1. And once at topwhat a view.! 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. ie last an hour or so and go away? It is situated on the north side of Moraine Park. If you plan to go hiking during July and August, you will have to assume that there will be a 2 pm thunderstorm. The Park's 415 square miles encompass a variety of alpine terrain, with at least 60 mountains exceeding 12,000 ft. If you think you can go farther, and if skies are clear, consider going all of the way to Sky Pond. All passes are available at all park entrance stations. Thats crazy how early parking lots fill up, too. Visiting RMNP from Breckenridge regardless of which entrance you use is not ideal. If you want low crowds and dont mind cold temperatures and snow, plan your visit from November through May. 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. The Kawuneeche entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park is located 2 miles north of Grand Lake on highway 34. So, climb those stairs, catch your breath if you need to, and enjoy the awesome views from the top. Is there any need for an SUV or non-standard vehicle to access any of the trailheads for your recommended hikes? You need to make it through the Beaver Meadows entrance and where they check permits for the Bear Lake Corridor (I think that is the junction of Bear Lake Road and US-36 but I am not 100% about this) before 5 am. To reserve a campsite at Elk Meadow Lodge & RV Park, call (970) 586-5342. Tahosa Valley Cabin is situated near the entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park, easily sleeping up to four guests. Bear Lake with Longs Peak and the Keyboard of the Winds in the background. Take your pick from one, two, three, and four bedroom houses that come equipped with a full kitchen. 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. But it is a great entrance for those traveling the Peak-to-Peak from Nederland who dont want to join the crowds entering in Estes Park. Potentially one of the busiest trails at RMNP is the Emerald Lake trail. During the summer and autumn, you can expect the entrance stations to be busy for most of the day, and extra busy in the morning from 7:00am-9:30am and in the afternoon from 2:30-4:00pm. 10. If you have five or more days in Rocky Mountain National Park (lucky you! This hike adds on Lake Haiyaha, another very pretty alpine lake. Because the entrance is so accessible from Estes Park and open year round, it is the most popular. Evening at the hotel 3) Thur Morning: Mt Ida. Hike one of the trails that I mentioned earlier in this itinerary, or click here to see our list of 15 great hikes to do in Rocky Mountain National Park. Address. You will reach Loch Vale before the final climb to Sky Pond. Moraine Park Museum has interactive geology exhibits. There will be people. This hike starts just under 12,000 feet of elevation and it is a stair climb to the top. 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. The various view points along trail ridge road were worth the stop overs as well (especially Forest canyon overlook and the small hike behind Alpine visitor center) Thanks again !! Rocky Mountain National Park is a beautiful place so we hope you have a wonderful time here. For the first part of this hike you will be sharing the trail with those on their way to Longs Peak. Location: north-central Colorado. Travel to Aspen and Rock Mountain During thanksgiving Nov 08, 2022. A Park Access (Excludes Bear Lake Road Corridor) timed entry ticket is sufficient for this day. This hike passes Cub Lake, Fern Falls, Fern Lake, Odessa Lake and Lake Helene. Text in English. Estes Park to the Alpine Visitor Centre distance. The hike itself is relatively easy but follows uneven terrain and rock so take caution with small children and older folks. Your email address will not be published. If the skies are clear, the weather forecast is favorable, and Longs Peak is on your bucket list, go for it today. On the way you'll pass the Kawuneeche Visitor Center on your right. The One Subscription to Fuel All Your Adventures. I am so glad you had great weather and a great trip! Prospect Mountain is a 15-minute drive, and you can set out along Lake Estes Trail less than 10 minutes after departing the accommodation. On the east side of the park, located on highway 36 and 3.5 miles west of Estes Park, is the Beaver Meadows Entrance Station. Trail Ridge Road, the highest paved continuous road in the United States, cuts through the park from the east to the west. USA TRAVEL INSPIRATION:For more great ideas on where to go in the United States, check out our article Best USA Road Trips, which has 18 sample itineraries for your next big adventure. What do you think about Deer Mtn, Mills Lake and Loch Vale [sp?]. It is equipped with a sofa bed and a double bed, and there is a fireplace in both the bedroom and the warm living room. Elevation of Rocky Mountain National Park. So, keep your fingers crossed for clear skies! Black Lake and Mills Lake are often labeled as two of the prettiest lakes in Rocky Mountain National Park. Funds from RMNP passes insure the preservation of the Lily Lake area and help to maintain the parking lot, vault. Would that help mitigate some of the altitude sickness? This tough hike follows along the Continental Divide, starting at 10,800 feet and tops out at 12,899 feet on Mount Ida. Get inspired with tips about where to go and what to see on your national park vacation, delivered right to your inbox. Kawuneeche Entrance. On the west side of the park is the Kawuneeche entrance, located just north of the town of Grand Lake. Trail Ridge Road, the highest paved continuous road in the United States, cuts through the park from the east to the west. Gem Lake | Rocky Mountain National Park Itinerary. It may sound counterintuitive, but if you really want to see Rocky Mountain National Park hassle-free, leave your car behind. 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. Watch the weather, enjoy the time you spend in the park, and you might find you want to hike more, or less, than you expected to. Good to know: Emerald Lake, Lake Haiyaha, Black Lake, Sky Pond, Flattop Mountain, and Fern Lake are some of the trails that start at or near Bear Lake. Stop by the Kawuneeche Visitor Center near the Grand Lake Entrance to get more information. 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. Plenty of room, good WiFi, nice furnishings, and beautiful views from our balcony. Parking lot sizes vary. Do 4 days if you canthere are a LOT of hikes to choose from here. 800-715-HIKE (4453) (9-4:30 Every Day) Top Rated On . All entrances into Rocky Mountain National Park require entrance fees, even the ones that don't have a physical entrance to drive through. These two are the most popular entrances to the park. (970) 586-1206. So on Tuesday, do you think I can salvage some hiking? Many hikes top out over 9,000 feet, with some reaching up to 13,000 and 14,000 feet. And for FREE checklist of the US National Parks, take a look at our article US National Parks List. In summer 2022, timed-entry reservations are required between May 27 and October 10, 2022, and are in addition to your entrance fee. Best Things to Do in Great Sand Dunes National Park, One Perfect Day in Rocky Mountain National Park, 10 Best Things to Do in Rocky Mountain National Park, 15 Best Hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park, Complete Guide to the Twin Sisters Peak Trail, RMNP. If you are an avid hiker, your itinerary will look something like this: Day 1: Nymph, Dream & Emerald Lakes plus Trail Ridge Road and the Alpine Ridge Trail Day 2: Deer Mountain in the morning, Estes Park in the afternoon/evening Day 3: Sky Pond Day 4: Continental Divide Trail to Mount Ida Day 5: Longs Peak Day 6: Rest day from hiking (Old Fall River Road and activities in Estes Park) Day 7: Chasm Lake. There are two ticket types: Park Access + and Park Access. Park Access: This permit gives you access to everything in Rocky Mountain National Park except for Bear Lake Road. If you did not do it yet, you have the option to hike the short but sweet Ute Trail to Tombstone Ridge. Rocky Mountain National Park (Photo by Buddy Smith/The Points Guy) Rocky Mountain National Park basics. MESA VERDE: Learn about the best things to do and how to plan your visit in our Guide to Mesa Verde National Park. Difficulty: Moderate. This is the highest continuous paved road in the United States. Clicking on the photos on this page will open up a larger version. The Stanley Hotel offers a wide range of rooms. 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). You will have to find your own way to the park from Estes Park because the shuttle only runs to the town. The most popular hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. Autumn ushers in cooler days, smaller crowds, golden aspen and elk bugling. For five days or more, follow our four day itinerary and for each additional day that you have, add on another hike. Plus, this is a lesser known hike, so the trail gets a lower number of hikers than other hikes on this list. Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) is one of the most popular attractions in Colorado, drawing 4.5 million annual visitors to its 415 square miles of mountain beauty. , It is only staffed in the busy season and during the busiest hours of the day the line can get long. If you are planning your Rocky Mountain National Park itinerary, this is a great place to start. From here, hike the Alpine Ridge Trail. 4. It is a common misconception that there are fee-free entrances into the Park. We were here in early July, so all of the photos on our website were taken around the first week of July. If the weather was clear yesterday, and you drove Trail Ridge Road, I recommend doing another hike this morning. If you have no desire to fill each day with a hike, your itinerary will look something like this: Day 1: Nymph, Dream & Emerald Lakes plus Trail Ridge Road and the Alpine Ridge Trail Day 2: Gem Lake in the morning, Estes Park in the afternoon Day 3: Sky Pond Day 4: Old Fall River Road and Estes Park Day 5: Mills and Black Lakes Day 6: More activities in Estes Park Day 7: Deer Mountain. Hiking poles can help you keep your balance in the snow. Its proximity to the charming town of Grand Lake make it even more alluring. One Perfect Day in Rocky Mountain National Park. 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. A 2 hour trip from either Steamboat Springs or Breckenridge will only get you to the west side entrance to RMNP.

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