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Visiting Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park, Colorado

Updated on May 29, 2013

Rocky Mountain National Park is located about an hour to the north and west of Denver, Colorado. Estes Park is the small picturesque mountain town which serves as the eastern "gateway to the Rockies".

View from the road in Rocky Mountain Natilonal Park.
View from the road in Rocky Mountain Natilonal Park.

Beautiful views await around every curve in the road or bend in the trail while in Rocky Mountain National Park. Soaring peaks, mountain lakes, and an array of wildlife are just some of the attractions.

Hikers can choose from over 350 miles of trails in the park which range from flat easy hikes like the path around Sprague Lake to trails that climb steep alpine peaks.

Sprague Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park
Sprague Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park

If hiking isn't for you, don't worry, plenty of breathtaking scenery can be seen from the road. The Trail Ridge Road is the highest paved road in North America and winds the 45 miles from the eastern gateway of Estes Park, through the peaks of the continental divide, to the western gateway of Grand Lake, Colorado. Sections of the road climb above the treeline to elevations above 12,000 feet (3,650 meters).

There are five campgrounds in the Rocky Mountain National Park. Three campgrounds accept reservations and two are first come first serve. Camping fees range from $3 to $20 per night. Hotels and B&B's are located in Estes Park.

A deer beside the Bear Lake Road
A deer beside the Bear Lake Road

Wildlife abounds throughout the park. Deer, elk, sqirrels, and birds are commonly seen in "Rocky". Bear, Moose, and mountain lions also call the park home, but are more elusive than deer, elk, and small animals.

A visit to Rocky Mountain National Park wouldn't be complete without a stroll through the town of Estes Park. Estes Park is a small town full of shops and restaurants nestled in the Rockies, just to the east of the national park. Visitors can shop, eat, relax, and take the tramway to the top of Prospect Mountain for views of Long's Peak and surrounding mountains.

The theater and tramway behind in Estes Park, Colorado
The theater and tramway behind in Estes Park, Colorado

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