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Estes Park, CO ~ Old Man Lookout Blog


April 6, 2019


Old Man Lookout is for many a fly in destination.  We have just come back from traveling to and from our place in Estes and I need to put in a plug-in and a shout-out for our favorite car rental agency.


Denver' International Airport's ENTERPRISE Car Rental is our favorite.  We have tried a couple of others because of a "better" price, but you get what you pay for.  Enterprise has a quick shuttle from arrival at DIA to their office a few miles away on 78th Ave.  They are ready to help you quickly and in no time at all you are ushered to your vehicle and after inspection you are on your way.  (Hint: We always reserve before we start our travel from home.)


Traveling to Estes Park from DIA, take the toll road  470 around Denver, then north on  Interstate 25The trip is only about an hour and a half by traveling  66 through Longmont  and then 36 to Lyons and on toward Estes Park and to Old Man Lookout.


Just reverse this trip back into DIA when your vacation comes to a close.  Enterprise also makes it easy to return the vehicle.  Make sure you give yourself time to fuel up  the vehicle just before returning it so that you are not charged extra.  To drop off they are ready to receive the vehicle and in a minute or so of jumping out of your rented vehicle, you are ready to be shuttled back to the airport.  Easy,  and so efficient!


So try Enterprise the next time you stay in the mountains at Old Man Lookout in Estes Park.









 Project Background

Flood Impact Analysis

US 34 Big Thompson Canyon was heavily damaged during the 2013 floods, with many homes damaged and over 100 air-lifted evacuations. The canyon and its residents also suffered from flooding in 1976. As a result of these two events, CDOT has been studying the hydraulic flow of the river in the canyon, and its impact on the road and bridges along its path. CDOT also is looking for safety improvements and resiliency solutions to prevent and protect against significant damage from future flood events.

Damage Overview

This section US 34 winds its way through the Big Thompson Canyon, providing major access between Loveland, Lyons, and Estes Park. During the flooding, watershed runoff combined with flows released from Lake Estes Dam and surges from debris dam breaches to produce huge flow surges that exceeded the 500–year flood event. The canyon section sustained widespread, massive damage. Major sections of roadway were washed away completely, along with access bridges and retaining walls. In the narrows, much of the roadway and grade were undermined, washing out the pavement from below and exposing the wall support structures.

Emergency (Temporary) Repairs

Temporary repairs were completed and the highway was reopened to traffic in both directions on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2013. CDOT and its contractors worked from both the east and west ends of the canyon to assess and repair the damage and restore local access as quickly as possible. Emergency repairs were extensive and included removing debris, re-establishing shoulders and embankments, replacing damaged asphalt, filling washed out sections with concrete fill, repairing local access structures, and repairing damaged drainage structures.

Permanent (Long-Term) Repairs

Permanent repairs will include removing and replacing much of the temporary asphalt, embankment fill, and temporary channel protection; as well as re-vegetating, replacing guardrails, and repairing fencing. Some of the roadway sections that were not destroyed, but experienced flood water overtopping the roadway, will be analyzed and possibly replaced.

Estimated Timeline

  • Est. Design Start: Summer 2014

  • Construction Start: 2016

Estimated Budget

  • $280 million


One of the goals in the repair process is to introduce certain betterments (improvements that go beyond bringing the roadway up to standard) to roadway facilities that were damaged and make them more resilient to similar storm events in the future. Having analyzed the damage caused during the flood event, certain design elements will be incorporated in an effort to prevent or lessen the severe damage that significant flood events can cause. During the permanent repair phase, several alternatives will be developed to ensure that the Big Thompson channel has increased capacity and the roadway has additional high water relief to handle large storm events.


July 20, 2018

Fall Time in Estes Park

Do you wonder what there is to do in the fall time in Estes Park?  Maybe you have a short period of time you can run away from the office...time to run for a breather from the rush of everyday life and refresh in the mountains.  Yes, Estes Park Is the place.  Experience some of the activities the small town offers: Estes Epic, Scottish Festival, Autumn Gold Festival or The Elk Fest.  Autumn is a great time to visit Estes Park, CO.  Crowds are less, colors are vivid, temps are beautiful.  Come visit Estes Park. 

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