Most visitors enter the park through the eastern entrances near Estes Park, which is about 71 miles (114 km) northwest of Denver. The most direct route to Trail Ridge Road is the Beaver Meadows entrance, located just west of Estes Park on U.S. Route 36, which leads to the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center and the park's headquarters. North of the Beaver Meadows entrance station is the Fall River entrance, which also leads to Trail Ridge Road and Old Fall River Road. There are three routes into Estes Park: I-25 to U.S. 34 west which runs alongside the Big Thompson River; U.S. 36 west (northwest) from Boulder connecting to U.S. 34 west; and the Peak to Peak Highway, also known as State Highway 7, from points south.
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
We started at Beaver Meadows Visitor Center and scored some hats at a great price. The park rangers were really nice and provided maps and advice on where to hike. Then it was off to Sheep Lakes. Not much to see here unless you get to see some of the big horn sheep that live in the area. No such luck for us this time around, but it was fun to see photos and read about those who had made an appearance in the days prior to our arrival.
Non-flowering lichens cling to rocks and soil. Their enclosed algal cells can photosynthesize at any temperature above 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 °C), and the outer fungal layers can absorb more than their own weight in water. Adaptations for survival amidst drying winds and cold temperatures may make tundra vegetation seem very hardy, but in some respects it remains very fragile. Footsteps can destroy tundra plants and it may take hundreds of years to recover. Mammals that live on the alpine tundra, or visit during the summer season, include bighorn sheep, elk, badgers, pikas, yellow-bellied marmots, and snowshoe hares. Birds include prairie falcons, white-tailed ptarmigans, and common ravens. Flowering plants include mertensia, sky pilot, alpine sunflowers, alpine dwarf columbine, and alpine forget-me-not. Grasses include kobresia, spike trisetum, spreading wheatgrass, and tufted hairgrass.
If you’re looking to hit the trails and experience the grandeur of Rocky Mountain National Park, stay with us here at Rams Horn–we’re just about as close as you can get to RMNP. Plus, we’re just a minute away from downtown Estes Park. Book a stay in one of our luxury cabins, and enjoy all of the magical views of the Rockies, the quaint mountain-town feel of Estes, and all of the luxuries of home (and more!). Schedule your stay at our resort today!
On the east side of the park lies the Beaver Meadows Entrance, the most direct entrance from Estes Park, which lies right outside Rocky Mountain National Park. An hour’s 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. Because the entrance is so accessible from Estes Park and open year round, it is the most popular.
Fall River provides a beautiful backdrop for our lodging resort. After your hiking, snowshoeing or back-country skiing adventure, spend an intimate evening in a luxurious Spa Suite or relax in a spacious 1 Bedroom Suite. Enjoy sounds of the river from your private cabin/condo deck. All the conveniences of home in each suite. Boulder Brook on Fall River Details
The park was designated a World Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations in 1976 to protect its natural resources. The park's biodiversity includes afforestation and reforestation, ecology, inland bodies of water, and mammals, while its ecosystems are managed for nature conservation, environmental education and public recreation purposes. The areas of research and monitoring include ungulate ecology and management, high-altitude revegetation, global change, acid precipitation effects, and aquatic ecology and management.
Individual Cabins are set away from the main lodge and offer space and privacy, with multiple bedrooms, private bathrooms, spacious living areas, fireplaces, and plush down comforters on the beds. The 1913 Baldpate Homestead has been lovingly restored to provide exceptional bed and breakfast accommodations with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a fully equipped kitchen and dining room, a comfortably furnished great room with a fireplace, a solarium and a fully stocked library.
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 rut during mating season. And those brave enough to venture into the cold during the winter are treated to snowscapes unlike any other, as the park is open year-round.
At about 68 million years ago, the Front Range began to rise again due to the Laramide orogeny in the west. During the Cenozoic era, block uplift formed the present Rocky Mountains. The geologic composition of Rocky Mountain National Park was also affected by deformation and erosion during that era. The uplift disrupted the older drainage patterns and created the present drainage patterns.
Campgrounds in Rocky Mountain National Park offer unique, wilderness-meets-community experiences for couples, families and groups. Camping fees are $26 per site, per night in the summer, and $18 in the winter (when the water is off) - some park passes include discounts. Campers may check in after 1 p.m. and are requested to check out by noon; abide by posted quiet hours.
I would definitely recommend driving Trail Ridge Rd. between Grand Lake and Estes Park. This is a great drive through the entire park with lots of great pull outs and stops along the way. Be aware that this is the highest paved road on the continent at over 12,000ft. elevation and altitude sickness affects 50% of the visitors. Trail Ridge Rd. is very scary to drive if you're not used to curvy roads with no guards rails. Without stops, it will take 1.5hrs to drive from town to town. Because we stopped so much, it took us 4 hrs to get from Estes Park to Grand Lake, we ate dinner in Grand Lake and then it took us 1.5 hrs to drive straight back.
Come enjoy a romantic weekend away at McGregor! We are nestled on the slopes of McGregor Mountain with panoramic views of the Continental Divide, Deer Mountain and Sundance Mountain. Being only one-half mile from the Fall River entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park, our property offers easy access to over 350 miles of hiking trails. We are bordered on the North by the National Park, so wildlife, including Bighorn Sheep, Elk, Mule Deer and many others, are common sights throughout the year. While being located in the natural beauty of the area, we are also only four and a half miles from the conveniences of downtown Estes Park where many shops, restaurants, and other attractions adorn our quaint mountain village. Spend a day in the park or in town and come “home” to relax by your own crackling fire while taking in the great views!
American cowboy culture still has a strong presence in Colorado. Once a year, the National Western Stock Show – one of the nation's biggest rodeos – takes over. Artists, musicians, and cowboy competitors perform daily for two full weeks. Some of the most entertaining events feature local children riding and roping just like their parents. The event is kicked off with a cattle drive through Colorado's city streets.
Moraine Park: Campers, particularly hikers, favor this year-round campground, where several trails originate. It's easily accessed via Bear Lake Road, near the park's Beaver Meadows Entrance (southwest), and features 244 sites, all able to be reserved. It allows RVs up to 40 feet long and accommodates them further with a dump station and water hook-ups. Group sites also are available.
We invite you to Wildwood Inn where you can experience the beauty of the majestic surrounding mountains, the abundant wildlife away from the congested areas of Estes Park. Nestled within 7 acres of private land and the National Park, you will enjoy spectacular views, and star studded nights that can let your spirits soar. Indulge yourself in beautifully appointed suites all with luxurious 310 thread count linens and some with Deluxe Temper-Pedic mattresses. Most offer private outdoor hot tubs with spectacular views of the mountain ranges or fireside hot tubs with shimmering candles aglow, and even ones with both.