Winter Hiking Trails in Rocky Mountain National Park (or Anytime!) You may only travel about 10 kilometers from the tourist center before reaching the point when the route is blocked for the winter. But don't let it deter you. There's a lot to see along the 10-mile span. In fact, some of the most beautiful views in Colorado are found here. And since there's no traffic, you have time to stop and take in all that beauty.
You can drive almost everywhere within the national park during the winter months. The main exceptions are the many backcountry trails that are not marked or maintained by the National Park Service (NPS). These unmarked trails are used by both locals and visitors, so they should be treated with respect.
Some roads are closed due to dangerous conditions while others are open but recommended overnights are posted on bulletin boards throughout the park. Check ahead to make sure you aren't going against the flow on any particular road. Also keep an eye out for wildlife; elk, deer, and even moose are often seen in the park during the winter months.
If you get stuck somewhere within the park during freezing weather, call either 1-877-444-6777 or 911 immediately. Responders will help you find safe harbor until temperatures rise again.
The best times to visit are between November and April.
Plan on visiting Rocky Mountain National Park for at least three days. This provides you ample time to travel down Alpine Ridge Road and Old Fall River Road, as well as explore a couple trails. If you enjoy hiking, I recommend spending at least five days at Rocky Mountain National Park. You can hike more trails and visit some of the other areas of the park that we didn't have time for during our three-day trip.
In terms of distance, Rocky Mountain National Park is very large. In fact, it's larger than 8 million acres of federal land! It's also very popular. The most efficient way to see everything the park has to offer is by using it as a base camp and making several trips there over the course of your stay.
If you only have time for one trip to the park, then make sure to include at least one long trail such as Longs Peak or Trail Ridge Road. These are two of the highest paved roads in Colorado and offer stunning views of the Continental Divide.
Spending three days in the park allows you to see all the main attractions including Lakes Trail, Cutthroat Bridge, Granite Canyon, Cranmer Loop, Bear Lake, and Moraine Park. Of these, Lakes Trail and Cutthroat Bridge are worth checking out even if you don't have time for the whole three days. They're easy hikes with beautiful views so they're perfect for day hikers.
Despite the fact that portions of the park are closed during the winter, Rocky Mountain National Park is open all year and is very stunning in the winter. Don't let the cold deter you from coming!
Some areas of the park may be inaccessible due to snow or dangerous conditions created by ice or rock slides. Check ahead before you travel to make sure that the trails are still safe. The best time to visit the park is between April and October when the weather is most favorable.
There are a number of facilities inside the park that remain open throughout the winter months. These include the Visitor Center at Lake Mary, which has exhibits on park history and natural science; the Beaver Meadows Visitor Complex, with displays about the history of the park and live animal presentations; the Moraine Museum, with exhibits on the ecology and geology of the region; and many more.
Rocky Mountain National Park is located in Colorado near Boulder and Denver. It is approximately 90 minutes from both cities. The park entrance is located on U.S. 36 north of Boulder. In the fall, the entrance gates are closed, but the rest of the park is open year-round.
Visitors should expect warm temperatures and high winds in the summer and early autumn. Heavy rain and snowfall occur mostly between June and August.
The 164-mile Rocky Mountain National Park Scenic Loop is genuine mountain experience. This four-hour journey will take you from Denver to Estes Park, via Rocky Mountain National Park on the majestic Trail Ridge Road, and then to Winter Park, Colorado's favorite playground, through Grand Lake, Granby, and Fraser. The road was built as an access route for miners entering the park from its southern boundary. Today, it provides one of the most scenic drives in the country.
You can drive all around the Rocky Mountains but there are only three ways to get into their heart: over Trail Ridge Road, across Longs Peak, or under the Continental Divide in Boulder Canyon. These routes connect some of the most beautiful places in America and allow visitors to see diverse ecosystems from prairies to pine forests to high alpine tundra. There are also many opportunities for hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, and other outdoor activities.
Rocky Mountain National Park is home to three of the highest peaks in the state of Colorado: 14,440-foot Mt. Elbert, 13,772-foot Mt. Owen, and 11,970-foot Mt. Lady Washington. The tallest mountain within the borders of North America, Mt. Elbert is also the most isolated; it can be reached by car only by following a long, narrow road that winds up the mountain's flank from just outside of Denver.