Rocky Mountain National Park is the fourth most visited National Park in America, and with so much natural splendor, it’s hard to be surprised. With more than 10,000 unique visitors each day, one would expect it a difficult task to find their own secluded niches. But with more than 265,000 acres to explore, there’s plenty of space to carve out your own special area.
1. Summerland Park
Northeast of Grand Lake lies Summerland Park, rife with local flora and fauna. Meadows and conifers occupy the region and a run-in with deer, moose, and elk aren’t uncommon occurrences. If you’re looking to picnic in a field of wildflowers, then look no further.
2. Baker Gulch & Never Summer Wilderness
If you don’t mind a strenuous hike (and hey, you’re doing a nature vacation, so you probably don’t), then the five-mile trek is worth your while. Parika Lake, nestled in the Never Summer Wilderness offers some curious views of Long Peaks, located some twenty miles away. As to be expected, there’s more nature than you can shake a stick at (although you may not want to if you come across a black bear or bobcat, both of which call this valley home).
3. Timber Lake
If you can avoid making pop star references, Timber Lake is a lovely place to camp in the shadow of Mount Ida. It’ll take another difficult hike to get there, but if you plan your timing correctly, you may end up witnessing a meteor shower within this alpine basin.
4. Lulu City
One of the more intriguing places to visit along a creek that eventually becomes the mighty Colorado River is the ghost town of Lulu City. The mining settlement established in 1879 lasted just five years before being abandoned, but many of its buildings are still standing.
5. Lake Verna & Spirit Lake
East of Grand Lake lies the Adam’s Falls Trail, popular with tourists. But continue on to reach the heavily wooded Spirit Lake and Lake Verna. It’ll involve another challenging hike, but the rewards are definitely worth the task.
6. Coyote Valley Trail
For those who want a nice leisurely hike, at less than a mile, the Coyote Valley Trail is perfect at sunset when the birds and Cervidae (that’s the fancy word for deer) are most active. The trail is wheelchair accessible, making this one of the simplest pleasures you’ll ever be able to brag about.
Rocky Mountain National Park is the perfect Colorado summer primer and is not limited to the aforementioned wonders, but these six are good starting points. Since one trip will probably lead to another, you’ll have plenty of time to check out more next time around.