Hello All. I've been clicking around in the forums and trying to find an answer to my question but also wanted to post here. I found this very helpful post (tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g143048-i3489-k498…) but had a few questions:
I really just want to drive and stop at scenic lookouts for photos -- I don't necessarily want to do a lot of hiking or other exploring on foot. Since we only have a day and I know we're not going to be out and about particularly early (probably mid- to late morning), would you recommend the first part of the trip described in the linked post (90 minutes with no stops from the Estes Park Visitors Center to the Beaver Meadows Entrance Station) or the second part (90 minutes with no stops for the Bear Lake route using the Beaver Meadows Entrance as the starting and ending point) if you had to choose one?
Is Estes Park about 90 minutes from Denver? Unless I'm misunderstanding, the linked post says 2-2.5 hours. I got 90 minutes from Google Maps. Is the drive from Denver to Estes Park easy?
The linked post mentions Fall River Road, which I assume is the same as Old Fall River Road, which I thought was closed in the winter and I've also read can be hair-raising (my boyfriend will probably be driving, and he's particularly nervous about mountain driving, so I'm trying to keep things on the less scary side). Is the scary and closed part of the road beyond the route described in the link?
For wimpy flatlanders who are afraid of mountain driving, would you recommend against Mount Evans? I realize part of the road is closed at this time of year, but it seems closer to Denver. However, if it's significantly scarier than the route in the linked post, I think it would be worth it to drive farther to RMNP. How scary is the part of the Mount Evans road that's open now?
What should we expect weather-wise in the park at this time of year? It looks like it's been warm in Denver, but I'm guessing in the mountains things can be quite different. Should we expect snowy and icy driving?
Thanks in advance and I apologize if I'm asking questions that have been asked a million times before! I live in DC, so I'm used to being on the receiving end. ;-)