Day Trip: Rocky Mountain National Park
Location: North-central section of the state over US 34 through the park. Highway 34 through Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) is closed through the winter. But there are several alternative paths that can allow you to experience the beauty all year round.
Trail Ridge Road crests at 12,183 feet and is the highest continuous motorway in the United States.
Weather conditions change rapidly so park visitors should be prepared to adjust travel plans and carry essential road kits during any visit up Trail Ridge.
Rocky Mountain National Park is open year round, but there are Seasonal road closures (Trail Ridge Rd & Old Fall River Road). Call the park's recorded phone line at 970-586-1222 or for more information about Rocky Mountain National Park visit www.nps.gov/romo or call the park's Information Office at (970) 586-1206.
Entry into the Park is $20 per vehicle ($10 per motorcycle).
More Trip Options:
Old Fall River Road:
For a sometimes terrifying, yet amazingly beautiful, additional to the usual, but goregeous Highway 34 RMNP trip, take Highway 36 to Old Fall River Road bypass. WARNING: There are no guard rails, steep hairpin curves and unpaved narrow roads, but if you have the interest and vehicle to try it, your reward is some of the most breathtaking scenery in Colorado. This was the only way to get across Fall River Pass before Trail Ridge Road was opened in the early 1930s.
The Park Service does not plow this road except for the last portion near the Alpine Visitor Center. Each year after the snow melts, the road is graded before it is open for vehicle traffic. Opening date for the Old Fall River Road is usually around the 4th of July. Snow usually closes it sometime in late September or October, and it converts to a winter trail for snowshoers and cross country skiers. Bikes and pets on leashes are not allowed on the road in the winter. From June 1 - July 4 it is open exclusively to bikes on Sat., Sun., and Mondays. https://goo.gl/maps/cjw0C Old Fall River Road is #3 on our Most Scary Colorado Drives list
If you get to RMNP from I-70 and Hwy 40, make the return trip over the Peak-to-Peak (Highway 7/72/119) South through Allenspark, Nederland and Blackhawk. A Front Range Fall favorite! https://goo.gl/maps/aGZnm
Best Time: Early morning for the start. Or time your start to arrive in Steamboat Spring at Dusk and spend the night. You deserve it!
Allow: The actual drive time for the route through RMNP is only about 1hr 30min, but allow 3 hours to enjoy every bit of scenery.
Best time: Early Morning - Late Afternoon
Related Communities: Grand Lake, Estes Park, Boulder, Winter Park, Blackhawk, Loveland