Rocky Mountain National Park

In less than an hour (about 38 miles) from Longmont, you can be at the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. It is a beautiful, scenic drive west of Longmont up Highway 36. Highway 36 passes through the quaint little town of Lyons, a great place to hike, browse shops or get a bite to eat.

Continue west on either Highway 36 or the scenic Highway 7 (Peak to Peak Highway) to Estes Park. This quaint mountain town offers more than 200 charming shops, restaurants and attractions. Grab an old-fashioned ice cream cone or homemade fudge, stroll along the Riverwalk, see the sights from the Aerial Tramway and take a tour of the historic Stanley Hotel (inspiration for Stephen King’s The Shining).

The Stanley Hotel. Photo courtesy of the Stanley Hotel.

Continue through Estes to the Park entrance. The Park offers 415 square miles of exciting outdoor activities including hiking, camping and wildlife viewing at any time of year, plus snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and sledding in the winter. We recommend a trip along Trail Ridge Road (open seasonally) up to the Continental Divide and over to Grand Lake. It’s the highest, continuous paved road in the United States reaching an elevation of 12,183 feet.

Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.

Be on the lookout for elk, deer, stellar jays and marmots as you stop and take photos or hike some of the 350 miles of trails that make this park a hiker’s paradise.