Rocky Mountain | Colorado, USA
The weather can be unpredictable and summer thunderstorms are common in the higher elevations of Rocky Mountain National Park, so bring along extra layers for warmth as well as a a waterproof jacket. You'll also want to bring wind protection, comfortable trail shoes or hiking boots, refillable water bottles, sun protection, a daypack and binoculars. Our trip planner has all the information you need for your packing list.
Considering reservations are now required to enter Rocky Mountain National Park during the peak summer months, you’ll want to plan ahead to make the most of your valuable vacation time. And to avoid long entrance lines and traffic congestion, arrive at the park as early as possible. You'll also want to give yourself some time to acclimate to the altitude and be prepared for cold temperatures at higher elevations. Our trip planner has all the top travel tips that you need for your visit.
Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the best national parks for viewing wildlife. Elk can be seen at anytime of the year, and you might also spot moose and bighorn sheep. Other awesome experiences are joining Park Rangers on a guided hike to see wildflowers or for bird watching, or visiting the Moraine Park Museum to learn about the park's geology. Our trip planner has all the information you need on awesome experiences.
Rocky Mountain National Park has lots of easy nature hikes, making it the perfect family-friendly destination. The trail to Emerald Lake climbs above Bear Lake to a series of gorgeous high alpine lakes, and is a great family-friendly hike. Other top hikes include the trail to popular Alberta Falls, and the steep Huffers Hill (Alpine Ridge Trail) for open views across the tundra to the surrounding peaks. Our trip planner has all the information that you need to plan the best hikes.
Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the most visited national parks in the country. It can be a challenge to find some solitude in the park, especially on summer weekends. To avoid the crowds, plan your visit between October and May or consider arriving at the park early in the morning (before 7am). Our trip planner has all the information you need to help you to avoid the crowds.
Just a short walk from the parking area on Trail Ridge Road, at 11,716 feet the Forest Canyon Overlook is one of the park’s best viewpoints. Other popular things to do include picturesque Bear Lake, the Alpine Visitor Center, the Holzwarth Historic Site and the Stanley Steamer. Our trip planner has all the information you need to help plan where to go and what to do.
Ideally, you’ll need at least two days to see the main sights in Rocky Mountain National Park. This gives you one day for driving Trail Ridge Road and another for exploring the Bear Lake Road Corridor. And if you want to do some hiking, plan on three days or more. Our trip planner has all the information you need to help plan how much time you need.
The best time to visit Rocky Mountain National Park is from late May through September when the snow has melted from the higher elevations and the high country trails become accessible. High elevation wildflowers are often at their peak from late July into August. Fall is a great time to see the aspen turn a golden yellow, and winter can be a very magical (and quiet) time to visit. Our trip planner has all the information you need to help you pick the best time for your visit.
All visitors are required to purchase an entrance pass upon entering Rocky Mountain National Park. Passes are available at all park entrance stations and online before you arrive at the park. Entrance pass options include one-day passes, seven consecutive days and annual passes. Also, the park has implemented a timed entry system and tickets are required from late May through early October. Our trip planner has all the information on entrance fees and timed entry.
Unlike other national parks, there are no hotels or lodges in Rocky Mountain National Park. Camping is the only way to stay inside the park and there are five established campgrounds to choose from. Alternatively, the towns of Estes Park and Grand Lake offer a good range of lodging options from cabins, to historic bed and breakfasts and budget-friendly hotel rooms. Our trip planner has all the information you need to help you to pick the best places to stay.
Iconic driving routes Old Fall River Road and Trail Ridge Road are two of the park’s top things to do. During the peak summer season, the park operates a free shuttle system from the Estes Park Visitor Center and various Park and Ride lots to popular trailheads which is a handy way to get around. Our trip planner has all the information you need to plan the best way of getting around.
Rocky Mountain National Park is located in the mountains of northeastern Colorado, near the towns of Estes Park on the east and Grand Lake on the west. Denver International Airport (DIA) is the closest major airport to Rocky Mountain National Park. From Denver, it’s only a 90-minute drive to Estes Park, and most people self-drive. Our trip planner has all the information you need to plan the best way here for you.
Shift your road trip to Rocky Mountain National Park into high gear with our narrated audio tour. Listen to sample tour commentary online, and learn about the types of fascinating behind-the-scenes stories on the history, geology, hikes, wildlife and cultural highlights that play automatically as you drive. It's just like having a tour guide in your car.
With towering peaks in nearly every direction, picturesque alpine lakes, and a unique tundra landscape, it’s no wonder Rocky Mountain National Park is one of America’s favorite national parks. From easy nature hikes and spectacular roadside views, Rocky Mountain offers incredibly accessible adventure. Our trip planner has all the information you need to make the most of your visit including when to visit, how to get there, how much time you need, and where to go and what to do.