Name: Rocky Mountain National Park
Year Established: 1915
Location: Colorado, USA
Season: Open year-round. Visitor Center hours vary by season.
Cost: $20 for private vehicle, $10 for motorcycles, cyclists and hikers (good for 7 days)
Accommodation: There are only a few campgrounds inside the park. Nearby communities offer guest houses and hotels.
Brief Description: Rocky Mountain National Park has elevations ranging from 8,000 feet (2,400 meters) to 14,000 feet (4,200 meters) so it’s understandable why so many visitors feel like they’re on top of the world. The park is home to diverse climates and environments such as wooded forests and mountain tundra. Many types of wildlife can also be seen here. The most common are mule deer, elk, bighorn sheep, yellow-bellied marmot, black bears, mountain lions and moose. There’s 359 miles (578 km) of trails, 450 miles (720 km) of stream and 150 lakes. It also contains 72 mountain peaks that are named and rise to over 12,000 feet (3,657 kms). The tallest peak in the park is called Longs Peak and many people try to climb it every year.
Personal Experience: Our visit was short but sweet because we just did a day trip from Denver, the capital city of Colorado. There’s not really any public transport in the park so it’s best to have a car. We rented a car in the city and spent our day stopping at different short trails, lakes and viewpoints. Our first short hike was to a waterfall. It was beautiful but it started to rain so we jumped back in the car and continued on our way. Our next two hikes were on trails that went around lakes.
We spotted many elk from the car roaming free across the beautiful landscape. There are many more options for hiking and taking in views so if you have the time it would be better to camp in the park for a few days or get a hotel room in one of the many communities surrounding the park. After our day trip to the park we returned to Denver to watch the Rockies, Colorado’s major league baseball team.