The Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado offers a beautiful location for a family vacation or an exciting challenge for sports enthusiasts. Many visitors begin their Park experience with a scenic drive on the Trail Ridge Road from Estes Park. The beautiful scenery may seem familiar from "The Shining" starring Jack Nicholson. The route offers many stops for viewing or trailheads, and herds of elk and the gorgeous changing of the leaves can be seen along the way.
Inside the Park
Guests can enjoy camping, picnics, and seeing a variety of wildlife including moose, bighorn sheep, mule deer and marmots. The seven Visitor Centers around the park offers many free programs and guides to help tourists fully appreciate the beautiful landscape, including free Ranger-led tours, Night Sky and Astronomy programs, and a short film "Spirit of the Mountains" to give an overview of the park.
The Park has designated areas for fishing, hiking, biking, and climbing possibilities from bouldering to multi-day big wall experiences. There are dozens of trails to choose from, that range in difficulty from easy to strenuous, for every level of physical ability. Equestrians can enjoy a variety of trails with horses available from the Park's Glacier Creek andMoraine Park Stables, or from several stables outside the park.
In winter time, the west side of the Park offers sufficient snow cover to make trails and slopes available for cross-country skiing and snow shoeing, but visitors should note that there are no ski lifts in the park and will need equipment to ascend and descend the mountainous terrain.
Beyond The Park
For families, the Tiny Town Miniature Golf, in nearby Estes Park, offers a fun and inexpensive entertainment. With 19 holes, a friendly staff and a chance to win a free game, this course has been a local and tourists favorite for years.
The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory offers a sweet treat after a long physical day. Famous for attracting a local beer to repeatedly break in, this favorite stop for tourists and locals offers delicious chocolate candy and desserts, including fresh chocolate covered apples.
The Snowy Peaks Winery carries hand-crafted wines made with Colorado grape and features a tasting room, gift shop, and gourmet food, as well as a playroom and a selection of juices for kids.
The Affinity Massage & Wellness Center offers relaxing massages and other body treatments at reasonable prices after a long day of hiking, biking or riding through the park.