Spooky Season has arrived!
The wind is chilled, the leaves are changing, and through this period of transition, we find a reinvigorated sense of adventure.
Happy Campers RV Rentals is here to inspire and encourage your new found Fall feelings! Let’s dig into the spirit of the season together, as we take you on a journey of some of the best Halloween Town destinations on the West Coast! It’s time to pack up your costumes, consolidate your candy, and hit the open road on a Halloween destination vacation.
The second stop on our West Coast tour of Halloween Towns is the haunting birthplace of Stephen King’s The Shining, Estes Park, CO!
Table of Contents
A Brief History of Estes Park
Stephen King fans may already be familiar with the tale, but did you know that the premise for The Shining came to Stephen King in a nightmare while he was staying at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park? That’s right! The historic Stanley Hotel is the birthplace of one of the most famously fearful horror stories of all time.
As the story goes, Stephen King was staying at the Stanley Hotel with his wife at the beginning of their offseason. The hotel was empty of guests besides the two of them, and he has described the intense eerie loneliness experienced during their stay. They would eat alone in the dining room, a solitary island in the middle of a sea of unused tables and chairs. No music, no conversation filling the halls.
Stephen King awoke in the middle of the night after a bone-chilling nightmare, involving his three-year-old son being chased by a sentient firehose through the hallways of the hotel. King, waking up in a cold sweat, went to the balcony for a cigarette. By the time he expelled his last puff of smoke, he had the entire plot to The Shining mapped out in his head.
Estes Park was established in 1905 by a man named Abner Sprague, and whose early infrastructure was largely supported by steam car pioneer, F.O. Stanley, after whom the Stanley Hotel was named. This self-sufficient town quickly flourished, and after the establishment of Rocky Mountain Nation Park in 1915, Estes Park found itself on the map for outdoor enthusiasts across the country.
Top 3 Halloween Activities
- 1Trick Or Treat In TownSince 1981, the main street through Estes Park has closes down every Halloween night so kids, adults, and pets can safely gather for trick-or-treting festivities throughout the entire town! Residents traditionally come together to contribute candy for local shops to hand out treats to visitors and townsfolk alike. This charmingly spooky event is sure to be fun filled night for the whole family!
- 2The Shining BallDo you think you have the guts to spend an evening in one of the top 10 most haunted hotels in the United States? Now's your chance to find out! Stanley Live presents The Shining Ball, a night of music, costumes, dancing, and contacting the dead (not really, just setting the mood!) This event has become a Stanley family tradition, and participants of the costume contest have the chance to win some truly incredible prizes. The Shining Ball takes place this year on October 23, will we see you there?
- 3RedRum Mystery DinnerBring your appetite and detective skills to the RedRum Mystery Dinner at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, October 21. Your ticket includes a four-course dinner, a glass of wine, and thrilling entertainment. Just keep a lookout for any twins asking if you want to play. $160 per person or $299 per couple. Local tip: Make a pitstop before the Stanley at Estes Park’s American Legion Hall for their Haunted House!
Top 3 Places to Stay
KOA locations are often safe havens for RV enthusiasts, and Estes Park KOA is no exception! KOA locations are specifically tailored towards RVers from all walks of life. With a plethora of spaces and amenities, this location is perfect for a spooky weekend getaway.
- Google Reviews: 4.3 stars, 550 reviews
- Located 2.1 miles from city center
- 5 miles from Rocky Mountain National Park!
Leave your routine day-to-day life in the side view mirror of your RV and plan your next group trip to the breathtaking Rocky Mountain National Park. Estes Park’s Manor RV Park offers a panoramic view of the Rocky Mountains surrounded by streams, towering cottonwoods, and curious wildlife.
- Google Reviews: 4.1 stars, 190 reviews
- Located 1.6 miles from city center
- Halfway between Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. Also has fishing!
3. Spruce Lake RV Park
This beautiful waterside RV park features lush meadows, a serene crystal-clear lake, and the calming rush of the Big Thompson River. Enjoy Colorado at its best while in walking distance to restaurants and shopping!
- Google Reviews: 3.7 stars, 282 reviews
- Located 1.9 miles from city center
- Cable TV and WiFi available throughout the property