Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When was the Estes Park Aerial Tramway built?

A: The Estes Park Aerial Tramway opened to the public in July 1955. It was built and designed by cable car pioneer Robert Heron. Since then, it has safely carried more than 3 million people to the summit of Prospect Mountain.

Q: I thought you were shut down?

A: The Tram was shut down for 2023 after the passing of John Heron, son of the original builder, Robert Heron. However, the Tram was purchased from the Heron family in early 2024 by new ownership and we've brought it back with everything you loved!

Q: When will the Estes Tram re-open to the public?

A: The grand reopening will be May 25th, 2024, with tickets now available for purchase online at www.estestram.com.

Q: What cool improvements have been made to the Tram?

A: We are committed to revitalizing the iconic Estes Tram while maintaining its rich history and heritage. But don’t worry, we are preserving the red iconic cabins, the symbols of the nearly 70-year-old tramway, while adding improvements at the top and bottom stations to modernize the experience.

Q: How do I buy tickets to ride the Tram?

A: It’s super easy, just go to www.estestram.com and buy your tickets to reserve a time to ride. You can purchase before your visit on our website or easily on your smartphone after you arrive.

Q: What does it cost?

A: Adult tickets start at $21.95 with a 20% discount for kids, military (active and veterans), Estes Park residents and seniors. Please be prepared to show the appropriate ID for discounted tickets. Go to www.estestram.com for our current prices.

Q: Can I use cash to buy a ticket?

A: While we do not accept cash, we do take all major credit cards, along with Apple and Google Pay.

Q: Is a ticket good for one ride, or multiple rides all day?

A: Each ticket is good for one round trip to the top and back (departing in your entry window, returning any time).

Q: Do you have a season pass option?

A: Not currently, though we are considering offering one soon.

Q: What is the booking fee?

A: The $2.50 fee per ticket covers costs related to the implementation and management of the online reservation system we built to reduce waiting times and improve the customer experience.

Q: Can we make reservations?

A: Yes, in fact you must have a reservation to ride! Reservations are made in one hour windows and you can book yours right on our front page. Once you have your window booked, the day before your visit we will send you a "preferred" time to arrive within your hour window to even further help limit any waiting.

Q: How long will I have to wait to go up?

A: We now have one-hour entry windows to help reduce queueing. Please arrive within your assigned hour.

Q: What happens if I miss my reservation window?

A: If you are not able to arrive within your reservation window, we will do our best to slot you in if there is room. But we cannot guarantee we will be able to get you up the Tram. Please try and arrive within your window... sheesh, get it together people! ;)

Q: How do the virtual lines work?

A: We have two virtual lines to reduce wait times. The first is at the lower terminal. If our physical line to go up the mountain reaches 20 minutes, we send texts automatically placing the remaining guests for the hour into a virtual line. As space opens in the physical line, guests will receive another text asking them to check-in and join the physical line. This way you can do other things while you still "wait in line" to go up!

At the upper terminal when you are ready to leave, you will need to join the virtual line to board the return tram. Once you are in the virtual line, you will receive a text when it is time to join the (short) physical return line (you can also just keep your web browser tab open). Show your phone with the "return now" page to the tram attendant when boarding.

After you first check-in you will automatically receive a text with a link to join the return tram virtual line (whenever you're ready). There are also several signs at the top with the QR code you can scan to enter the line.

If you have any questions or issues with the virtual lines, you can always find one of our friendly staff and they'll be happy to help!

Q: How do I reach customer service if I have a problem with my ticket or have questions?

A: Just contact us here!

Q: How long is the ride?

A: The Tram takes 5 minutes each way.

Q: How long do people typically stay at the top?

A: You can stay as long as you want, and many people definitely stay longer, but the average visitor stays at the summit for about one hour.

Q: What hours are you open?

A: 9am to 7pm every day (last ride up is at 6pm though, last ride down is at 7pm).

Q: What times do the first and last Trams run daily?

A: The first Tram departs to the summit 9am and the last one back down at 7pm (the last entry window is 5-6pm).

Q: Is there wifi or cell coverage?

A: Yep, we have free, open, high speed wi-fi at both the top and bottom terminals, and there's great cell coverage for all major providers everywhere as well (due to the cell towers at the top of the mountain)!

Q: What is up at the top?

A: We have an amazing viewing platform, the Hungry Chipmunk Cafe, a gift shop, free pinball (The Avengers and TMNT!), bathrooms, picnic areas, and some light hiking. As well as chipmunks to feed and... breathtaking views!

Q: Is there anything to eat at the top?

A: Yep, try out our new Hungry Chipmunk Cafe! And I suppose you could always forage for berries or try and catch and eat one of our wild chipmunks. 😜

Q: What does the Hungry Chipmunk Cafe have on their menu?

A: Coffee, tea, pastries, snacks, breakfast, lunch, cold Drinks, waffles, ice cream, and more... maybe just check out the full menu? (PDF)

Q: Can you hike to the top of Prospect Mountain?

A: Yep, it's about a 15-20 minute hike from the upper tram station to the summit of prospect mountain, on pretty easy terrain.

Q: Do you serve alcohol?

A: We currently do not sell alcohol and do not allow anyone to bring their own.

Q: How many can ride at a time?

A: The Tram holds 8 to 10 adults.

Q: What days are you open?

A: Every day from Memorial Day weekend (Saturday, May 25th) through the first week of September (Sunday, September 8th). Then, the rest of September only on Saturdays and Sundays. If weather holds, we will explore staying open later (though unlikely past October). Sign up for Tram email updates below for the latest updates!

Q: Are my tickets changeable or refundable?

A: Yes, you can exchange your tickets for a new time or fully refund them until the day of your reservation, at which point they are not refundable or changeable. To change or refund your tickets, please just use the links at the bottom of your confirmation email (like in this screenshot):



Q: What if there's inclement weather?

A: Please dress accordingly! If there is adverse weather, we may alter the operation schedule. Of course, if we have to close temporarily, then you would get a full refund or we will help you book another time.

Q: Can I use drones at the Tram?

A: We do not allow the use of drones of any kind near the Tram or Tram Property, including Prospect Mountain.

Q: Are mountain bikes permitted?

A: At this time no mountain bikes are permitted.

Q: Are strollers permitted?

A: Of course, including jogging strollers! But if it's a busy time, we ask that you fold them up inside the Tram.

Q: Is smoking permitted on the Tram or at the summit?

A: We do not allow smoking anywhere.

Q: I have nut allergies, is it safe to visit?

A: We do not recommend guests visit if they have peanut or severe nut allergies as there are lots of peanuts and peanut shells outside on the ground at the top of the mountain. Use your own judgement.

Q: Can I park at the Tram?

A: There are over 60 spots for guests. We of course cannot guarantee they will be free but there is also parking a few blocks away in town.

Q: What facilities does the Tram offer for visitors of all abilities?

A: Accessibility is important to us and we are always working to improve access. At reopening, we will have ADA accessible bathrooms at the lower terminal, along with an ADA ramp to ride the Tram. The tram itself can also accommodate wheelchairs (including the large electric ones). There is handicapped parking and it is only about 60 feet of a flat paved path from the parking to the tram. At the top you are dropped off right at the elevated viewing platform, and you're about 100 ft of flat walking to The Hungry Chipmunk Cafe.

Q: Is seating available on the Tram?

A: No, it is a standing only experience (not counting wheelchairs of course).

Q: Is the tram enclosed or open to the elements?

A: The tram is enclosed with windows on all sides which are usually left open (unless it's pretty bad weather).

Q: Are pets allowed on the Tram?

A: Sorry, we currently only allow service animals to ride as Colorado state regulations prohibit non-service and/or emotional support animals from entering the Tram property.

Q: Is the Tram safe?

A: Yes! It has been running since 1955 with no major incidents. We inspect different parts of the system weekly, have the whole system inspected by experts prior to opening each year and are certified by the State of Colorado annually. In addition, we train all staff on how to handle emergencies and run training exercises with them prior to the Tram opening.

Q: Is there another option to reach the summit besides the Tram?

A: Nope, the tram is it! There is a service road in case of emergencies but it isn't open to the public. Don't worry, see the last FAQ question!

Q: Do you allow the release of ashes from cremation?

A: Please contact us via email for more information.

Q: How do I get to you / in touch with you?

A: Just contact us here!




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