The Estes Park Museum connects the beautiful natural features of the area to the growth and development of this unique mountain community. In the Main Gallery, explore historic images and artifacts that tell the story of Estes Park. Examine an authentic 1909 Model EX Stanley Steamer Runabout, view work by local artists, and interact in the High Country Hangout family space. Stories Under the Stars is an inviting space for visitors of all ages to sit beside a glowing camp fire and listen to tales from Estes Park pioneers. Then, enjoy a historic silent film in the Park Theatre.
Step outside the Main Gallery to explore two historic structures. The 1908 Cobb-Macdonald cabin is a typical turn-of-the-twentieth-century rustic home that displays modest furniture and decorations. The Historic Boyd Building served as the first headquarters to Rocky Mountain National Park downtown Estes Park from 1915 to 1923. Today, the building hosts temporary exhibits.
Currently, the Estes Park Museum is featuring a new temporary exhibit, Now We Are Very Modern: Estes Park during the 1920s. The exhibit explores the growth, changes, and challenges that Estes Park faced during the tumultuous 1920s. The exhibit will be on display in the Historic Boyd Building on the Museum grounds through December 2020.
Constructed in 1909 to produce electricity for the Stanley Hotel and surrounding areas, F. O. Stanley sold the plant to the Public Service Company of Colorado in 1928. In 1945, the Town of Estes Park purchased and maintained the Hydroplant until it was severely damaged in 1982 by the Lawn Lake Flood.
The Historic Fall River Hydroplant was restored and opened to the public as an interpretive center in 2002 and features original equipment installed by Stanley, machinery from an addition in 1921, and a diesel unit installed by the Public Service Company in 1938. Interpretive panels document the growth of Estes Park, its insatiable need for electricity, and the Lawn Lake Flood disaster.
The Historic Fall River Hydroplant 2020 hours of operation:
Tours are temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak
On the night of December 21, 1907, the bungalow of newspaper promoter Al Birch caught fire. No one was hurt in the blaze but the structure burned before help could arrive. Just two weeks later, Birch began building a cabin in the willows just below the the ruins. The Birch family enjoyed the cabin as a summer retreat until the 1980s. The Town of Estes Park, with help from Estes Park Urban Renewal Authority and the Estes Valley Land Trust, purchased the 20 acre parcel located just behind Town Hall and the Estes Valley Library.
The cabin and structural ruins are accessible year-round, featuring truly unique views of downtown and the surrounding mountains.
Hours: Dawn to dusk