Rocky Mountains

Rocky Mountain National Park

  US National Parks

VISIT Rocky Mountain National Park:

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)

Park Details

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
Phone970 586-1206
HoursOpen 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, weather permitting
Entrance Fee$25, single day vehicle pass
Learn MoreOfficial 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.

Park Visits140,715133,771155,819183,792335,060671,232904,767746,343521,233352,736164,992124,388
Avg Temp212228364961666456442921
Max Temp323241516271747166574634
Avg Temp331016253339383021114
Min Temp-19-18-11-212213029165-11-18
Temperature values in °F; Precipitation in Inches

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.

Trip NameTrip MilesTrip Days
Visit the Rocky Mountain National Park from Denver in One Day2401
Colorado Epic Pass Ski Trip2735
Great Sand Dunes, Mesa Verde, Arches & Canyonlands7927
Continental Divide National Historic Trail RV Road Trip2,31514
Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde, Black Canyon to Rocky Mountains1,00512
Rocky Mountains, Dinosaur Monument, Grand Tetons to Yellowstone92010
Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Arches, Black Canyon to Rockies1,08612
Rocky Mountains, Black Canyon of the Gunnison to Great Sand Dunes7917
Rocky Mountains, Arches to Canyonlands7169

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 Forest86 mi
Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument101 mi
Fort Laramie National Historic Site143 mi
Scotts Bluff National Monument147 mi
Curecanti National Recreation Area156 mi
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park162 mi
Dinosaur National Monument173 mi
Agate Fossil Beds National Monument177 mi
Great Sand Dunes National Park180 mi
Colorado National Monument182 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.

NameDetailsMiles Away
Glacier Basin - Rocky Mountain National ParkEstes Park, CO more 6 miles
Moraine ParkEstes Park, CO more 6 miles
Aspenglen - Rocky Mountain National ParkEstes Park, CO more 8 miles
Timber Creek - Rocky Mountain National ParkGrand Lake, CO more 8 miles
Longs Peak - Rocky Mountain National ParkEstes Park, CO more 9 miles
Marys Lake - USBREstes Park, CO more 9 miles
Meeker Park OverflowEstes Park, CO more 11 miles
Green RidgeGranby, CO more 11 miles
Grand ViewFort Collins, CO more 12 miles
Hermit Park Open SpaceEstes 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:

NameLocationSummitDifficulty ScoreDistance
EldoraNederland, CO10,800 ft48%28 mi
Ski Granby RanchGranby, CO9,202 ft30%29 mi
Winter Park ResortWinter Park, CO12,060 ft72%31 mi
Echo Mountain ResortIdaho Springs, CO10,650 ft27%46 mi
Loveland Ski AreaDillon, CO13,010 ft63%46 mi
KeystoneDillon, CO12,408 ft69%52 mi
VailVail, CO11,570 ft77%59 mi
Howelsen Hill Ski AreaSeamboat Springs, CO7,136 ft44%60 mi
BreckenridgeBreckenridge, CO12,998 ft82%61 mi
Snowy RangeLaramie, WY10,000 ft40%64 mi
Arapahoe Basin Ski AreaDillon, CO13,050 ft76%64 mi
Copper MountainFrisco, CO12,313 ft66%65 mi
Beaver CreekBeaver Creek, CO11,440 ft62%66 mi
SteamboatClark, CO10,568 ft77%73 mi
Ski CooperLeadville, CO11,700 ft42%74 mi
ButtermilkLarkspur, CO9,900 ft47%87 mi
Aspen Mountain Ski ResortAspen, CO11,212 ft79%99 mi
Aspen Highlands Ski ResortAspen, CO11,675 ft93%100 mi

Nearest Airports

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.

Large Airports

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 AirportDENDenver, CO64 mi
Salt Lake City International AirportSLCSalt Lake City, UT330 mi
Medium Airports

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 AirportLARLaramie, WY68 mi
Cheyenne Regional Jerry Olson FieldCYSCheyenne, WY74 mi
Eagle County Regional AirportEGEEagle, CO80 mi
Aspen-Pitkin Co/Sardy FieldASEAspen, CO98 mi
City of Colorado Springs Municipal AirportCOSColorado Springs, CO118 mi
Western Neb. Rgnl/William B. Heilig AirportBFFScottsbluff, NE153 mi
Pueblo Memorial AirportPUBPueblo, CO155 mi

Credits: Campground data provided by Map shapes from CartographyVectors. Weather data from NOAA. Airport data from Images from Unsplash, Flickr and Parks&Trips. All data has also been updated and augmented by Parks&Trips.

Author Image
Chris Cagle

I love traveling the United States. I hunt down fantastic places to visit in the summer and great slopes to ski down in the winter. The first national park I ever visited was the Smokies, but since then, I've been to dozens. However, my favorite by far has been Zion.