The Rocky Mountains climb along the backbone of the Continental Divide. The soaring peaks that make up The Rocky Mountain National Park stretch from the lowest valley to the top of 14,259-foot-high Longs Peak. A thick blanket of snow drapes across the mountains and can be seen from just about any vantage point within the park and beyond.
Trail Ridge Road is the park’s signature drive, winding 48 miles along the Divide with hairpin turns and scenic vistas at every mile.
Places to Stay When Visiting The Rockies
There is no lodging inside the park. Estes Park is the gateway city to the park, so you’ll find a lot of amenities there. Denver is 65 miles away to the south, and there are plenty of cities in between to find great VRBO/Airbnb options.
The driving distances below are to the main entrance of the park in Estes Park. There may be smaller entrances to the park, but they would be a secondary option to the main entrance.
- Loveland, CO (30 miles away)
- Ward, CO (30 miles)
- Longmont, CO (33 miles)
- Boulder, CO (38 miles)
- Fort Collins (41 miles)
- Nederland, CO (42 miles)
- Denver, CO (65 miles)
Rocky Mountain National Park was established on January 26, 1915, and has a total area of 265,795 acres (415 square miles, or 1,076 square kilometers).
|Address||1000 US Hwy 36, Estes Park, CO, 80517|
|Hours||Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, weather permitting|
|Entrance Fee||$25, single day vehicle pass|
|Learn More||Official Website|
When to Visit: Weather vs. Peak Visitation
Rocky Mountain National Park is the 14th most visited park in the country.
We crunched 30 years of historical weather and/or park service data to find the best months to visit Rocky Mountain National Park. We looked for the optimal temperatures, the least amount of snow and rain, and stayed away from peak visitation months if we could help it. All this data then helped us paint a picture as to what the absolute best time to visit Rocky Mountain National Park is.
Our data shows the best months to visit Rocky Mountain National Park are April, May, September & October.
Rocky Mountain National Park Road Trips
Many family vacations consist of stringing one or more national parks together during a week-long trip. Creating these types of trips is our specialty! Here are the road trips we've created where Rocky Mountain National Park is visited.
Other Nearby National Park Sites
From national monuments, to historic sites to seashores and more, here are the other parks closest to Rocky Mountain National Park.
|White River National Forest||86 mi|
|Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument||101 mi|
|Fort Laramie National Historic Site||143 mi|
|Scotts Bluff National Monument||147 mi|
|Curecanti National Recreation Area||156 mi|
|Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park||162 mi|
|Dinosaur National Monument||173 mi|
|Agate Fossil Beds National Monument||177 mi|
|Great Sand Dunes National Park||180 mi|
|Colorado National Monument||182 mi|
Nearby Campsites & RV Parks
If you are looking to pitch a tent or park an RV at a campsite near Rocky Mountain National Park, here is a list of the closest campsites in the surrounding area. They all have slightly different amenitites, so its best to check them all out instead of just chosing the first on the list.
|Glacier Basin - Rocky Mountain National Park||Estes Park, CO more||6 miles|
|Moraine Park||Estes Park, CO more||6 miles|
|Aspenglen - Rocky Mountain National Park||Estes Park, CO more||8 miles|
|Timber Creek - Rocky Mountain National Park||Grand Lake, CO more||8 miles|
|Longs Peak - Rocky Mountain National Park||Estes Park, CO more||9 miles|
|Marys Lake - USBR||Estes Park, CO more||9 miles|
|Meeker Park Overflow||Estes Park, CO more||11 miles|
|Green Ridge||Granby, CO more||11 miles|
|Grand View||Fort Collins, CO more||12 miles|
|Hermit Park Open Space||Estes Park, CO more||13 miles|
Nearest Ski Resorts
For those of you who are the diehard outdoors type, visiting a national park on a ski trip can be quite the adventure. Here are the ski resorts within 100 miles of Rocky Mountain National Park:
|Eldora||Nederland, CO||10,800 ft||48%||28 mi|
|Ski Granby||Granby, CO||9,202 ft||30%||29 mi|
|Winter Park||Winter Park, CO||12,060 ft||72%||31 mi|
|Loveland||Loveland, CO||13,010 ft||63%||34 mi|
|Keystone||Dillon, CO||12,408 ft||69%||52 mi|
|Vail||Vail, CO||11,570 ft||72%||59 mi|
|Breckenridge||Breckenridge, CO||12,998 ft||82%||61 mi|
|Snowy Range||Laramie, WY||10,000 ft||40%||64 mi|
|Arapahoe Basin||Aurora, CO||13,050 ft||76%||64 mi|
|Copper Mountain||Frisco, CO||12,313 ft||66%||65 mi|
|Beaver Creek||Beaver Creek, CO||11,440 ft||62%||66 mi|
|Steamboat||Clark, CO||10,568 ft||76%||73 mi|
|Ski Cooper||Leadville, CO||11,700 ft||42%||74 mi|
|Buttermilk||Larkspur, CO||9,900 ft||47%||87 mi|
When visiting a National park, many people are faced with either a very long drive across country, or a much shorter flight. For those of you looking to fly into Rocky Mountain National Park, we've listed the closest airports in the area.
A large airport has scheduled major airline service with millions of passengers per year. This type of airport always accepts international flights. Here are the closest large airports to Rocky Mountain National Park.
|Denver International Airport||DEN||Denver, CO||64 mi|
|Salt Lake City International Airport||SLC||Salt Lake City, UT||330 mi|
A medium-sized airport has scheduled regional airline service. This type of airport may or may not accept international flights. Here are the closest medium-sized airports to Rocky Mountain National Park.
|Laramie Regional Airport||LAR||Laramie, WY||68 mi|
|Cheyenne Regional Jerry Olson Field||CYS||Cheyenne, WY||74 mi|
|Eagle County Regional Airport||EGE||Eagle, CO||80 mi|
|Aspen-Pitkin Co/Sardy Field||ASE||Aspen, CO||98 mi|
|City of Colorado Springs Municipal Airport||COS||Colorado Springs, CO||118 mi|
|Western Neb. Rgnl/William B. Heilig Airport||BFF||Scottsbluff, NE||153 mi|
|Pueblo Memorial Airport||PUB||Pueblo, CO||155 mi|
Credits: Campground data provided by USCampgrounds.info. Map shapes from CartographyVectors. Weather data from MeteoBlue. Airport data from OurAirports.com. Images from Unsplash, Flickr and Parks&Trips. All data has also been updated and augmented by Parks&Trips.