10 Best Things I Love About Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park

You may be planning a family vacation or just looking for some summer fun and considering visiting Colorado Rocky Mountain National State Park. Regardless of the reason I want to tell why I love this National Reserve. And you will probably agree with me. Lets begin…

 

 


 

1. Extremely Beautiful All Year Round

The Rocky Mountain National Park is so extremely beautiful you will be amazed. There are beautiful scenes at every turn and around every corner.  It’s a panoramic paradise. Rich in color, depth and mystery. The snow-capped mountain peaks tower over you with its craggy cliffs and winding trails. The scenery will keep your eyes and mind fixed at all the awe and wonder around you. So much so, time will quickly go by.

No matter what time of the year you decide to visit this beautiful park. You will always be captivated by its beauty. And its not only the loud beauty of this place that I found so captivating. It’s also the smell. The smell of pine is everywhere. It’s so wonderful and peaceful.

One of the most common trees here are the Ponderosa Pines. These, like all pine trees give off a strong pine smell and lots of shade. These trees also provide lots of protection for all the wildlife sheltered under its branches. The sounds of the birds, squirrels and whatever else lives in these trees is captured in the cool whirling breeze all around you. Therefore this and so many other reasons is what I love most about it. This mountainous park is awesome!

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2. Great Fly-Fishing Opportunities

Now one of my favorite subjects and one my favorite things to do is Fly Fish. The best time of the year to Fly Fish the Rocky National Park is Spring. You can fish all day if you wanted but the best time would be before 10am and after 5pm. The Springtime weather will cause an increase in insect activity which will cause the hungry trout’s more likely to strike. Orvis.com recommends a 9-foot leader. A 5X Tippet. 9’ 4 Weight Fly Rod, Double Taper Trout Fly Line and Bank Shot Sink Tip Fly Line for the best results. There are so many streams, rivers and lakes to choose from, all with promising Fly-Fishing results.  Some of the most popular are in Moraine Park. You may want to do a little bit more research if there is a specific type of trout you want to catch.  Trout’s in the Colorado Rocky National Park are the Brown Trout, Brook Trout, Rainbow Trout and Cutthroat Trout. You will also find some native trout in these waters as well and they are; Greenback Cutthroat and the Colorado River Cutthroat.

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3. Variety of Scenic Trails

Imagine that! Over 300 miles of hiking trails in this Park alone. Wow! I love it! Now as mentioned in my number one reason why I love the Colorado Rocky Mountain National Park was its beauty. Walking these trails is how you will capture that beauty not only for your camera but this is how you will have its beauty imprinted and captured in your memory so you can always have it with you no matter where you are in the world.

With all these trails, where do you start? Well it depends on difficulty and how much time you have. If your looking for a nice stroll around a lake I would then recommend Lily Lake Loop trail. Its located near Estes Park. This nice scenic stroll will take you around .8-mile walk around the lake. Great trout fishing in this lake as well.  It’s a very easy beautiful trail.

Now due to the quantity and complexity of the trail details I am going to suggest you visit NPS.gov for a map of the area.  I will also suggest giving rockymountainnationalpark.com a visit for more detailed information on the vast number of trails and how to find them. This website also breaks down the area by regions.  This is one of the many reasons why I love hiking the Colorado Rocky Mountain National Park.

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4. Always Possibility of Extreme Weather

Weather here can be a bit extreme at sometimes especially during the winter season. Avalanches do occur in this area. So, if you plan on doing some camping during the winter season please be sure to read my blog on 5 essential items you must have for winter camping. You may be asking what is there to love about that? Isn’t this article about what I love the most about The Colorado Rocky National Park? The answer is yes. Yes, I do love the extreme weather just not the avalanches! I love how much snow accumulates during the winter.

I also love how much it rains it how it causes the streams and rivers to overflow into the meadows.  This will only give more opportunity to see more wildlife and better fishing.

But the most extreme will be the snow and freezing air. The heavy snow accumulation usually runs from December – March but can start as early as September.

With this extreme weather of snow, we will then start talking about Skiing with what I love most about Colorado Rocky Mountains National Park #10. What a wonderful time of year that is.

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5. Wildlife of the Rocky Mountain’s

Now let’s talk about the wildlife. One thing is for sure about visiting the Colorado Rocky National Park and that is you will see some amazing wildlife. Allow enough time to see all the wildlife. For instance, this national park has many herds of mule dear and Moose, 3000 elks and 800 Bighorn Sheep. So, for those of you who want to get the best out of your experience, you may want to visit around May to Mid-August for the bighorn sheep.  The Moose populate the West side of the Park, usually found in the meadows of the Kawuneeche Valley all year. As for the Mule deer, those are common and can be found everywhere all year round but usually in the lower elevations. Marmots and Pikas can usually be seen in rocky terrain.

You will also have bats flying around near and over lakes and ponds at dawn and dusk. One of my favorite animals to see swaying in the air high above is the eagles. Such a beautiful creature. I couldn’t even begin telling you about the large variety of bird species there are in these mountains. You will have a wonderful experience trying to see them all. The variety is just amazing and so beautiful to see, hear and experience.

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6. The Terrain. Some rough terrain, Some not but mostly rough terrain.

One of my favorite things I love about the Colorado Rocky National Park is the terrain. You will find that most of the terrain in the park is going to be rough terrain. But that only makes sense it being the Rocky Mountains and all, right? The terrain is endless amounts of rock and cliffs. In the lower elevations you will not only find meadows, lakes and streams but, yes, more rocks. The lower terrain is easier but still rugged in many areas. I love the turns, twist, going ups and the coming down terrain. It can be tough especially as you get higher in elevation. With that, the higher elevation is where you find the extreme terrain. This type of terrain may require rock climbing, boulder jumping and mountain climbing. What you thought was a casual rock through the woods may end up being and energy sapping excursion! Sounds exciting doesn’t it!? I will give you more details about these excursions at a later time with video.

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7. Open all year round

All designated areas are seasonal so be sure to check the NPS.gov website for more details. Nonetheless the park is open to the public 24 hrs a day, 365 days a year, though some parts may be inaccessible like the Trail Ridge Road. The Trail Ridge Road is high in elevation and is closed from mid-October through Memorial Day. The best time of the year to visit is from June – September. Please do not forget the camera and please be sure to make sure your tank is full and take lots and lots of water with you. Yes another reason why I love the Colorado Rocky National Park!

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8. Great Camping Locations

Depending on the type of camping you prefer you will have plenty of options to choose from. For example, if you prefer enjoying the indoors outdoors like an RV I would recommend making reservations at one of the campgrounds suited for RVs. Like the Aspenglen Campground, Glacier Basin Campground or Moraine Park Campground. There are others as well.

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Find more info here via NPS.gov. And if you’re interested in renting an RV this website can be of assistance to you. Another question to ask yourself about choosing the perfect campsite is what part of the park you would like to camp in. You have the West, East, South and North to choose from. Regardless which area you choose you’ll experience a rich diversity of wildlife and scenery.

The trails on the West side of the Continental Divide tend to have and be known for having more moose and beautiful meadows. This is where you can find the Timber Creek Campground.  The East side of the park is known for its ease of access, extremely beautiful views and lake hikes. This is where Moraine Park Campground and Longs Peak Campground are located. Further up North is known for its wilderness escape and its solitude. This is where Fern Lake and Fern Lake Trailhead is located. South of this park is known for its high peaks and spectacular scenic views. This where Ouzel Lake and Wild Basin Trailhead are located.

If you decide to camp at one of the designated campgrounds in this park a permit will be required between the months of May and Oct.

Another reason I love the Colorado Rocky National Park is not only the designated camping grounds but the option to go all out back-country and backpack it off trail and not be limited to a designated area. Therefore makes it one of my favorite options!

Wilderness Camping Guide (This will give you more tips and info, fees, rules and regulations)

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9. One of the most visited national parks in the United States

Out of the four major National Parks in Colorado. Colorado Rocky Mountain National Park is the most popular. With more than 4 million visitors choosing this spacious outdoor setting annually, it is the ideal place for a memorable trip, particularly for anyone who enjoys beautiful lakes, mountains, trails, fishing, camping and adventure. Peaks in this park kiss the sky with elevations from 7,860 – 14,259 ft. Wow, that’s staggering. It is a protected 415 square mile playground; it is an area that is highly recognized as a must go for every family.  

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10. Best Ski Opportunities Ever!

Best time for the opportunity to test your walking skills in snowshoes and Skis is from October – April.

The Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) is a great opportunity for skiing from the beginner to the expert. As a beginner you may want to try skiing on the west side of the RMNP.  A great location for a beginner is Hidden Valley (See map). It’s a favorite for beginners and great for sledding. Its easily accessible and considered a mellow area. The next best option would be the Banana Bowls, Flattop Mountain. This area is a great opportunity from low angle to moderately steep skis.

Conditions vary from time to time due to heavy snows or safety concerns like avalanches.  If your looking for a more challenging slope. A steeper option would be Tyndall Glacier. Tyndall Glacier is a local favorite with 35 to 45 degree runs perfect for steep lines late in the year with multiple laps.

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