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Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park consists of 415 square miles of different types of terrain and wildlife. While the park area has been occupied by humans for over 10,000 years, it was officially established as a National Park by President Wilson in 1915.  It is well known for viewing wild animals, including the big ones. With a large elk herd of more than 3,000,  nearly 800 bighorn sheep, mule deer, a small population of moose, and coyotes dwelling in the park, it is no surprise that wildlife watching is rated the most popular activity in the park by visitors.

The nearby town of Estes Park is a great launching point for your visit. There is a quaint downtown area with shopping, art galleries, and excellent restaurants. If you don’t feel like camping in the Rockies, the Estes is the place to stay. You could even stay in the famous Stanley Hotel and see if you spot one of their many ghosts.

Scenic Drive

One of several entrances to the park is located in the town of Estes Park. Although some holidays there are no entrance fees, on a regular day you’ll be charged $20 per car. Check out a yearly pass with the National Park Service. If you plan on visiting more than one National Park during your visit to Colorado, it’s only $40 and would pay for itself in no time!  Be prepared to be awed by the amazing scenery and the different terrain you will drive through as you make your way up in elevation over 7,500 feet.. You will find multiple pull offs to take pictures and lookout at the surrounding landscape. You will also find several visitor centers spread throughout the park. Some are closed due to weather, so be sure to plan ahead.


Rocky Mountain National Park is popular for its numerous amounts of trails available to all levels of hikers. It is very important when hiking to make sure you are prepared with the essentials including sunscreen and water. One of the favored areas to hike is the Bear Lake Trail. Here you will find trails ranging from difficult to easy that wrap around the picturesque subalpine Bear Lake. Do not stop there, you can find many more trails throughout the park that will not cease to amaze you.

Photo Courtesy of the National Park Service -  Photo of Thunder Lake