Visiting Rocky Mountain National Park
Get a taste of the “Wild West” and unleash your inner cowboy (or girl) with ranch-style living amid a heavenly landscape of peaks and glassy alpine lakes. The Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado is the perfect family getaway that offers unbeatable views and endless outdoor adventures. With over 300 miles of trails for equestrian adventures and hikes, this area also boasts excellent wildlife and gorgeous starry skies.
Where to go
Covering 415 square miles with more than 100 mountain peaks, these towering mountains surround the Estes Valley. Many Rocky Mountain visitors base themselves in Estes Park, an eastern gateway with lodging options to suit everyone (cabin, campsite or luxury hotel suite). There you can plan activities and it’s just an 8 minute shuttle to the park.
What to do
Real adventure-seeking families will love white-water rafting and the ‘backcountry’ camping tour; go on a llama into the untouched wilderness and sleep under the stars. Placid and naturally comfortable at altitude, llamas are the perfect furry partners for camping.
For less structured activities try a walking hike: pack a magnifying glass for close-up bug examinations and binoculars to spot the elk and bighorn sheep that come down from the mountains during late spring and summer.
Take a horseback ride or hike one of the numerous trail options that range in difficulty. Children are especially encouraged to pony-trek as it’s a fun, non-strenuous way for them to hike.
When children need time away from grown-ups let them escape to the Rocky Junior Rangers, an onsite kid’s club focused on animals and park preservation.
Don’t miss: See if you’d survive in the wild with a fishing trip, you may even catch a trout for supper.
Rocky Mountain National Park is just a short hour and a half drive from Colorado’s capital and main hub, Denver. It’s best to have a car, but the park also offers a free shuttle bus service along Bear Lake Road from late May to early October.