... Fall is a spectacular time in the park, and it's easy to see why people love it so much. Ken and I have decided fall for the color and winter for the snowcapped peaks and pristine skies are more enjoyable for us than the summer...
It is indeed -- and the cooler fall temperatures help, too.
If you count Boulder -- and I'd suggest it counts for a half, at least -- I've lived in four (or three-and-a-half) tourist towns since college: Boulder, Santa Fe, Boca Raton, and here in Estes Park (and residents in all of those places gripe). Although all are seasonal, each is unique in terms of its touristy character, and, having figured it out, I really don't think of Estes Park as the "worst" by any means. (Gotta say, though, that stopping and getting out of your car in the middle of a US highway, and not just in Rocky, is pretty bad behavior.)
In South Florida, the snowbirds tend to be from the big, upper east-coast cities, and they're paragons of impatience. In Boulder, lots of the visitors are high as kites. And in Santa Fe, they tend to be so rich that they think they can do whatever they please and be snotty about it while doing so.
The main summer season here in Estes is pretty family oriented, and all-in-all, that's quite frlendly. Now, in the fall, it tends toward more retired people, and even the Park rangers and volunteers comment on the higher grumpiness level than in the summer. But even though there are crowds just now, they're thinning out, and in a week or two it'll be that glorious October weather that often lasts into November. HPH