Things to do at Rocky Mountain National Park

Old Mar 24th, 2014, 03:58 PM
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Things to do at Rocky Mountain National Park

We are thinking of planning a trip to Rocky Mountain, would July be a bad time to do so? how many days should be ideal? What are some great activities not to miss out on. Its going to be just my husband and myself, we love adventure , hikes ...
RuchAgrawal is offline  
Old Mar 24th, 2014, 05:38 PM
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I think July is the best time. My favorite hikes are Sky Pond. This goes by a couple of nice waterfalls and The Loch. It is a popular hike, so solitude will not be found on this one though.
Drive Trail Ridge Road and Old Fall River Road(I think it may be closed this year due to the flood damage from last year).

I also like to have a meal at Stanley Hotel. You could stay there, but it's a little pricey for what you are getting. But, do at least see it and have a meal there.
The East and West sides of the park are different. I prefer the East while my Bro-n-law prefers Grand Lake side(fishing). You are more likely to see moose on Grand Lake Side. There are a variety of hike in many places of the park. So, it just depends on how much you like to hike. Heck, even go backpacking there. You could rent gear from REI in Denver, if you don't have any.
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Old Mar 24th, 2014, 06:26 PM
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> we love adventure , hikes

If the weather is good, RMNP is a hiker's dream. Be sure to properly judge your hiking ability -- you don't want to spend the last hour of your hike coming down a mountain in pitch dark. Or at least I don't want to do that again!
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Old Mar 25th, 2014, 06:09 AM
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July is a perfect time to be in RMNP and it is a hiker's park, you guys should love it. How long you stay depends on how much hiking you want to do.

This site has an excellent 10 best list:

Those are all superb hikes, spiro's Sky Pond is on the list, but there are plenty not on that list. But that's a great starting point.

There also is a 10-best easier hike list, again these are all really nice hikes:

He has some other things to do here are here.

The Rocky Mountain Nature Association programs are quite good, you can check their calendar. Be sure to book in advance if you find one you like.

You can also check Estes Park and Grand Lake websites for more options.

Note that July is thunderstorm season, keep an eye on the weather forecast and if afternoon storms are predicted then plan your day so you start hiking early and are back to safety by mid-afternoon. Keep an eye on the sky and retreat immediately if a storm is building. This also helps keep you from coming down a mountain in the dark, as PaulRabe says, though I too have been there, done that!

Have a great trip.
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Old Mar 25th, 2014, 02:40 PM
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The East side (Estes Park) of RMNP definitely has the best hiking.

Be sure to make the drive across Trail Ridge Road. If you don't want to go all the way to Grand Lake, be sure to go as far as the Trail Ridge Store and Café at the top.

Just before the top of TRR, check out the Tundra Communities Trail. It's only 1 mile RT, but will leave you breathless because of the altitude. There are some great rock formations there called "mushroom rocks".


Another great trail from TRR is the Ute Trail. Although, as stated above, watch out for storms rolling in, especially at that elevation. We started out on a beautiful sunny day and about 2 miles out we noticed clouds rolling in. The last quarter mile we were pelted with a hail/sleet mixture and the temperature plummeted. So, always take rain gear even on a beautiful day.

Agree with the above on Sky Pond, one of my favorites - if you don't mind scrambling up rocks along the side of a waterfall!
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Old Mar 25th, 2014, 03:05 PM
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<we love adventure , hikes ... What are some great activities not to miss out on.>

How much adventure? What type of hikes...all day, overnight backpacking, half day trips?

There's great rock climbing in the Lumpy Ridge area. Some good mountaineering in Wild Basin and Glacier Gorge. Great hiking pretty much anywhere...the east side has the more dramatic scenery but there's some pretty good albeit longer hikes on the west side.

Old Fall River Road will be closed all summer to cars, it may open to hikers/bicycles but that's unknown right now.

If you really want adventure you can hike off-trail into some pretty rough terrain but you'd be somewhat beat up afterwards. I doubt you're looking for something like that but that's why I ask what you consider adventure.

Upper Glacier Gorge is amazing. Hike to Black Lake and keep going...
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Old Mar 26th, 2014, 06:50 AM
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> Upper Glacier Gorge is amazing.
Amen to that!

> Hike to Black Lake and keep going...
To get you started, hang a left at Black Lake, follow the beaten path up the obvious ramp. One can get up on the bench by going right at Black Lake, but that involves a few 4th class climbing moves through the cliffs.

WhereAreWe's point is well-stated. You can choose any level of adventure, depending on what you are looking for. "One Man's Ceiling Is Another Man's Floor."
Nelson is offline  
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