Visit Rocky Mountain National Park

Colorado is home to some of the most scenic national parks in all of the western U.S. The size of the park is 415 square miles and is one of the most visited of all national parks. It’s estimated that some three million people visit Rocky Mountain National Park annually.

Rocky Mountain National Park was officially founded in 1915. It grew in size over the years with various parcels of land added. The park was long in the making and involved many groups of proponents and grew in popularity as better roads were constructed.

The park is not only quite beautiful but it’s also diverse. See majestic mountain peaks, Bear Lake and streams and don’t be surprised at all to see herds of elk. In fact, wildlife is very abundant in the park’s valleys. There are in excess of 100 mountain peaks within the park that are over 11,000 feet high with Longs Peak at 14,259 feet. You’ll be able to take in extraordinary views in every direction. The park is open 365 days per year and you’ll find activities geared for all seasons.

One of the Best National Parks to Hike

Many say that hiking is the number one activity for people enjoying Rocky Mountain National Park. There are numerous trails for people of all hiking abilities. Easy, moderate and challenging. They can all be found within the park’s boundaries. There are a total of 355 hiking trails in the park so you’re sure to find one or more to your liking.

The visitor’s center can provide plenty of information and advice on recommended trails depending on skill level and/or if you’re hiking with children. There are also free ranger led walks that can increase your confidence while you learn more about the park. Stopping off at the visitor’s center is a must to obtain directions, maps, etc.

Winter hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park is fun but does have it’s challenges. Winter brings short days with strong winds, low temperatures, and weather conditions can change fast. There can be deep snow at the park, particularly on the west side. Ford those not equipped with cross country skis or snow shoes, trails below 8,700 feet elevation offer the best opportunities. For current trail conditions and general park information check out website

Scenic Driving Routes

The automobile routes through the park take you through several ecosystems and as you can imagine offer some great photo opportunities. The roads will take you through lowland meadows, aspen groves, along swift-flowing rivers and up through sub alpine forests to more than 12,000 feet in elevation. These are some of the best scenic drives you’ll find in Colorado.

The National Park Service describes Trail Ridge Road, Rocky Mountain National Park’s heavily traveled 46 mile long highway to the sky as follows…”It is hard to describe what a sensation this new road is going to make,” predicted Horace Albright, director of the National Park Service, in 1931 during the road’s construction. “You will have the whole sweep of the Rockies before you in all directions.” At all elevations, the drive on Trail Ridge Road is an adventure. Plan at least a half day for the trip.

The Peak to Peak Highway, an official Scenic Byway, offers spectacular views of snow-capped mountain peaks along the Continental Divide and access to historical mining communities with architecture from the late 1800s. There are scenic drives in the Rocky Mountain National Park that you will not find anywhere else.

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We have highlighted hiking and scenic drives through Rocky Mountain National Park, but as you can imagine this is only two of the fun activities at this unique park.

Camping, fishing, picnicking, wildlife watching, birding, horseback riding, wildflower viewing, shops, exhibits, planned park activities are all waiting for you at Rocky Mountain National Park. For detailed information you may want to visit

(Article and Photos copyright Trips Into History)