Hot Spots To Stay

Mabel’s Cabin in Estes Park

Needing to retreat to a cabin in the words for a couple of days to tackle some writing, I headed to one of my favorite destinations – Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park.

I found the perfect cabin on HomeAway.  My cabin of choice was Mabel’s Cabin at L.R. Taylor Estes Park Vacation Cabins.  What sold me – the view of Long’s Peak from the deck and quick access to Elkhorn, which is Estes Park’s Main Street.


The cabin was originally built in the early 1900’s by Mabel Van Hook.  She was one of the four children of L.R. Taylor, who moved from Topeka, Kansas, to Estes Park, Colorado, with his wife Sarah and their four children – Winona, Egbert, Ada, Mabel, and Beryl – in 1910 or 1911.  After the completion of the first cabin (originally a 2-bedroom with no bathroom and now a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom home), each of L.R.’s children built a cabin on the property and each cabin is named after its owner – Owens, Egbert, Mabel, Ada, and Winona.  There are two cabins – Nutshell and Nell – that are not named for family members.  With the Nutshell, Taylor descendants believe Mabel built the tiny cabin for a companion or hired man.  Nell’s cabin was originally owned by Nell Boyd, who’s family owned a grocery store in town.  When the cabin went on the market, because of it’s close proximity to the Taylor family cabins.

All of the cabins have been updated with all the modern conveniences of television, wifi, and updated kitchen appliances.  But it’s the rustic charm of Mabel’s cabin with the stone fireplace, hardwood floors, mountain chic furnishing, and clawfoot tub/shower that I love.  I also love the historic photos and a few family photos hanging in the cabin.

The living/dining area in Mabel’s Cabin is cozy with the stone fireplace as the central feature.  You can buy a bundle of wood in town and enjoy a crackling fire while relaxing with a book or watching tv.  There’s a red chair by the door that I found to be a perfect reading and writing spot.  The sofa is comfy and the small round dining table is perfect for breakfast or a cozy dinner.

The kitchen is bigger than I expected.  Usually kitchens are tiny in old cabins but this one is a good size and has all of the modern appliances, cookware, plates, and glasses.

There are two bedrooms with queen beds.  One has a sink in it with the toilet and shower in a small adjoining room.

The other bedroom is next to a bathroom with a clawfoot tub/shower.  That’s the room I stayed it.

I noticed a door in the bedroom and thought it was a closet.  It wasn’t until my first morning that I opened it and found a short, steep set of stairs leading up to a “hideout.”  It’s another bedroom, which would be perfect for kids.

Plus the outdoor space is fantastic, especially the private deck with views of Long’s Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park.  Sunsets from this view are in a word – phenomenal.

Sunrises are equally beautiful.  Both mornings I threw on my coat over my pjs and took one of two short game trails up to a rock outcropping to watch the sun come up.  You can even see the famous Stanley Hotel from the rocks.  Around the cabins, deer, elk, and chipmunks are common sights so you do want to be alert for wildlife, especially at dawn and dusk.

There’s also a hot tub and a secret set of stairs leading down to Elkhorn.

These cabins are close enough to civilization and the buzz on Elkhorn, yet feel so far away thanks to a simple set of stairs.  I found Mabel’s Cabin to be the perfect retreat in the woods.


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