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Rocky Mountain National Park Vacation Planner

Updated on July 26, 2010

When planning a vacation to a four seasons wonderland such as Rocky Mountain National Park, the time of year you choose to visit will affect your activities once there. Rocky Mountain National Park has a literally immense range of exciting and memorable things to do, and each season brings its own unique flavor.

The majority of visitors to Rocky Mountain National Park arrive in the summer time. At this time of year, the weather is balmy and Trail Ridge Road is snowless and open. You'll be sharing the park with a sizeable number of people, but with the sheer size of Rocky Mountain National Park you will still be able to find ample solitude.

By early autumn most of the throngs have returned home and Rocky Mountain National Park is at its most spectacular, clothed in brilliant yellows and reds. Winter time is when Rocky Mountain National Park puts on a mantle of white, snow in the back country can exceed four feet in depth, and skiing, ice fishing and snowshoeing are the activities of choice.

Spring time is the transitional season when it can be summer one minute and winter the next. In spring as at any time you visit Rocky Mountain National Park, it is good advice to always be prepared for whatever the high mountain climate can throw at you!

Many people visiting Rocky Mountain National Park arrive at Denver International through any of its frequent flights from all over the country and the world. Estes Park is approximately 85 miles from the airport, and there are frequent shuttle services. If driving in from Denver, the best way is to go is north on I-25 to US 34 west at Loveland. Continue west on US 34 right into Estes Park. You can use either entrance at Fall River or Beaver Meadows. If you're arriving from Granby: Travel east on US 34 to the Kawuneeche Entrance Station.

Once you arrive you might want to stay at one of Estes Park's fine hotels, including the Glacier Lodge, Stanley's Hotel or Marys Lake Lodge, or way up in Grand Lake at the Mountain Lakes Lodge, Rapids Lodge or Grand Lake Lodge. Some of the finest dining this side of cooking over a campfire can be found at The Sagebrush BBQ, or The Bear's Den in Grand Lake and at Hunter's Chophouse, Ed's Cantina, or Mama Rose's at Estes Park.

You've come to Rocky Mountain National Park for outdoors adventures, but don't miss the indoor kind. The Estes Park Historical Museum, MacGregor Ranch Museum and Moraine Park Museum let you experience the history of the area first-hand. For a touch of art and culture in the mountains, check out Earthwood Artisans, Glasswork Studio, or the Spectrum Gallery, all in Estes Park, or head up to Grand Lake to the Grand Lake Art Gallery.

No matter what time of year you plan your vacation to Rocky Mountain National Park, you will always be rewarded by a phenomenal high mountain nature adventure that you will remember the rest of your life.


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    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      8 years ago from Toronto

      By all means make the trip. It's amazing.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      A place I would love to visit. One of these days......

    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      8 years ago from Toronto

      Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaabsolutely gorgeous! :)

    • janiek13 profile image

      Mary Krenz 

      8 years ago from Florida's Space Coast

      I would love to see the Rockies!


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