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Driving through Estes Park/Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park

Driving through Estes Park/Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park

Old Jul 15th, 2002, 05:09 AM
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Driving through Estes Park/Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park

I have a day to spend in Rocky Mountain National Park. What should I not miss in the park or in Estes Park? Also, how long does it take to drive Trail Ridge Road?
Old Jul 15th, 2002, 06:23 AM
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RMNP is pretty much a drive through park. There are good hiking trails but I haven't spent enough time in the park to advise you on that.

Give yourself a few hours to drive the road. You'll want to stop some and take it all in.
Old Jul 15th, 2002, 06:45 AM
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It took me a total of 3 hours to drive the Trail Ridge Road west from Estes Park to 70. I only stopped for photos a few times & not for very long.

We did a great hike in the Park up to Bear Lake -- pretty short & moderate, but great views.

The food at the Black Canyon Inn's restaurant was very good.
Old Jul 15th, 2002, 10:44 AM
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If you are coming at a time that Trail Ridge Road will be open, that's a definite don't miss. Even if part of the road is closed, drive as much of it as you can.

A hike of a few hours would be another don't miss, but which hike will depend on the season and how acclimated you are to the altitude. I usually stop by a visitors' center and ask a ranger for suggestions.

I have enjoyed hikes near Bear Lake, the hike up to Nymph, Dream, and Emerald Lakes, also a more challenging hike up to the Odessa Lake area. I haven't enjoyed hikes on the west side of the divide as much. If you do a hike in the vicinity of Bear Lake, you probably can't go wrong.
Old Jul 15th, 2002, 11:06 AM
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Try Fall River Road. It is one-way with plenty of places to turn off and admire the scenery.
Old Jul 15th, 2002, 02:04 PM
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I'll have about 6 hours to spend in the park next week. I want to take in all that I can
Old Jul 15th, 2002, 02:57 PM
Paul Rabe
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As someone noted before, drive UP the Fall River Road (should be open by now) to Trail Ridge Road, then continue on to the Continental Divide. Then go back via the Trail Ridge Road. This should be a good four to six hour drive, including time for photos. If you still have time, drive to Bear Lake, and at least walk around the Lake. Hike to Alberta Falls for a better scene.
Old Jul 15th, 2002, 06:10 PM
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Also, check at the visitors center (or call ahead). THere might be a ranger guided hike or walk that might be interesting.
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