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: We're open! The grand reopening was May 25th, 2024! We'll be open through September this year!

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

A: We've refurbished and repainted the upper and lower terminal areas, including redoing the whole parking lot at the bottom, redoing fencing and railings, adding new ADA ramps, opening the new and improved Hungry Chipmunk Cafe and Tram Haus (featuring free pinball machines), adding new picnic tables, and more!

Work still in progress is blazing a new (well-labeled) hiking trail to the West Summit, as well as adding seating and shade to the upper tram terminal ride line area, plus getting a liquor license for The Tram Haus. Over the next year we also plan on adding a small museum at the summit, as well as a roof deck to the roundhouse and seating in a natural amphitheater!

We also plan on modernizing and increasing the capacity of the tram cabins themselves, but don’t worry, we are preserving their red iconic shape... symbols of the nearly 70-year-old tramway!

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

A: It’s super easy, just go to 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 (or directly from a ticket attendant).

Q: Can I just walk up and buy tickets?

A: You can, either with a ticket attendant or on your own phone by going to estestram.com and picking the current time. If that time is sold out, you may have to pick another time to enter, so we recommend buying your tickets in advance online!

Q: Do you recommend buying tickets in advance?

A: Definitely! With such limited capacity, we generally completely sell out every Fri-Sun and holidays... and most times sell out on weekdays too! If you buy your ticket in advance, you can guarantee a spot! And it's the same cost and you can cancel right up until your reservation time and get all your money back... so why not? Especially if you're a larger group!

Q: Where is the Estes Park Aerial Tram?

A: We're in Estes Park, a little over an hour north of Denver, Colorado. The best address to put in your GPS is 20 Moccasin Cir Dr, Estes Park, CO 80517 which takes you to the end of the driveway to our lower terminal parking lot.

Technically our street address is 420 E Riverside Dr, but that's not going to take you to our entrance unfortunately.



Q: Is there a map of the whole facility?

A: There sure is! Here's a Google Earth map with everything of interest at our upper and lower terminals labeled!



Q: What is the elevation?

A: As the picture above shows, it's 7,590 ft at the Lower Terminal, 8,619 ft at the Upper Terminal, and 8,868 ft if you decide to hike the .75 miles to the West Summit!

Q: What is the parking situation?

A: We have a free 65 space surface lot with no time limit.

Q: Do you need an entry into Rocky Mountain National Park to ride the Estes Tram?

A: Nope! We're outside of the national park.

Q: What does it cost?

A: Adult tickets are $21.95 on weekdays and $24.95 on weekends and holidays with a 20% discount for kids 6-11 (5 and under are free), military (active and veterans.. just for the actual service member(s)), Estes Park residents (zip codes 80515, 80517, and 80540) and seniors over 65. Please be prepared to show the appropriate ID for discounted tickets. Go to estestram.com for our current prices.

Q: Can I use cash to buy a ticket?

A: Sorry, we do not accept cash, only 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 around your arrival time, returning any time).

Q: Do you have a season pass option?

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

Q: Do you have gift certificates?

A: Not currently, though we plan to soon. In the meantime though, you can just buy tickets on our site for any time.. you'll then be texted a link to the tickets that you can share with the person who you're giving them to. That link will let them modify the time of their reservation to whenever they'd like, for free!

Q: What is the processing fee?

A: The $2.50 fee per ticket covers third party credit card fees, costs imposed by our third party payment processing system, and other costs related to the implementation and management of the online reservation system we use to reduce tram waiting times and hopefully improve your Estes Tram experience!

Q: Can we make reservations?

A: Yes, in fact you must have a reservation to ride! Reservations are for a specific time (please try to arrive no later than ten minutes after it) and you can book yours right on
our front page.

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

A: We now have arrival times to help reduce queueing. Please try to arrive at your chosen time... but if you're a little late, that's fine. Generally the line to board the tram is about 10-20 minutes, except from 11am-4pm on weekends and holidays, when it may get up to 30-40 minutes. The lines can be longer if the tram needed to close temporarily due to extreme weather.

Q: What happens if I miss my arrival time?

A: If you are not able to arrive within ten minutes of your reservation time, don't worry, we will still let you get in line. Please try and arrive on time though, it keeps the wait short for everybody! But again, don't stress too much if you're running a little late.

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 6:45pm every day (last ride up is at 6pm though, last ride down is at 6:45pm).

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

A: The first tram departs for the summit at 9am and the last one back down leaves at 6:45pm (the last tram up departs at 6pm).

Q: How many people can the tram accomodate at a time?

A: The weight capacity of the tram is 2,380 lbs, which is typically 10 adults (plus the tram attendant).

Q: How many tram cars are there?

A: There are two.. one comes down while one goes up (the weights counterbalance each other). In fact, every tram has two cars, and they stop in the stations. Gondolas are the ropeway systems with lots of cabins that constantly circulate through the stations!

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: Are there still any chipmunks?

A: We're not sure where people got the idea there weren't any/many chipmunks any more... there are tons of them still, all around the summit!

Q: Can we bring our own food/snacks in the Tram?

A: Yes, and we have a number of outdoor picnic tables available at the top, as well as some indoor seating at the cafe and in the Tram Haus. Please just don't bring super bulky items or coolers because the Tram space is very limited!

Q: Is there anything to eat at the top?

A: Yep, try out our new Hungry Chipmunk Cafe, plus lunch boxes at The Tram Haus! 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: What does The Tram Haus have on their menu?

A: Lunch boxes for kids and adults as well as just a few drinks and snacks... maybe just check out the full menu? (PDF)

Q: What is The Tram Haus?

A: It's going to be a pub, as soon as we get our liquor license.. in the meantime it's got indoor seating, two free pinball machines to play, and a bar to enjoy some lemonade, iced tea, and arnold palmers.. not to mention the best views in the region!

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

A: You cannot hike from Estes Park to the summit of Prospect Mountain as it is private property. However, you can hike to the West Summit. It's about a 15-20 minute (.75 mile) hike from the upper tram station, 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: 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: I need to add more people to my reservation, how do I?

A: Please just do a new order for additional tickets for the same time slot (or if sold out, the next time slot... when you show up we'll still let you enter together).

Q: Are my tickets changeable or refundable?

A: Yes, you can exchange your tickets for a new time or fully refund them right up to your reservation's arrival time, at which point they are no longer refundable or changeable. To change or refund your tickets, please just use the buttons at the bottom of your confirmation email/text (like in this screenshot):



Q: I booked the wrong time for my reservation, can I change it?

A: Yes, just click the link in your email receipt and follow the instructions there... you can do it yourself, instantly at no cost!

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, as well as in the Cafe / Gift Shop building (and probably some residue in The Tram Haus too). Depending how mild your allergies are, you may be fine at the summit if you stay outside... it's wide open up there and lots of fresh air obviously. However, please use your own judgement... you have been warned!

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: Do we have to let you know in advance if we have a walker/wheelchair to be accomodated?

A: Nope, no need, just show up!

Q: Can a person using a walker access the tram?

A: Yes, everything is walker/wheelchair accessible.

Q: Can I sit while waiting in line for the tram?

A: Normally no, but if you have difficulty standing we can mark your space in line and you may sit until your time.

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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