Rocky Mountain National Park is a wonderful place for hiking, camping, and sightseeing. It features towering mountains, dramatic landscapes, alpine tundra, and LOTS of wildlife. RMNP is in northern Colorado between Estes Park and Grand Lake. It’s one of two national parks in Colorado and one of the most visited national parks in the United States.
Rocky Mountain National Park F.A.Q.
What do I need to enter the park?
You must bring a valid US National Park Pass or pay the entrance fee at the gate to enter. Whether you use a pass or pay the fee, it will cover everyone in a single car.
Additionally, a timed-entry permit is required from May 26th to October 22nd in 2023. Make sure to get one with Bear Lake Road Corridor access if you want to visit that park section. This helps prevent overcrowding in this popular area.
How does the timed-entry permit system work?
Timed-entry permits are required to enter the park from late spring to mid-fall. The exact dates for 2023 are May 26th to October 22nd.
To get your timed-entry permits, visit the recreation.gov website. Make sure to get one with Bear Lake Road Corridor access if you want to visit that section of the park. You’ll select a two-hour window from the available dates. You MUST enter the park during your chosen time frame.
Timed-entry permits sell out FAST. I highly recommend getting yours as soon as possible. If you’re reserving one later in the season, you may need to purchase your tickets as soon as they open. I’ve seen them sell out in as little as 30 seconds for next-day reservations.
Where can I find a map of the park?
You can get official RMNP maps here on the National Parks Service website. An interactive map plus pdf downloads are available for the entire park and specific regions. I recommend always having a map on you in the park because cellular service is spotty.
How long is the drive from Denver to Rocky Mountain National Park?
The drive to RMNP’s east entrance from Denver takes 1.5 hours. More when traffic is bad. To get there, you’ll drive north along the foothills. Beaver Meadows, the east entrance, is in Estes Park.
If you’d rather go through the west entrance in Grand Lake, the drive will take at least two hours. This could be a good option if you want to drive Trail Ridge Road but not Old Fall River Road, hike a trail on the west side, or visit Grand Lake first.
Is there lodging in the park?
Rocky Mountain National Park does not have public lodging. However, there are several sites throughout the park for tent and RV camping. If you’d like to stay in a hotel or vacation home, I recommend looking at what’s available in Estes Park and Grand Lake.