a destination for visitors, unlike other mining towns across Colorado that show their history by the scars in the mountain. From the very first settlers, Estes was a respite for those wanting to get away from the doldrums of life so what you are fortunate to experience now, is what Joel Estes, Isabella Bird and others saw when they first arrived as well – minus the modern day necessities and conveniences of course.

It serves as the base camp for Rocky Mountain National Park, the fourth most-visited National Park in the country. Estes offers outdoor activities from mild to wild, allowing everyone to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Rocky Mountains at whatever pace is your pleasure.

Estes Park has been a tourism destination as early as 10 years after Joel Estes first “discovered” the Estes valley and is currently celebrating its Centennial. Estes Park is a rustic, family-friendly destination with touches of upscale class that impress, yet are comfortable. With access to fine dining, boutiques and unique activities, Estes Park is the quintessential coalesce of rustic mountain charm with opulent amenities. Guests share that Estes is very approachable, with helpful locals willing to help them – from sharing favorite hikes to best kept secrets in town.

Rocky Mountain National Park and Roosevelt National Forest envelope the village. Because of this, Estes is and continues to be a year-round playground for outdoor adventurers with an enormous amount of protected land. This provides for a wide variety of wildlife to flourish year-round and is one of the main reasons people visit the area.

From elk to big horn sheep, pika, marmots, mule deer, coyotes, hundreds of migratory birds – as well as delicate tundra ecosystems and breathtaking wildflowers – the land is yours to behold and explore. Other adventures include backcountry skiing, snowshoeing, climbing, hiking, cycling, and fly-fishing.

The village itself offers unique restaurants, craft breweries, wine and whiskey distilleries, and eclectic shopping devoid of the mainstream mall fashions - all in a picturesque mountain village setting.

Estes Park all year long

Anytime is the best time to visit! Estes Park experiences all four seasons and the sun shines on average 300 days a year making outdoor adventures a pleasure year-round. Summers offer the opportunity to go hiking, fly-fishing and camping.

The golden aspens and Elk rut make fall a magical time of year. Winters bring snow to the higher elevations which lends itself to snowshoeing, backcountry skiing, ice climbing and sledding in the National Park, while in town you may be wearing shorts and t-shirt – the sun feels a bit warmer at 7,522 feet.

Spring bridges the gap between winter and summer. The town comes alive with green foliage, wildflowers, and the chance to catch a glimpse of local wildlife and their newborns taking their first steps right in the village.

Locals love to enjoy the outdoors year-round, whether it’s on snowshoes, skis or in their trusty hiking boots.

Estes Park information and photos provided by Jean McGuire of Visit Estes Park.

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