Rocky Mountain National Park is a breathtaking natural wonderland situated in the heart of Colorado. It’s an excellent destination for outdoor enthusiasts looking for different ways to enjoy and appreciate nature. 

If it’s your first time visiting the park, give this guide below a quick read. We’ll provide helpful tips on the best activities you can try when visiting the park.

rocky mountain national park

1. Drive the Trail Ridge Road

It is the highest paved road in the entire US national park system. It stretches for 48 miles, from Estes Park in the East to Grand Lake in the west, with a peak elevation of over 12,000 feet. 

While driving, you will see a scenic panoramic view of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, filled with stunning tree lines, mountains, and, if you’re lucky, wildlife like bighorn sheep and elk. 

Trail Ridge Road is usually open from Memorial Day through mid-October. However, it remains closed for the rest of the year due to snow. 

2. Hike on Different Trails

The best way to experience the park is by taking on its many hiking trails. With 355 miles of trails open, you will never run out of breathtaking areas where you can hike. 

Some of the best include the Alpine Ridge Trail, Tombstone Ridge, Twin Sisters, Gem Lake, and Sky Pond. These trails provide various challenges for all levels of hikers, from easy strolls around lakes to epic climbs to the tallest mountain peaks. Plus, they offer diverse panoramic views for those stunning Rocky Mountain National Park photos. 

rocky mountain national park

3. Unwind at Bear Lake

It is one of the best spots in the park, primarily for its majestic view of the sunrise. How the sun hits Flat Top Mountain and moves down to Bear Lake is simply a sight straight out of a painting. Even if you don’t make it for sunrise, it still offers an excellent view you shouldn’t miss. 

When getting to Bear Lake, you will encounter a short trail that is perfect for all ages and hiking capabilities. This easy trail takes beginners to various spots to help improve their trekking and climbing skills. 

It’s best to go at least 30 minutes before sunrise. That way, you won’t have to miss the view. Plus, you get to hike a beautiful trail. 

4. Admire the Elks

They are some of the majestic wildlife creatures prominent in Rocky Mountain National Park. If you want to admire these beautiful animals up close, you can find and watch them in certain spots and trails. 

Some of the best areas to find elk include Moraine Park, Trail Ridge Road, Bear Lake Road, Upper Beaver Meadows, Horseshoe Park, and Kawuneeche Valley. You can find them at dawn and dusk.

Of course, when you see them, you must follow various practices to ensure your safety around elk. Keep your voice to a minimum, turn your car engines off, and be still. The safest viewing distance for elk is around 75 feet. If you go any closer, you risk disturbing them and your safety. 

Lastly, in the Rocky Mountain region, it’s illegal to use calls to attract them. Always wait and be patient until you see one.

rocky mountain national park

5. Watch the Breathtaking Alberta Falls

It’s a beautiful sight in the park, and since it’s an easy hike, people of all ages and abilities can visit the area. The area offers an excellent spot for groups to picnic while basking in the beauty of the 30-foot waterfall. 

The Alberta Falls Trail follows Glacier Creek. While the hike is relatively easy, it still follows uneven terrain. Take caution when taking small children and older adults with you. 

6. Spend the Night Camping

If you’re more of a camper than a hiker, you can check out the Rocky Mountain National Park map spots and see various areas where you can set up your tents and spend the night. The park is home to stunning campgrounds like Moraine Park Campground, Glacier Basin Campground, and Timber Creek Campground. 

The best part about camping in the park is the view at night. Here, campers are greeted by a mesmerizing image of the stars in the sky. Plus, campers will be surrounded by various nature sounds, from rustling trees to coyote howls, creating a memorable camping experience. 

rocky mountain national park

7. Go to the Moraine Park Museum

It is one of the best spots for wildlife in the Rocky Mountains. Here, visitors can see herds of elk grazing in the valley. Plus, it’s where numerous hiking trails start, including those heading to Bear Lake, Fern Lake, and Mills Lake. 

Meanwhile, this area also houses the Moraine Park Museum, which hosts various exhibits on the park’s natural environment. It stores some of the most interesting stories about nature and life surrounding the park, from elks to glaciers. 

The Moraine Park Museum is an insightful stop for many visitors and also offers a breathtaking view from an elevation of roughly 81,000 feet. 

8. Experience the Park’s Mountaineering Activities

Mountaineering has been one of the most popular activities in the park. With numerous peaks available, some over 13,000 feet, it’s no surprise that climbers worldwide would visit the Rocky Mountain National Park to experience its different mountaineering opportunities. 

The park offers various mountaineering-related activities, including bouldering and rock climbing. Ice climbing is also an option during the winter. 

rocky mountain national park

Extraordinary Nature at Colorado

The park is a hotspot for nature lovers and adventurers alike. With a wide range of activities, from hiking to wildlife watching, this park offers limitless possibilities for people to be one with nature. 

Add Rocky Mountain National Park to your travel list today. Enjoy everything the park offers, from its activities to its natural wonders. For more exhilarating adventures all around the world, stay updated with Active Planet

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