Rocky Mountain National Park Feature

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Base Camp: Estes Park

When considering Estes Park as a base camp for visiting Rocky Mountain National Park, there are several items to factor into the decision. Many more people stay in Estes Park than Grand Lake because it's closer to the cities of the Front Range, and the traffic, particularly on summer weekends, is the evidence. Expect parking downtown to be difficult and count on delays while driving through town. Both the Beaver Meadow and Fall River entrance stations to RMNP are 4 miles from town.

There are more options for lodging and meals here than in Grand Lake. A hotel room averages $150 per night, and a burger will run you about $8. The Safeway in Stanley Village at the intersection of U.S. 34 (Big Thompson Ave.) and U.S. 36 (St. Vrain Ave.) is the best place to pick up insect repellent, sunscreen, water, and snacks (including deli sandwiches) for hiking.

Updated: 2014-03-12

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