In case you were wondering, there are 420 national park sites in the United States, with 63 of those sites being considered elite; Rocky Mountain National Park rolls in at #3! Offering a serene beauty and a peaceful ambience, your Colorado vacation will be enhanced with a visit to our favorite national park, and when you are seeking a place to rest your head, our Visit Winter Park Lodging sanctuaries promise to give you the comfort you require after many hours spent exploring the rugged landscape of the Rocky Mountain National Park. This guide to the best Colorado attraction and all its wonders will ensure that your Colorado escape will be more than just another vacation—it will be the trip you have dreamed of taking your entire life!
Rocky Mountain High
When you want to feel as if you are on top of the world, a visit to the Rocky Mountain National Park is the best way to get the “high” you are seeking! One of the highest national parks in the country, it offers over 75 mountain peaks that reach at least 12,000 feet high in the sky. Becoming a part of the United States with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the mountains in the park (especially Pikes Peak) became an integral part of the Gold Rush in 1859, drawing fortune hunters from all over the country to seek fame and fortune. In 1915, President Woodrow Wilson created the national park in an attempt to preserve the wildlife and natural landscape that was quickly being destroyed by travelers who did not yet realize the damage they were causing. Today, the 415 square miles that encompasses the Rocky National Mountain Park are amongst the most visited spots in the United States, and although the park is popular year-round, it is during the winter months that it comes to life, making it a popular winter destination spot.
Trail Ridge Road
There are a lot of things you can do in Rocky Mountain National Park, including hiking, biking, and boating, but perhaps the most awe-inspiring activity is also the easiest in which to participate. A drive along the Trail Ridge Road, once known as the “scenic wonder road of the world” and still inspiring awe from anyone who drives it, will be an experience you will never forget. Lasting 48 miles and reaching heights of 4000 feet, the views along Trail Ridge Road never fail to please as they include the rugged beauty of the mountains, the clear tranquility of lakes, and the colorful trees, bushes, and plants that make up the landscape alongside the road. Pull into the scenic overlook and take the pictures that will later hang on your wall, reminding you of these moments of sheer delight. Pack a picnic to enjoy as you take in the views at the scenic overlooks and discover that no matter how long you stay, it will never be long enough to experience all the beauty the national park has to offer! This is definitely one of the best Colorado attractions.
The park can get crowded over the summer and fall months, undoing all the protections the National Park Service has put in place, so from May 28th through October 11th, reservations are required to enter the park and your timed entry permit will be limited. This can be done by calling the Reservation Line at 877-444-6777 or by using the Recreation.gov app on your mobile phone. You can make your reservations in advance, ensuring that there will be no hindrances to your explorations of the park during your stay in beautiful Winter Park, but if you are just planning to bike ride through the park and are not going to be driving, no pass or permit is needed.
What to Do in Rocky Mountain National Park
As we discussed earlier, a drive along the Trail Ridge Road is the most popular activity in Rocky Mountain National Park, but there is so much more to do! Keep an eye out for wildlife, including bighorn sheep or elk as you hike, bike, or drive through the park. There are 355 miles of hiking trails that run through some of the most beautiful country you have ever seen, and they range from short and easy (Alpine Ridge Trail is just over half a mile long) to strenuous and extremely difficult (Longs Peak is 15 miles long and ascends over 14000 feet). If you plan on taking the latter trail, you might want to spend a few days in the park first, getting used to the altitude; altitude sickness is a thing that should be avoided at all costs! The park is home to rivers, lakes, falls, and more than a few historic sites, including Holzwarth Historic Site where the Holzwarth family built a cabin as one of the early homesteaders in the region.
Come Home to Comfort
No matter how you spend your days, coming home to the comforts found in our Visit Winter Park Lodging sanctuaries promises to be the highlight of your Colorado adventures. Reserve your stay with us today!