Joel Estes, for whom Estes Park, Colorado, is named, was born in the state of Kentucky around the early 1800â€™s. One fall day he and his son were out hunting game when they found themselves overlooking the most beautiful valley the father had ever seen and decided that was going to be his new home. In 1860 the Joel Estes family moved to the area now bearing his name. The Estes family lived in the valley for about 6 years and after many hard winters they sold their land and cabin to owners which would turn their cabin into a hotel for his friends and family. While Estes Park is quite often confused with being part of the Rocky Mountain National Park it is the gateway to the park.