Estes Park Free Shuttles Begin Daily Service June 29
Limited weekend routes scheduled June 15-17 and June 22-24
By: Kate Rusch Public Information Officer
On Friday, June 29 the Town of Estes Park’s Free Shuttles will launch its seventh season, offering visitors and residents convenient, environmentally responsible transportation. Shuttles transport riders to more than 50 stops throughout Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. Operating daily from June 29 through September 9, shuttles make it convenient for residents and visitors to leave their vehicles at a lodging facility or parking lot and travel around town during the busy summer season.
The 2012 shuttle system offers several significant changes. Increased hours and dates of service have been added to the regular shuttle season, June 29-September 9. Plus, to get a jump-start on the season, limited service has been added the weekends of June 15-17 and June 22-24 with the Blue, Red and Silver Routes operating from noon to 10 p.m. Also, new this year the shuttles will feature real-time tracking. Passengers will be able to determine actual arrival times by visiting the Town’s website at www.estes.org/shuttles and entering a “stop code” for their location.
The Estes Park Free Shuttle system consists of four routes, all of which bring riders to the core downtown area. The Silver Route services the Park-n-Ride at the Fairgrounds at Stanley Park. The Blue Route services Big Thompson Avenue (U.S. 34 east of downtown). The Red Route services Fall River Road (U.S. 34 west of downtown) and the Brown Route services campgrounds and other establishments in outlying areas to the south and west of town.
Beginning June 29, the Silver Route shuttle leaves the Fairgrounds Park-n-Ride for the Estes Park Visitor Center every 15 minutes from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. From there riders can enjoy a short walk into downtown or connect with other shuttles. Convenient for motorists on U.S. 36 and residents who work downtown, the Fairgrounds Park-n-Ride is on Manford Avenue and has more than 400 paved parking spaces and a bus shelter.
When necessary during special events, overflow parking and extended shuttle service is available at the Estes Park Middle School/High School parking lot, 1500 Manford Ave. This additional parking is just two blocks from the Fairgrounds Park-n-Ride. Signs will be posted at the Fairgrounds Park-n-Ride when the overflow parking with shuttle service is activated at the Middle School.
Starting June 29, the Blue Route shuttle leaves the Estes Park Visitor Center every half-hour, operating from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. The Blue Route shuttle travels east down U.S. 34/Big Thompson Avenue with stops at the Budget Host Four Winds Motor Lodge, Best Western Plus Silver Saddle, Grumpy Gringo, Lake Estes Marina, west of Olympus Lodge, Estes Park KOA, Rodeway Inn, Lake Front Street at Ranch Meadows, Lower Stanley Village, the Stanley Hotel, Mountain Gate Condos on Big Horn Drive, Rocky Mountain Traders and Barlow Plaza.
The Red Route shuttle leaves the Estes Park Visitor Center every half hour, operating from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. The Red Route shuttle travels west and down Fall River Road with stops at Town Hall, Local’s Grill, The Ore Cart Rock Shop, Tregent Park Restrooms, West Park Center, Riverwood on Fall River, Timber Creek Chalets, McGregor Mountain Lodge, Fall River Visitor Center, Estes Park Condos, Boulder Brook on Fall River, Stonebrook Resort, Nicky’s Motor Lodge, Mountain Gate Condos on Big Horn Drive, Rocky Mountain Traders and Barlow Plaza.
The Brown Route shuttle leaves the Estes Park Visitor Center every hour, operating from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Brown Route shuttle travels southwest with stops at Marys Lake Lodge, Mary’s Lake Campground, National Park Village, Alpine Trail Ridge Inn, Elk Meadow Lodge and RV Park, YMCA entrance on Rt. 66, Estes Park Campground, Hempel Auditorium – Estes Park Center YMCA of the Rockies, Glacier Lodge, Rockmount Cottages, Beaver Meadows Visitor Center, Riverside Drive at Propect Park Drive east of Worldmark, Riverside Drive at Crag’s Lodge entrance, Piccadilly Square and Barlow Plaza.
A map of the shuttle routes will be available at www.estes.org/shuttles by May 16. For more information about Estes Park’s shuttle routes, please contact Estes Park Visitor Services at 970-577-9900.
A committee comprised of citizens, representatives from the business community, Town Trustees, and staff met through the winter to review suggestions to improve and enhance the free shuttle system. Among other recommendations, the group’s efforts resulted in additional service hours and days, as well as additional stops to better meet the needs of both residents and visitors.
Also in 2012, from May 26 through October 9, the Rocky Mountain National Park Hiker Shuttle will stop at the Fairgrounds Park-n-Ride and the Estes Park Visitor Center before traveling to the National Park. The Hiker Shuttle will operate beginning at the Fairgrounds Park-n-Ride from 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. It will operate on a half-hour schedule from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.; otherwise hourly. For more information on the Hiker Shuttle, please contact Rocky Mountain National Park at 970-586-1206.