I hope you have an awesome time in RMNP and happy hiking! Most recently, in 2020, we spent one very busy week here, and learned a lot about this park. Travel to Aspen and Rock Mountain During thanksgiving Nov 08, 2022. Want to receive a printed insiders guide to Colorados four national parks including Rocky Mountain National Park? In this guide, learn how to plan a trip around the world. We still had some snow in a few spots at the higher elevations. Here are six tips on what to do in Estes Park during your Rocky Mountain National Park vacation. Call 970-586-1222 before you head out. If you are coming from a lower elevation and plan to hike to these taller peaks, you will need to spend a few days in the park, acclimating to the higher elevation, before you tackle these hikes. Many of the taller peaks make up the Continental Divide, where snowmelt runs . On the return drive, hike the Ute Trail to Tombstone Ridge. Just a mile from the park's west entrance, Grand Lake, Colo., offers incredible family friendly activities from paddle boating and nature walks to world-class theater productions. Chasm Lake. 11. This gave us enough time to hike at least one trail every day, with contingency time for bad weather. Never been to park at all. Rocky Mountain National Park, CO 80517. Get here by 7:30 am if you want a spot. This station is .25 miles from our newest visitor center, the Fall River Visitor Center. You can stay in a cozy cabin with a river view or a well-decorated suite. This is our favorite hike in RMNP. Take a 0.4-mile detour to Lake Haiyaha for an added bonus. Crowds are still big in September, both to see fall colors and the elk mating season. In this Rocky Mountain National Park itinerary, many of days end by the early afternoon, because of these storms. It is close to my Rocky Mtn NP trip (going there next week tue-sat), I wanted your opinion for this following itinerary and if it is doable 1) Tuesday afternoon: I will be at RMNP around 4pm. Altitude sickness is rare in RMNP, unless you are hiking to peaks over 12,000 feet and are not acclimated. There are two ticket types: Park Access + and Park Access. Rocky Mountain National Park began addressing crowding . The closest town near Rocky Mountain National Park is Estes Park, less than 5 miles from the Beaver Meadows entrance.Many popular trails are easily accessible from here, as well at the national park's Beaver Meadows Visitor Center, Fall River Visitor Center, and Moraine Park Discovery Center. To ensure everyone gets a chance to experience the park during this . Ascending only 700 feet over 3 miles, this is a great introduction to moderate hiking in the park. Take the shuttle to avoid parking hassles. This very highly rated property offers two-bedroom apartments that can accommodate up to six people. This is the hike that I recommend for today. 6.2 miles, moderate, 3 to 4 hours. Rocky Mountain National Park Travel Forum, Best entrance to rocky mountain national park, Re: Best entrance to rocky mountain national park. Head to Grand Lake, a quaint, historic town surrounded on three sides by Rocky Mountain National Park. Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the highest national parks in the USA. Grand Lake sits to the southwest of RMNP and it is another place you can consider staying, but it will be a longer drive to most sites in the park. If you are an avid hiker, I recommend spending five or more days in Rocky Mountain National Park. Hi Julie! Order our free stunning National Park Trip Planner for Colorado filled with an inspiring itinerary, gorgeous photographs and everything you need to plan your dream vacation. Start your trip off right, with a hike from the Bear Lake trailhead at the end of Bear Lake Road. . This includes the best hikes, the best experiences, how to get around, and where to stay. Park Hours:Park entrances are open 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. For more information about where to stay and where to eat, read our Guide to Estes Park. When you visit Rocky Mountain National Park, you have several choices of which entry point to use. I lucked out and it didnt rain on the 3 main days i was hiking (there was some rain on the day i came in but even that stopped around 4p and i was able to do nymph to dream to emerald and bear lake hike that evening). ie last an hour or so and go away? Get a free Colorado national park trip planner for inspiring itineraries and essential information. Gorgeous alpine views can certainly be seen from this center located at 11,796' elevation! more, Rocky Mountain National Park Destination Experts. The Park's 415 square miles encompass a variety of alpine terrain, with at least 60 mountains exceeding 12,000 ft. It also is just a few minutes from Estes Parks downtown. 1. You can also see more travel itineraries on our Travel Itineraries page and our National Park Itineraries. Trailhead: Glacier Gorge (40.31053, -105.64033) Why we love it: This quiet winter hike avoids the Bear Lake throngs while still delivering the same stop-in-your-tracks alpine viewsincluding Longs Peakfor hardy snowshoers. Cheers, Julie. If you are coming from sea level, you will feel the effects of the altitude as soon as you do anything strenuous. On the way you'll pass the Kawuneeche Visitor Center on your right. Julie Last updated: February 23, 2023 United States 61 Comments. This entrance station has two booths and is generally one of the quieter entrances of the park; however, on busy days you may have a short wait. Ive lived down the hill and explored RMNP a lot for 44 years. You can get to this entrance without going through the middle of town by following highway 34 up East Wonderview Avenue. The Inn on Fall River & Fall River Cabins. Most people will be acclimated by this point, which means that you can hike almost any trail in the park. Just be aware that this is also the busiest time to visit Rocky Mountain National Park. Within the boundaries of Rocky Mountain National Park, more than 100 peaks rise above 11,000 feet in altitude, including Longs Peak at 14,259 feet. The Information Office is open year-round: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. daily in summer; 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Mondays - Fridays and 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Saturdays - Sundays in winter. Combine two of the above hikes into one great experience. When to Visit. (Old Maps, 20th Century Maps, Americana, Travel, Tourism, Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park, Granby Reservoir, Granby).Grand Lake West Entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park.Published c. 1940's, United States.Folding cartoon pictorial travel map, printed on both sides of the sheet. There is no lodging inside Rocky Mountain National Park. Rocky Mountain National Park's 4 Neighborhoods to Stay in. At an elevation of over 14,000 feet, guests will be in awe of the breathtaking craggy peaks and lush valleys. Alberta Falls: 2 miles, easy, 1 to 1.5 hours. Parking at the most popular trailheads fill up extremely early in the day. Unlike other RV parks in the area, Elk Meadow has spaces for tent camping so it is more accommodating to a wider variety of camping styles. On the way you'll pass the Kawuneeche Visitor Center on your right. This "rest of park" Timed Entry Permit Reservation period will be in effect between the hours of 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 1000 US Hwy 36 From the hotel it's a 15-minute drive to Beaver Meadows Entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park, while downtown Estes Park is just a couple of miles away. These two are the most popular entrances to the park. Sky Pond. Since you will know your exact dates, I recommend making your reservations on July 1 so you get the permits for each day you will be in RMNP. Rocky Mountain National Park is a special place any season, but fall brings out the best in the park. For hikers, its the ultimate adventure. 365. Estes Park to the Alpine Visitor Centre distance. Acreage: 265,769. $35 per vehicle, valid for one week. You can learn more about all of these hikes on our post 15 Best Hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. It's like a tour of amazing mountain lakes. The only thing to note is that each day I started the hike between 4a-5a (especially because some parking lots like the Glacier gorge one and Longs peak one get filled up by 5a). A Quick Geography Lesson. An hours drive from Boulder and two hours from Denver, the lively Estes Park is the closest town to the park on the east side of the park. You can also hike to Fern Lake out-and-back from either Bear Lake or Moraine Park. If time permits be adventurous and try a different entrance each day! At this time, cross country skiing and snowshoeing are the main things to do in the park. What do you think about Deer Mtn, Mills Lake and Loch Vale [sp?]. This hike is much different than many other hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. Bear Lake with Longs Peak and the Keyboard of the Winds in the background. The best time for this Rocky Mountain National Park itinerary is from Memorial Day through mid-October, when Trail Ridge Road is open. Full-Day Rocky Mountain National Park "Over The Top Tour" - RMNPhotographer. Elk on Trail Ridge Road | Rocky Mountain National Park Itinerary. Odessa and Fern Lakes, Mills and Black Lake, Sky Pond, and Hallett Peak can all be hiked from this trailhead. All offer bookstores and much printed information to supplement the knowledgeable staff. For example, if you hike Deer Mountain at 6 am, you do not need a permit. ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK: For a full list of our Rocky Mountain National Park articles, plus important planning tips, check out our Rocky Mountain National Park Travel Guide. Phone. Difficulty: Challenging. See what else made the list! The elevation of the lowest sections of the park range from 5,600 to 9,500 feet. Also, if Longs Peak is on your list, watch the weather report for your visit. Park Access: This permit gives you access to everything in Rocky Mountain National Park except for Bear Lake Road. Dream Lake | Rocky Mountain National Park Itinerary. By 4 to 5 pm, the skies begin to clear. Thank you! For full details on how to spend one day in Rocky Mountain National Park, read our post One Perfect Day in Rocky Mountain National Park. Rent kayaks, stand-up paddleboards or pedal boats and explore Grand Lake, Colorado's largest natural lake. This is one of the most popular hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. Answer (1 of 2): All of them them! Duration. Rocky Mountain National Park. Rocky Mountain National Park is the most visited recreation area in the state, headquartered in Estes Park. Mills Lake | Rocky Mountain National Park Itinerary. The park has gotten so popular that in 2020 a timed entry system was put into effect. 9 miles, strenuous, 4 to 6 hours. Timed Entry Ticket: You will need a Bear Lake Road Corridor + Full Park Access permit (Park Access +) if you plan to hike Sky Pond, Hallett Peak, or Mills and Black Lake. This property is located west of Estes Park on Fall River Road, so you will have a longer drive to get into the heart of the park. If so, you need one for each day that you plan to visit RMNP. When does Trail Ridge Road close in the fall? You have included all of our favorite hikes in RMNP so I think your list looks good! [The vibe of Estes Park is very wild west mountain-like] [We passed at least 4 Saltwater Taffy shops on our way up the main street] [The Historic Park Theater] Estes Park is definitely worth checking out if you go through the Beaver Meadows entrance like we did. Hopefully in your case they will be quick! The only first-come, first-served Rocky Mountain National Park campgrounds in the park, Longs Peak Campground, has 26 sites and charges $26 per night. Follow the three day Rocky Mountain National Park itinerary. How long does it take to drive Trail Ridge Road? Known as a "scenic wonder road of the world," it traverses 48 miles between Estes Park on the park's east side and Grand Lake on the west, taking in several not-to-be-missed sights. Get answers to your questions about Rocky Mountain Do's and Don'ts When Visiting Rocky Mountain National Park, Timed Entry FAQ's and Explaining the Bear Lake Corridor. Elevation Gain: 1,100 ft. This gives you enough time to drive Alpine Ridge Road, Old Fall River Road, and hike a few of the trails. If you end at RMNP, you should not have any issues with altitude sickness, unless you hike Longs Peak on your first day here (but even that would be highly unlikely). 1,400 feet (426 m)of elevation gain. COLORADO ITINERARY: With 10 days in Colorado, road trip to all four national parks (Rocky Mountain, Great Sand Dunes, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, and Mesa Verde), linking them together with some very scenic drives. This gives you enough time to acclimate to the higher elevation (very important if you live at a low elevation) before tackling some of the higher, tougher hikes (such as Mount Ida, Hallett Peak, or Longs Peak). One week was perfect for us. Rocky Mountain National Park is one of our nation's most spectacular national parks with 415sq. Its our favorite hike in RMNP. One of the drawbacks of visiting Rocky Mountain National Park during the winter months is that Trail Ridge Road is closed. Elevation of Rocky Mountain National Park. See five lakes in one hike. RMNP in February Dec 18, 2022. Ideally, you want a day with crystal clear skies and no chance of rain. Bear Lake: 0.6 miles, easy, 30 minutes. Evening back at Estes park at my hotel. We have visited Rocky Mountain National Park several times in the past. document.getElementById( "ak_js_1" ).setAttribute( "value", ( new Date() ).getTime() ); Earth Trekkers is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn advertising fees by advertising & linking to Amazon.com. Travelers favorites include #1 Trail Ridge Road, #2 Beaver Meadows Visitor Center and more. So, keep your fingers crossed for clear skies! On the west side of the park, located approximately two miles north of Grand Lake, is the Grand Lake Entrance Station. This road is gravel and is quite narrow. There will also be three amazing lakes. Rocky Mountain National Park is home to 2 fantastic scenic drive opportunities. There is also a shuttle bus that runs from Denver International Airport straight to Estes Park. , Thanks ! Along the way, there is a good chance that you will spot bighorn sheep and elk. If you plan to go hiking during July and August, you will have to assume that there will be a 2 pm thunderstorm. This is another one of our favorite hikes. Trailhead Location. These shuttle buses connect Moraine Park and Bear Lake, with numerous stops in between. Serving visitors to the Wild Basin area of the park, approximately 19 miles to the south of Estes Park on highway 7, is the Wild Basin Entrance station. Gem Lake | Rocky Mountain National Park Itinerary. I want to avoid crowds and yet have good weather ( no snow).