I thought about writing my standard post about my recent visit to Rocky Mountain National Park, but I decided to switch things up because these photos speak so much more than words could. Although the photos don’t do justice to the beauty that resides in the park, they will give you a small slice of what you can expect. Make sure to get all the way to the end of this post for some tips should you have the chance to visit!
Entering the town of Estes Park, Colorado
Make sure to stop by the Visitor’s Center to get maps, tips, and directions for getting to and exploring Rocky Mountain National Park!
Starting the drive up Trail Ridge Road
This route is the highest paved road in the United States!
Getting some glimpses of snow
The snow plow used to clear the roads
Plowing begins in mid-April to get Trail Ridge Road ready to be opened, and takes an average of 42 days to complete the plowing.
Here comes the snow!
This area can continue to see snow even in July!
We made it! 11,796 feet in elevation!
The Alpine Visitor’s Center has a bookstore, gift shop, restrooms, and beautiful views looking out over the alpine tundra.
September 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of Rocky Mountain National Park. The celebration went on from September 4, 2014 – September 4, 2015. That’s how you do a birthday celebration! This scenic drive is the perfect way to commemorate this special occasion!
A few things to remember if you visit the park:
- Stop by the Estes Park Visitor’s Center beforehand. They can provide you with a more detailed map of the area, point you in the right direction, and give you a breakdown of the different hikes in the area and their difficulty level.
- Open Monday through Saturday, 8 am to 8 pm and Sunday 8 am – 6 pm
- Know the park hours and the best time of year to visit for what you plan on doing. If you are interested in driving up Trail Ridge Road for example (where these photos were taken), the roads are only open from late May through mid-October depending on the weather, although it can close for periods within that timeframe due to bad weather. Be sure to check the road status report before you visit.
- Make sure your vehicle is gassed up and ready to drive up thousands of feet in elevation.
- Depending on what the weather has been like before you visit, you may want to bring some snow gear along and take the opportunity to make some snow angels when you near the top.
- Finally, don’t forget your camera!
Have you visited Rocky Mountain National Park? Where is your favorite area to explore?
Instagram 2015 Travel Photo RoundupJanuary 3, 2016 at 1:14 pm
[…] Took a drive up Trail Ridge Road just a few days after it opened for the season at Rocky Mountain National Park. This was May and there was still loads of snow up top! For more photos from this journey, take a look at my Rocky Mountain National Park photo essay. […]
TaraSeptember 8, 2015 at 1:52 pm
Beautiful photos!! RMNP is one of my favorite places. I love summer snow-ball fights, those huge, scraggly peaks, and the magic they create. Thanks for the inspiration.
Marissa SuteraSeptember 12, 2015 at 9:29 am
Thanks Tara! It’s such a special place and unique all year round!
santafetravelerJuly 23, 2015 at 10:41 pm
Great photos- love that ride. Important to note- Trail Ridge Road is open from Memorial Day through the first snow that doesn’t melt off on it’s own- usually late September or early Oct. beyond Many Park Curve.
Marissa SuteraJuly 28, 2015 at 6:32 pm
Thank you! Yes, it’s always best to call or check their website to make sure the road is open. I managed to visit a week after it opened in the spring, which was an incredible time to be there!
Duke StewartJuly 21, 2015 at 1:38 am
Wonderful pictures, Marissa!
I’ve never been to RMNP but with views like those, who can resist a trip out there if in the area? You West people really have it made, huh? West Virginia has tons of parks but I’ll quietly say that there’s nothing like this. Thanks for sharing and I can’t wait to see what you’re up to in the next post!
Marissa SuteraJuly 23, 2015 at 3:41 pm
I have to say, I sure do love the west! RMNP is definitely worth a visit!