The Rocky Mountain National Park has everything the intrepid explorer could wish for. With a majestic mountain range, varied wildlife, stunning tundra wildflowers and the highest paved road in the USA, there is nothing about the national park that isn't spectacular. A mix of bare rock, forest, alpine tundra and mountains result in fantastic views as far as the eye can see, no matter the weather. As well as the views, you can partake in a huge choice of activities, as the park really does have something for everyone. It isn't hard to see why the Rocky Mountain National Park is such an iconic area.
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Hiking The best way to take in the natural beauty of the park is to put your walking boots on and head out for a hike. You'll be spoiled for choice though as the park has over 300 miles of hiking trails, meaning there is a trail for every ability. In total, there are more than 130 individual trails through the park, which can lead you through amazing vistas, lakes, waterfalls, meadows and wildlife, such as moose. Trails range from flat strolls to mountainous climbs, allowing you to tailor your experience.
Trail Ridge Road One of the most impressive aspects of the park is the Trail Ridge Road, which is the USA's highest paved road. It connects the Estes Park with the town of Grand Lake, and reaches an elevation of 12,183 feet - which is about 11 miles above tree level! The trail runs along a route that is thousands of years old that was previously used by Native American and Ute peoples. It offers the best views of Wyoming, the Rockies and the Great Plains, especially on a clear day. You'll find that temperatures are much cooler along the trail than on the ground and it can be a good idea to take the trail slowly while you acclimatise to the elevation.
Bear Lake area The Bear Lake area is arguably one of the most popular places in the park as it has a little bit of everything. A trail runs in a loop around the lake, which is an easy hike to enjoy, while you'll also be able to locate trailheads for a number of the most popular hikes in the area. Around the lake, you'll experience some stunning views, both across the water and facing away from it. You can stop and enjoy these at any one of the fantastic picnic sites, although it's worth noting you'll need to take your rubbish with you. You'll notice that the area is home to aspen trees that look relatively young compared to much of the park; this is a result of a huge forest fire that burned in the area for two months after a campfire was not put out correctly. Now the only evidence of the fire is the odd cracked rock formation, which are a result of the flames getting incredibly hot.
If you really want to make the most of the incredible panoramic views, pick a trail that leads you above the treeline. This will ensure you get to experience and savour the phenomenal views of Rocky Mountain National Park.
Tours that visit Rocky Mountain National Park
10 days | USA West | Hotels
Explore stunning national parks, experience world-class adventure activities and discover the very best of Colorado. With sandboarding, white-water rafting, biking and hiking included you're sure to be impressed with this incredible part of North America.
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