In just over an hour from Denver, you can arrive at the 265,000 acres that is Rocky Mountain National Park. Weekly entrance fees are $20 per vehicle, $10 per motorcyclist and bicyclist. An annual Rocky Mountain Pass is $40, and the park is open 365 days a year, although park visitor centers are closed December 25. The eastern gateway city is Estes Park while Grand Lake is the western city. Elk in Rocky Mountain National Park vie for dominance with a grand display — Photo courtesy of Colorado Tourism Office & Matt Inden/Miles
Although there are plenty of reasons to visit Rocky Mountain National Park any time of the year, here are 10 reasons why you should take your children to Rocky Mountain National Park:
Five drive-in campsites and over 200 backcountry campsites (permits required for overnight stays).
2. Winter Sports
January, February and March offer the best snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
The main bicycle routes are Trail Ridge Road and Horseshoe Park/Estes Park Loop.
4. Wildlife watching
Elk, deer, coyotes, big horn sheep and much more.
More than 350 miles of trails.
Hiking for all levels at Rocky Mountain National Park near Grand Lake — Photo courtesy of Diana Rowe
6. Junior Ranger Program
Kids age 12 and under can enroll in the Junior Ranger Program to complete activities about park preservation and its environment. Other Ranger-led programs are also available.
7. Plenty to do nearby
About 3 million travelers visit Estes Park each year, with an abundance of activities from theater, concerts, art galleries, horseback riding, fishing, biking, fishing, cross-country skiing, sledding and ice skating.
8. Convenient lodging
Enjoy a family-friendly stay at the YMCA of the Rockies-Estes Park Center.
9. Grand Lake
Near the headwaters of the Colorado River, Grand Lake is Colorado’s largest natural lake, the western gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. Year-round activities include summertime fishing, boating, camping, rafting, and festivals, while winter is all about snowmobiling, snowshoeing, alpine and cross-country skiing.
10. Lakefront accommodations
Motels and cabins at the lakefront Western Riviera are affordable and convenient to Rocky Mountain National Park.