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Estes Park and Rocky Mountain NP in early October

baf99

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I just got a hit on an ongoing search in RCI for Worldmark Estes Park in early October. This was within the parameters of my search. It's a 2 bedroom and I really only need one, but I won't reject it for that even though I will use a few more TPU than necessary. I thought early October would be OK for hiking but before I confirm I thought I would ask if anyone has any thoughts about this. I might drive to the highest elevations if conditions permit, but I probably won't be doing any significant hikes at those elevations <gasp>. Just doing a bit of double checking before I confirm.

I'm really pretty happy with RCI for this. I got a match in just under a week. I know mid September to mid October is heading into the slower season in Estes Park, but I usually prefer not fighting the crowds. And for photography I also like fall colors, mountains, waterfalls... Hopefully there will still be a bit of color around.
 

sue1947

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The first week of October will be ok to get to the top of Trail Ridge Road. After that it gets iffy. We got chased out by snow twice with a friend getting stuck on a plane at the airport by a snowstorm. Both times we were there the week that covered the first weekend in Oct. The lower elevations will be fine for another week or so. It just depends on how far into October and how much you are counting on getting up high. The last time, they were frantically closing up a few days early in advance of a big storm coming in.
The 2 BR at the WM are small so it is a better choice than the 1 BR. There wasn't enough storage so you will want the extra bedroom for space.
Sue
 

WinniWoman

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My concern would be snow and missing out driving the entire Trail Ridge Road through the park and elsewhere.

As for hikes, we went in mid June and we did not "hike", but there are lots of nice walks and "wikes" you can do.

Can;t comment regarding Worldmark as we stayed at Ram's Horn.
 

CO skier

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It's a 2 bedroom and I really only need one, but I won't reject it for that even though I will use a few more TPU than necessary. I thought early October would be OK for hiking but before I confirm I thought I would ask if anyone has any thoughts about this.
Most years, the snows arrive in the Colorado mountains about the 3rd week of October. Last year, some early season storms closed Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mt. National Park periodically beginning October 7th. (I cancelled a two-day trip there because of that storm.) The road closed for the season October 31st.

If a storm does move through, it will dust the upper elevations with snow, then some crystal clear blue skies will follow for a few days. Perfect conditions for photography. The lower elevation hiking is good well into November. This photo from the Dream Lake area is typical of what to expect in October.

https://d36tnp772eyphs.cloudfront.net/blogs/1/2018/08/Rocky-Mountain-National-Park-Colorado.jpg

Most of the aspen leaves drop by the end of September, and any windstorm after that brings down the rest. The brush and trees in the valleys have fall colors through most of October. Late September and early October is prime time for elk bugling.

There are three types of 2 bedroom units at WM Estes Park. If you want a unit with an oven, you may want to try to determine which 2-bedroom you have. Most of the 2 bedroom queen units are second story, up a flight of stairs.

Two Bedroom Twin - Hotel: King in master, twins in second, queen sleeper sofa in living area. Kitchen includes 2-burner stoves, microwave and mini-fridge, no oven. Maximum occupancy 6.

Two Bedroom Twin: King in master, twins in second bedroom, queen sleeper sofa in living area. Full kitchen, fireplace, and washer/dryer. Ground floor units. Maximum occupancy 6.

Two Bedroom Queen: King in master, queen in second bedroom, queen sleeper sofa in living area. Full kitchen, fireplace, and washer/dryer. Maximum occupancy 6.
 
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OldGuy

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We used to stay at The Golden Eagle, now The Crags, not far from WM and Ram's Horn, the first week in June, and it was always the first week that Trail Ridge opened.

Nice area that we miss visiting.
 

baf99

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Thanks for all the great info. RCI called just as I finished reading it so I went ahead and confirmed. The unit does have a full kitchen. I wouldn't miss the oven but I would miss the larger fridge. You know, I have to ice down the aching muscles after hiking . I'm looking forward to a great vacation in beautiful surroundings.
 

Krteczech

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Beginning of October should still be good for hiking and photography. Actually, hiking is year around activity at RMNP.
 

Ann-Marie

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Most years, the snows arrive in the Colorado mountains about the 3rd week of October. Last year, some early season storms closed Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mt. National Park periodically beginning October 7th. (I cancelled a two-day trip there because of that storm.) The road closed for the season October 31st.

If a storm does move through, it will dust the upper elevations with snow, then some crystal clear blue skies will follow for a few days. Perfect conditions for photography. The lower elevation hiking is good well into November. This photo from the Dream Lake area is typical of what to expect in October.

https://d36tnp772eyphs.cloudfront.net/blogs/1/2018/08/Rocky-Mountain-National-Park-Colorado.jpg

Most of the aspen leaves drop by the end of September, and any windstorm after that brings down the rest. The brush and trees in the valleys have fall colors through most of October. Late September and early October is prime time for elk bugling.

There are three types of 2 bedroom units at WM Estes Park. If you want a unit with an oven, you may want to try to determine which 2-bedroom you have. Most of the 2 bedroom queen units are second story, up a flight of stairs.

Two Bedroom Twin - Hotel: King in master, twins in second, queen sleeper sofa in living area. Kitchen includes 2-burner stoves, microwave and mini-fridge, no oven. Maximum occupancy 6.

Two Bedroom Twin: King in master, twins in second bedroom, queen sleeper sofa in living area. Full kitchen, fireplace, and washer/dryer. Ground floor units. Maximum occupancy 6.

Two Bedroom Queen: King in master, queen in second bedroom, queen sleeper sofa in living area. Full kitchen, fireplace, and washer/dryer. Maximum occupancy 6.
Can I tell by my confirmation which layout I will have? I don't care about sleeping arrangements since there are just 2 of us, nor do I care about the oven. I would like a room with the least amount of stairs if that is possible.
 

CO skier

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Can I tell by my confirmation which layout I will have? I don't care about sleeping arrangements since there are just 2 of us, nor do I care about the oven. I would like a room with the least amount of stairs if that is possible.
If you have a WorldMark reservation, then a qualified "yes". The two bedroom twins are ground floor. There is one two bedroom queen in building 17 that is ground floor, the rest are second story units. I have never stayed in the hotel phase of the resort.

If you have an RCI confirmation, call RCI first to ask. Since RCI reservations are for a full week, it may be that a certain unit is deposited. I do not know how it works with RCI.

You should also definitely call the WM Estes Park resort a couple days before arrival. They will put a note on your reservation that you prefer a ground floor unit. (No guarantees, of course; it depends on which units have checkout on the day you arrive.)
 

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If you have something on hold, RCI will sometimes call to remind you to confirm it. (They don't get paid for matches. They get paid for confirmations.)
Oh, that explains why they have never called me.

I just assumed it was like so many service call centers that are not allowed to call out.
 

baf99

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Wow, I took a couple of months away from TUG and this thread just kept going on. I didn't expect that.

@OldGuy, I think I may have been to that taffy place 8-9 years back when I was in Boulder for a business trip and had time to take a day trip to EP. Good stuff!
@Krteczech and @CO skier, Thanks for confirmation that the week I have reserved will still be OK for hiking and photography. Snow dusted mountains with blue skies do make for nice photography. So if snow does come early I will just stay at lower elevations and look up. I spent 5 days in Yosemite last month when a winter storm came through (mostly rain in the valley but some sleet and snow). I mostly had gray skies with snow dusting the cliffs but there were a few hours with blue skies and it was magic. Wimp that I am I nixed hikes with elevation gain...

Now I'm thinking of tagging on a week before or after the one I already have, maybe see if I can get another RCI match for Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, or Sedona. Or maybe I'll just go back to Yosemite when the waterfalls won't be as pretty but the weather may be better for hiking. Deciding is such an effort for me...
 

Laurie

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Now I'm thinking of tagging on a week before or after the one I already have, maybe see if I can get another RCI match for Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, or Sedona. Or maybe I'll just go back to Yosemite when the waterfalls won't be as pretty but the weather may be better for hiking. Deciding is such an effort for me...
I piggybacked a week in Vail for right before my Estes Park exchange, and it worked out great. For one thing, the elevation was lower and I wanted that adjustment period before Trail Ridge Road drive and hikes since we're eastcoast flatlanders. During that week we visited Breckenridge to help acclimate. After Vail, we drove thru the park to Estes Park. We managed a short hike on the "tundra trail" up in RMNP, this was over 12,000 ft. (It was a challenge but worth it.)
 

bbodb1

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I piggybacked a week in Vail for right before my Estes Park exchange, and it worked out great. For one thing, the elevation was lower and I wanted that adjustment period before Trail Ridge Road drive and hikes since we're eastcoast flatlanders. During that week we visited Breckenridge to help acclimate. After Vail, we drove thru the park to Estes Park. We managed a short hike on the "tundra trail" up in RMNP, this was over 12,000 ft. (It was a challenge but worth it.)

Would that be in and around the Alpine Visitor Center?
RMNP is an incredible place.....
 

Laurie

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Would that be in and around the Alpine Visitor Center?
RMNP is an incredible place.....
Its called the Tundra Communities Trail and according to google maps, it's about 8 miles from the Visitor Center -- it's a fairly level trail, and beautiful. We also did a walk right around the bend from the Visitor Center. I had to go pretty slow at these altitudes, especially when walking uphill. One of my favorite hikes was on a day we parked at a lower lot, hitched a ride up to the upper trail head, and walked downhill the whole way. :)
 
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baf99

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Thanks for that suggestion Laurie. I had also considered Pagosa Springs if I could get the week before. I would like to ride the Durango-Silverton train while the colors are near peak and by mid October I think they would be past peak. But a week in Vail would work as well. And it would simplify the travel and car rental. Scenery would be awesome as well. I'll have to look into it. I don't know how likely a last minute vacation would be so I will probably put in an ongoing search.
 

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When we used to go to Colorado the first of June for business every year, we stayed in Vail, then in Winter Park (where we discovered SilverCreek and Granby), and then Estes Park. Once we found Estes Park, that was it, that's where we always went after that.

Wherever we stayed, we had check to out on Saturday, and we had another day of business in Longmont, so that meant one night in a motel. We were there in 2002 when my Dad took a turn for the worse, and we left there on I-80 for Iowa instead of I-70 for the home we had just moved to the month before.
 

Ann-Marie

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Oh, that explains why they have never called me.

I just assumed it was like so many service call centers that are not allowed to call out.
RCI will randomly call me to ask if I need help with a deposit or search or to review my ongoing search with me that I know has had no hits. Waste of time and money. If I need them I call them.
 

Ann-Marie

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My confirmation does not say the kitchen configuration however someone gave me this hit. Look at it from the app on your phone and sure enough, we have a full kitchen!
 

Laurie

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Thanks for that suggestion Laurie. I had also considered Pagosa Springs if I could get the week before. I would like to ride the Durango-Silverton train while the colors are near peak and by mid October I think they would be past peak. But a week in Vail would work as well. And it would simplify the travel and car rental.
Yes, either could work! There are many ways to successfully piggyback 2 exchanges if you're willing to wait for the serendipity of exchange matches, and don't mind doing some driving and sightseeing along the way.

Another time we piggybacked 2 timeshare weeks, first a week in Santa Fe, then one in Pagosa Springs. We flew into Albuquerque and rented a car there. After Santa Fe, on the way to Pagosa Springs we took in a guided tour of Ghost Ranch, to visit various spots from which Georgia O'Keeffe painted. In Pagosa Springs, we enjoyed a week's pass to the hot springs, plus day trips to Chimney Rock (guided hike) and a drive to Silverton - we had planned to drive onto Ouray, but the road was closed! so we ate lunch and drove back - we didn't take the train tho had considered it. After Pagosa Springs we continued onto Mesa Verde NP where we spent a couple of nights in park lodgings, then visited Chaco Canyon, bumpy road and all, on our way back to Albuquerque.

So much to see and do, so many possible itineraries, which we may never have done if not for timesharing. You will enjoy whichever destinations land in your timeshare basket, good luck!
 
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