A Guide to Your Rocky Mountain National Park Vacation

Rocky Mountain National Park (a.k.a. Rocky), is a beautiful region of Colorado to spend your vacation. The Park covers 358.3 square miles and rises from about 8,000 foot at forest meadows to 14,259 feet at the top of Longs Peak. The many trails, picnic areas, and backcountry spots with majestic scenery and wildlife, offer the vacation visitor loads of things to see and do for one day or an entire week or more.

You'll find many Rocky Mountain National Park vacation rentals in the gateway towns of Estes Park, Colorado on the east and Grand Lake, Colorado on the west. Unlike in other National Parks such as Yellowstone and Grand Canyon, there is very limited lodging (except for camping and a few cabins) inside the Park boundaries.

Because of the rough terrain and lack of roads, not many people ventured west from Estes Park in the late 1800's to see this splendor. Yet, in 1909 a naturalist named Enos Mills, saw this beauty and started to work at preserving what became Rocky Mountain National Park in 1915. Rocky has been a popular vacation destination ever since.

Helping Visitors at Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park is open year-round and is especially popular with summer visitors when the towns of Estes Park and Grand Lake swell with vacationers. Both towns have dining, entertainment, and lots of kid-friendly activities to keep you busy while you are not at the Park. Since the majority of the 3 million annual vacation visitors come in the summer, vacation rental options become tight and at a premium. A traveler should consider a fall visit, to take advantage of lodging discounts and to see the spectacular colors from the changing aspen.

The Park has a number of visitor centers - two on the Estes Park side, one on the Grand Lake side, and the Alpine Visitor Center, at the top of Trail Ridge Road (open in summer only). These visitor centers offer exhibits about the natural surroundings and the history of the Park. The Park rangers and staff and can also give you a wealth of ideas to get the most enjoyment from your Colorado Vacation in Rocky Mountain National Park.