Education and Events

The Museum hosts educational activities throughout the year. Tours of the Museum and the Historic Fall River Hydroplant may be arranged for groups of 10 or more people by contacting the Curator of Education. All programs take place at the Museum unless otherwise noted.

Museum staff will present outside of the facility on historical topics of interest for groups in the surrounding Estes Park area. To request a speaker for your next event please contact the Curator of Education. Below are a list of popular presentation topics.
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Mondays and Tuesdays through September 19
from 8:15 - 10 a.m.
Downtown History Walking Tours
Meet at the corner of MacGregor and Park Avenues in downtown Estes Park (near the Enos Mills sculpture in Bond Park)

The basic footprint of the town we know today put down roots over one hundred years ago. Stores you see today are buildings that started out as hotels, schools, and private homes. Discover the hidden past on a walking tour of downtown Estes Park with the knowledgeable and lively docents from the Estes Park Musuem. Participants will explore historical photographs from the Museum's collection to aid in comparing the past to the present.  
Identical tours are offered on Monday and Tuesday mornings (except July 4 and September 4) June 5 through September 19, 2017. Tours meet at 8:15 a.m. at the Northeast corner of Bond Park (next to the bronze Enos Mills Sculpture at MacGregor and Park Avenues) and begin promptly at 8:30 a.m. The tour group will walk west through town and return to the same site by 10:00 a.m. and travel a distance of 0.7 miles. The cost is $8. 
Friday, June 23 from 3:30 - 6 p.m. 
We Three: The Story of Judge Allen, Susan M. Rebhan, and Mary E, Pierce - at Peace in Estes Park & 
Celebrating the History of Summer Residents 
Program takes place at the Estes Park Museum
The Estes Park Museum Friends will cohost a program featuring Estes Park's history of its seasonal residents through time, with a focus on Florence Allen. Allen was the first woman nominated to the Federal Bench and summered in her Moraine Park cabin for more than 25 years. 

The afternoon's speaker is Richard Dana, who has done extensive research on Judge Allen and has many interesting anecdotes and photographs to share. This program is free and open to the public, and summer residents are especially invited. Light refreshments will be served.

Saturday, June 24 at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., and 2 p.m. 


Museum Members Only: Historic H-Bar-G Ranch Tour

Meet at the corner of Dry Gulch and H Bar G Road

Estes Park Museum Members can visit the historic H-Bar-G Ranch. Located on the north end of the Estes Valley on H Bar G Road, the ranch dates back to 1896. The property was operated as a hotel, a dude ranch, a girl’s summer camp, a youth hostel, and even a Peace Corps training camp. The lodge and some of the surrounding cabins will be open for Museum Members to tour, for one day only. 

The Livingston sisters will graciously share some of their family’s long history at H-Bar-G Ranch. Museum Members can reserve spaces on tours hosted at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., or 2 p.m. Tickets cost $35 each and reservations for the tour can be made over the telephone while spaces last. Individual-level Members may bring a guest for $45. To register for the tour, please call Curator of Education Alicia Rochambeau at 970-577-3762. Cash and check are the accepted forms of payment collected at the start of the tour. Registration is required. 

Not a Museum Member yet? You can join today and enjoy this benefit right away. Join the membership program by signing up at the Museum or call the telephone number listed above. Tour participants are encouraged to carpool to the corner of Dry Gulch and H Bar G Road where all guests will then ride in a shuttle provided by the Museum to the ranch. 

This event will take place rain or shine. Please note this is a private property that is not wheelchair accessible and the tour requires walking on uneven terrain with very few places to sit. Participants must be prepared to stand or walk for up to an hour and a half. Good footwear, a hat, a jacket, and water bottle are recommended. Smoking is prohibited on the tour and at H -Bar-G Ranch. The tour is made possible thanks to the generosity of Anne Livingston. 

Thursday, June 29 from 3 - 4 p.m.
People of the Peaks Series Kick-off: Mount Chapin 
Lecture takes place at the Estes Park Museum
Who was Mount Chapin named for and why?  Answer: Frederick Hastings Chapin (1852-1900), a wholesale druggist from Connecticut, who made several trips to Estes Park in the 1880s where together with Eastern friends and local cattleman William Hallett he climbed mountains. The result was the book, containing his own stunning black and white photographs, titled "Mountaineering in Colorado: The Peaks About Estes Park," published in Boston by the Appalachian Mountain Club in 1889. Chapin also visited Mesa Verde, where he became one of the first to photograph the recently-discovered Cliff Palace. The lecture by Historian Laureate Dr. James Pickering will discuss his life and times, focusing on the visits to Estes Park, and illustrated with Chapin’s own photographs.
Tuesday, July 4 
9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Coolest Car Show in Colorado
Event takes place at the Estes Park Events Complex located at 1125 Rooftop Way, Estes Park
Tuesday, July 18 at 9 a.m.

Cheley Camp Tour

Meet at Cheley Camp for coffee and cookies at 9 a.m. The tour runs from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Cost is $10 collected on site. RSVP is required, email Estes Park Museum Friends Administrative Assistant Elaine Hunt-Downey at

Saturday, July 22 at 7 p.m. 

Cousin Estes: A Musical Docudrama

Takes place at the Estes Park High School Auditorium

Cousin Estes is a musical docudrama that explores the roots and historic contribution of the Estes family from Italy and Scotland through 1875, and then beyond the grave by the ghost of Joel Estes. Each song in the play is supported by a video of the event that stands out in the American historic record. 

Joel Estes will introduce you to the Estes family members as they play their parts in the building of the nation in this American experience. Joel will introduce you to the Marquis Niccolo III d’este in Italy, Thomas Dixon in Scotland, Abraham Estes, the first Estes to come to America, Joel’s Grandfather and namesake Joel, who fought in the revolutionary war, Peter Estes, who followed Daniel Boone over “The Wilderness Trail,” and Joel’s interesting life with his family as they discover gold in the California Gold Rush of 1849, and also discovered and settled in Estes Park, Colorado.

Michael Estes Dixon is currently performing in the rock group “Trip Wire.” In addition to performing in rock and bluegrass bands, he has also pursued a solo career. Dixon has taken roles in community theater for productions such as “Fiddler on the Roof” and he wrote and performed the music for the production of “The Astral Plane.”  He is a versatile musician that plays Guitar, Banjo, Bass, Fiddle, Mandolin, Dobro, Lap Steel, Keyboards, Harmonica, Flute, Saxophone, Drums and other percussion instruments. 

For 20 years, Mike Estes Dixon researched his Estes family history.  Every time he found an interesting character, he wrote a song. This inspired Mike to execute a three-phase plan: create a new album about Estes Family members, make videos of all of the songs, and ultimately write a play to present the Estes family history.

The album “Cousin Estes” was released in October, 2015.  Dixon plays all of the instruments and sings all of the vocals. The play of the same title will debut in Estes Park on Saturday, July 22.

Tickets go on sale at the Museum beginning June 30. The cost to attend is $15 for Museum Members and $18 for non-members in advance, or $20 the night of the production.

Saturday, August 5 from 9 - 11 a.m.

The Centennial 5K Walk/Run: Race to Save the Past

This race around beautiful Lake Estes starts and finishes at the Estes Park Visitor's Center located at 500 Big Thompson Avenue. The event will raise money for the future Collections & Research Facility at the Estes Park Museum seen from the course. Registration details. Sponsored by the Estes Park Museum Friends & Foundation, Inc. Print a registration form.

Thursday, August 31 from 3 - 4 p.m. 
People of the Peaks Series: Hayden's Surveys
Lecture takes place at the Estes Park Museum
Ferdinand Vandeveer Hayden viewed Colorado as the next best place for mining and resource development for the United States following the Civil War, and his well-known survey created during the 1870s was intended to hasten that process. Tom Huber, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs Professor of Geography and Environmental Studies selected nineteen of the exact spots where many of Hayden’s men sketched pen and ink drawings of the landscape before them. These nineteen spots and the total of twenty-eight drawings on which Huber did “repeat” photography constitute the chapters of his book “The Hayden’s Surveys Revisited”.  Join Professor Huber for an illustrated description of the geology, geography, history, and changes that have occurred including Longs Peak and the Saint Vrain Valley near Lyons and the unique character of each site since they were recorded in the 1870s. 
Saturday, October 28 & Sunday, October 29


Creative Colorado TableSetting 2017
Event takes place at the YMCA of the Rockies in the Willome Building 
A Table Setting contest is a fun and creative expression of a place setting for two, for a meal. This year The Museum Friends will have three categories: 1) formal 2) informal and 3) freestyle. You can go classic, casual, contemporary, vintage, or let your imagination run free. 

Photographs of last year’s competition and guidelines for participants are available to view for inspiration and ideas.

For those who not sure if they would like to participate and would like more information, please attend the Table Setting 101 presentation on Friday, September 15 at the Estes Park Museum.

The cost to enter a table setting is $20 for individuals and $30 for those who wish to team up with friends or members of a club. Challenge your social or work groups for a competition within the competition. For those who wish to browse the creations there will be a $5 admission fee. All proceeds benefit the Estes Park Museum.

Contact the Museum:
200 Fourth St.
Estes Park, CO 80517