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With flat, 14,000-foot Longs Peak towering over massive mountains, meadows, lakes, and wilderness, the 265,000-acre Rocky Mountain National Park is one of Colorado's best-known wilderness attractions. The park has 359 miles of well-kept trails, most of them accessible in the winter for backcountry skiers and snowshoers; call the park for weather conditions — avalanches happen now and then — before heading out. Established as a national park in 1915, the area formed tens of thousands of years ago when active volcanoes and moving glaciers left mountains, valleys, and tundra behind. The easiest way to get into Rocky Mountain National Park is ...

With flat, 14,000-foot Longs Peak towering over massive mountains, meadows, lakes, and wilderness, the 265,000-acre Rocky Mountain National Park is one of Colorado's best-known wilderness attractions. The park has 359 miles of well-kept trails, most of them accessible in the winter for backcountry skiers and snowshoers; call the park for weather conditions — avalanches happen now and then — before heading out. Established as a national park in 1915, the area formed tens of thousands of years ago when active volcanoes and moving glaciers left mountains, valleys, and tundra behind. The easiest way to get into Rocky Mountain National Park is Trail Ridge Road (U.S. 34), a paved, 48-mile highway that peaks at 12,183 feet and rises dramatically above the trees, straight into 11 miles of alpine tundra that often includes unexpected patches of snow. Note that most of the road is open all year, but the central stretch is usually closed from mid-October to late May, and driving conditions become much more treacherous. During those times, consider hanging out instead at nearby Estes Park, a quaint tourist town.

Steve Knopper
About the Expert

Steve Knopper is the Denver-based author of Moon Handbooks Colorado as well as a contributor to numerous Fodor's city guides.

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Steve Knopper for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: A National Park located in the north-central region of Colorado in the Rocky Mountains north of Boulder, Colorado.
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
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  • Best Time to Visit:

    Anytime except during extreme blizzards