The Estes Park - Glen Haven - Drake loop is a lovely hour-and-a-half drive.
Allow some extra time to pause and enjoy the scenery of Devils Gulch along the way. There are several Roosevelt National Forest picnic areas along the river that invite you to stop and enjoy the shade by the river.
Take Devils Gulch Road (CR 43) north out of Estes Park through Roosevelt National Forest, the village of Glen Haven, and to the small town of Drake.
A few miles north of Estes Park, the road to Glen Haven drops dramatically by way of two switchbacks. At the foot of the switchbacks you will enter Devils Gulch. This road will take you into the quaint village where you will find a restaurant and a general store.
The Glen Haven Inn is a romantic place to have dinner - an old English pub transported to Colorado!
As you pass through Glen Haven, Devils Gulch Road follows the North Fork of the Big Thompson River all the way to Drake.
A short section of Devils Gulch right after Glen Haven is called Cold Canyon by the old timers. It got its name because the sun doesn't reach that area for two months during the winter.
At the junction of CR 43 and Highway 34 is Drake. This area was a stage stop between Loveland and Estes Park, and the Estes Park locals still refer to the restaurant as the Drake stage stop.
Turning left at the junction will take you through the eastern half of the Big Thompson Canyon and into Loveland. Turning right will bring you back to Estes Park through the western half of the canyon.