From this parking area it’s a short, relatively easy hike to Roaring River, where you can see the Alluvial Fan. This is what remains of the devastation caused when Lawn Lake Dam failed in 1982, releasing 30 million cubic feet of water down Roaring River valley, which truly earned its name that day. When the water reached Horseshoe Park, it spread out, and left behind the alluvial fan of debris that can be seen today.
Wind down with dinner at the storied Stanley Hotel. The elegant 109-year-old, white-pillared landmark sits on a hill overlooking downtown Estes Park. Guided tours take you through an underground tunnel and reveal how Stephen King was inspired to write The Shining while staying in room 217. Stop by the beautifully crafted antique Cascades Whiskey Bar to choose from 250 different wine labels and the largest whiskey collection in the state.
Wow! How can you not love RMNP! I have been to several national parks now and this is definitely ranked in the top 3. Every few feet I was stopping to take another picture. This park is definitely a photographers paradise. I spent 1 full day and 2 half days in the park and still didn't get see everything. However, it gave me a good overview and left me wanting more for another visit later.
The Ridgeline’s delectable catering options bring the same love and inspired menu ideas you might expect from Latitude 105, and takes it upscale. Our catering menus and service run the gamut from hearty buffets to elegant formal dining, from Filet Mignon, to delicately plated Chicken Piccata, Wild Caught Salmon, and scrumptious desserts. Our award-winning Chef and talented culinary staff customize each event with personalized menu options designed to perfectly match your vision, and your budget.
Most visitors to the park drive over the famous Trail Ridge Road, but other roads include Fall River Road and Bear Lake Road. The park is open every day of the year, weather permitting. Due to the extended winter season in higher elevations, Trail Ridge Road between Many Parks Curve and the Colorado River Trailhead is closed much of the year. The road is usually open again by Memorial Day and closes in mid-October, generally after Columbus Day. Fall River Road does not open until about July 4 and closes by, or in, October for vehicular traffic. Snow may also fall in sufficient quantities in higher elevations to require temporary closure of the roads into July, which is reported on the road status site.
If you want to hike in the Bear Lake Road corridor and plan to arrive after 10, your best option, and on some days your only option, will be to take the Hiker Shuttle from the Estes Park Visitor Center. This shuttle runs every 30 minutes from the Estes Park Visitor Center to the Park & Ride on Bear Lake Road. Expect wait times to board the shuttles. An entrance pass is required to use The Hiker Shuttle. Purchase a pass online at go.nps.gov/rockyfees
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Apart from elk, many other ungulates reside in the park, including bighorn sheep, moose, and mule deer. Bison were eliminated from the park in the 1800s, as were pronghorn and moose, the latter of which was restored to the area in 1978. Moose are now frequently seen in the park, especially on the park's west side. The park's bighorn sheep population has recovered and is estimated at 350 animals.
Many hikers want to experience the thrill of camping in the wild, which is what backcountry camping in Rocky Mountain National Park is like. Backcountry permits are necessary and may be obtained at the Backcountry Offices. Near Estes Park, the Backcountry Office is located at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center. Many backcountry campsites dot the park, including special sites for groups of more than seven people. Campers are asked to take responsibility for their sites, such as practicing proper Leave No Trace techniques and taking appropriate wildlife protection measures. More information on these tips plus suggestions for how to plan a backcountry camping trip may be found at the official Rocky Mountain National Park Backcountry Webpage.