Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park is a living showcase of the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains. With elevations ranging from 8,000 feet in the wet, grassy valleys to 14,259 feet at the weather-ravaged top of Long's Peak, a visitor to the park has opportunities for countless breathtaking experiences and adventures. Elk, mule deer, moose, bighorn sheep, black bears, coyotes, cougars, eagles, hawks and scores of smaller animals delight wildlife-watchers. Wildflower-lovers are never disappointed in June and July when the meadows and hillsides are splashed with botanical color. Autumn visitors can relax among the golden aspens or enjoy the rowdier antics of the elk rut (mating season). More than 350 miles of trail offer endless opportunities to hikers, backpackers and horseback riders. Fly fishers, bird-watchers and photographers discover the splendor that they traveled so far to find. During the winter, snowshoers and cross-country skiers revel in the white-blanketed tranquility of meadows and forests. The 60 peaks rising above 12,000 feet challenge intrepid hikers and climbers. Anyone visiting between Memorial Day and late autumn can see many of these peaks eye-to-eye by driving over Trail Ridge Road. Topping out at 12,183 feet, this is the highest, continuous, paved road in the United States. Front-country and backcountry campers have hundreds of campsites to choose from. Civilization and its amenities are available in the towns of Estes Park and Grand Lake which flank the park on the east and west sides respectively. Ranger-led activities are an entertaining way to learn more about your surroundings. Plan some time to acclimate to the high altitude and come find your adventure in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Seasonality / Weather
Rocky Mountain National Park is open 24 hours a day year-round. Most visitor centers are open year-round while others are closed seasonally. Rocky Mountain National Park has the highest (elevation) paved roads in any National Park in the United States. Many roads close each season during the colder months. Plan ahead and check road conditions before visiting.
From Denver and the east, take U.S. 34 from Loveland, CO or U.S. 36 from Boulder through Estes Park, Colorado.
Denver International Airport, Denver Tech Center or downtown Denver it is approximately a two-hour drive to the park. From the airport take Pena Boulevard to Interstate 70 west. Continue on Interstate 70 west until intersecting with Interstate 25 north. (An alternate route from the airport to Interstate 25 is the toll road Interstate 470.) Go north on Interstate 25 to exit number 243 which is Colorado Highway 66. Turn west on Highway 66 and go about 16 miles to the town of Lyons. At the first traffic light U.S. Highway 36 will come in from the left. Continue to the right - west - (now being on U.S. Highway 36) all the way to Estes Park, about 22 miles. U.S. Highway 36 intersects with U.S. Highway 34 in Estes Park. Either highway leads to the national park, west of the town.
From west or south, take Interstate 70 to U.S. 40 between Georgetown and Idaho Springs, then to U.S. 34 in Granby, Colorado through Grand Lake, Colorado.
A train runs to Granby (GRA). There is no public transportation between the train and park.