Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park is located in the north-central
Colorado. This park features majestic mountain views, a variety
of wildlife, varied climates and environments from wooded
forests to mountain tundra—and easy access to back-country
trails and campsites. The park is located northwest of Boulder,
Colorado, in the Rockies, and includes the Continental Divide
and the headwaters of the Colorado River.
This park may be accessed by three roads: U.S. Highway 34, 36,
and State Highway 7. Highway 7 enters the park for less than a
mile, where it provides access to the Lily Lake Visitor Center.
Farther south, spurs from route 7 lead to campgrounds and trail
heads around Longs Peak and Wild Basin. Highway 36 enters the
park on the east side, where it terminates after a few miles at
Highway 34. Highway 34, known as Trail Ridge Road through the
park, runs from the town of Estes Park on the east to Grand Lake
on the southwest. The road reaches an elevation of 12,183 feet,
and is closed by snow in winter.
The park is surrounded by Roosevelt National Forest on the north
and east, Routt National Forest on the northwest, and Arapaho
National Forest on the southwest.
Rocky Mountain National Park Visitors Centers
The park has five visitor centers. The park headquarters, Beaver
Meadows Visitor Center, is a National Historic Landmark,
designed by the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture at
Rocky Mountain National Park Camping
Rocky Mountain National Park has five drive-in campgrounds that
provide a variety of camping experiences. Three campgrounds,
Moraine Park, Glacier Basin, and Aspenglen, are on the
reservation system. Longs Peak and Timber Creek campgrounds are
on a first-come first-served basis. Backpackers may choose from
over 200 backcountry campsites when they apply for their
backcountry camping permits. More
Rocky Mountain National Park Hiking
There are over 350 miles of hiking trails in Rocky
Mountain National park. These trails range from flat lakeside
strolls to steep mountain peak climbs. If you are new to the
park consult with rangers at the visitor centers and backcountry
office. They can provide advice about trails which are
appropriate to different fitness and experience levels.
As you plan your hike, keep in mind that park elevations range
from 7,500 to over 12,000 feet. Even very fit individuals coming
from lower elevations may experience altitude problems. Symptoms
include headaches, shortness of breath, insomnia and rapid
heartbeat. After a few days your body will have made some
physiological adjustments to higher elevations, but full
acclimation may take weeks. To minimize symptoms drink plenty of
fluids, avoid alcohol, don't skip meals and get plenty of rest.