Rocky Mountain National Park, RMNP, the Gem of Parks

About Rocky Mountain National Park - RMNP

Rocky Mountain National Park, aka RMNP, is one of the country's most frequently visited national parks, attracting more than three million visitors annually. The park's elevation ranges from 8,000 feet in the wet grassy valleys to 14,259 feet at the top of Longs Peak. Established on January 26, 1915, Rocky Mountain National Park is a living showcase of the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains. Visitors to the park have opportunities for countless breathtaking experiences and adventures. RMNP - Bear Lake - Rocky Mountain National Park

Ambiance of RMNP

Although the great peaks comprise the park's essence, the delicate alpine flowers, clear lakes, rushing mountain waters, and impressive forests appeal to all the senses. An array of wildlife - bighorn sheep, ptarmigan, coyote, and abundant herds of elk add life to the landscape. 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 run (mating season).

Things to do at Rocky Mountain National Park

The wide variety of elevations and habitats create a choice of activities for visitors. Endless opportunities are available:
  • Hiking is one of the most popular activities at RMNP. With over 355 miles of trails to explore with varying difficulty levels. There are hikes for all types.
  • Scenic Drives, learn about Trail Ridge Road, America’s highest mountain pass.
  • Picnic at scenic and accommodating sites found throughout Rocky Mountian National Park.
  • Ranger-led Programs are available to the public. Sign up to learn more about the park.
  • Several RMNP Visitor Centers are located throughout the park to provide resources and assistance.
  • Guided Horseback Riding through the park is available from two stables located within the park.
  • Fishing - there are over 50 lakes and several streams to sport fish only.
  • Wildlife watching and photography. If you are passionate about viewing wild animals, “The Park” offers much. Large winter herds of elk, between 200-600, can be seen along with several hundred bighorn sheep and numerous mule deer. Plus, an additional 60 species of mammals, 280 recorded bird species, fish, butterflies, and more.
  • Wilderness Backpacking/Camping: RMNP offers many wilderness experiences, from short treks to long multi-day adventures. Permits are required for overnight travelers.
  • Winter activities like snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are favorite ways to enjoy the park's winter wonderland.

Camping at Rocky Mountain National Park

At RMNP, there are five campgrounds with varying amenities. Some are tent camping only, while others offer picnic sites, dump stations, and potable water. It’s highly recommended to make reservations at least six months in advance, although you can try for a spot a day or two out, but you might not get the site you want. There are a few first-come, first-serve sites, but these fill up quickly—more about RMNP campsite reservations and info. Elk swimming RMNP Park, Colorado

Estes Park, the Gateway to RMNP

Estes Park is the gateway for those who want the mountain town experience in addition to spending time at Rocky Mountain National Park. Whether passing through to access RMNP or staying at Estes Park, it’s also a favorite place to experience the mountain's splendor.

Some favorite Attractions in Estes Park:

  • Lake Estes is located right in town and offers fishing (motorized), paddle sports, and pontoon boats.
  • The Stanley Hotel overlooks the lake and is a prominent iconic historical site. It is full of history and ghost stories and is a lovely place to stay.
  • Whitewater Rafting from Estes Park.
  • Open Air Adventure Park.
  • Off-Road Tours and Trolly rides.
  • Shopping, dining, and bars.
  • Spa services
  • There is a host of ongoing music, cultural events, and much more.

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