Shelly’s place, Estes Park

We just returned from a fabulous week in Colorado, staying in Shelly’s AirBnb, located on Hwy 7 between Estes Park and Allenspark near the Wild Basin entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. If you’re headed that way, we highly recommend it; click the link above to view the listing. Reviews at AirBnB are limited to 1000 characters, but here is the review we would have wished to post there (I had to post a severely pared-down version):

Sometimes our travels take us on a busy itinerary where we’re constantly moving from place to place. This time we wanted to stay in one place and soak in the experience. We planned this trip as a mini family reunion of six people: my wife and I, our three adult daughters and a son-in-law. This house, “nearly perfect” as my son-in-law put it, became itself part of the memories our family will cherish from this time together. We definitely expect to return!

The surroundings offer an inexhaustible source of natural beauty which we continually enjoyed, especially from the decks: chipmunks playing on the rocks, hummingbirds buzzing us to remind us we are but guests, ravens and nutcrackers, the fragrance of pines and the captivating patterns of the rocks. One evening we grilled burgers on the front deck. Each morning we woke up with coffee on the west deck watching the morning clouds playing upon the slopes of Mount Meeker.

Inside, the house layout was splendid for us, accommodating our varied schedules and activities. The bedrooms seemed customized for each of us: A secluded moose room by a game room; a Cozy Cabin Loft room; a Bear room and a master bedroom just a few steps from the living room. Some stayed up late hours in the game room while others went to bed early to depart in the wee hours for early morning hikes. Our pregnant daughter had space available to sit up if needed at any hour of night. The lovely main living room offers a relaxing gathering space, with two recliners one daughter claims are the most comfortable she has ever sat in.

The location on the east side of the park was ideal for us. We walked along the nearby Wild Basin Trail with its splendid waterfalls and cascades (my favorite trail in the Park). The stunning scenery on the short drive to Estes Park via Hwy 7 never gets old; we took advantage of Lily Pond, the coffeeshop at the Chapel on the Rocks, the Enos Mills historical marker, and horse-riding at Elkhorn Stables. We had easy access to Estes Park with all its attractions including the riverwalk, and a shortcut to the main entrance of RMNP via Mary Lake Road for the days we spent absorbing the splendors of Trail Ridge Road, and Moraine Park and the Bear Lake corridor. We experienced no let-down each evening returning to this east-side home in such a beautiful natural setting.

My wife comments that it was “just about as perfect as it could get. House designed well for us. Beautiful location. All amenities provided. Beds comfortable. Great kitchen.” We appreciated the host’s use of unscented laundry detergent. Several of us have pronounced sensory sensitivities and allergies, but the house gave us no problems. The host, Shelly, was very responsive from before our arrival up through the very last day, including extremely helpful last-minute assistance. In the words one daughter wrote in the guest book: “All the amenities [even flashlights, bug spray] were so helpful and really made it feel like a home. We enjoyed… cuddling up in all the blankets, the decor (love the themes!), the porches, the views, the books & reading materials, and the location! We can’t wait to return. Thank you for making this trip so wonderful!”

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