Rocky Mountain National Park Map
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National Geographic’s Trails Illustrated map of Rocky Mountain National Park delivers unmatched detail and valuable information to assist you in your exploration of this breathtaking wilderness. Whatever the season, you’ll find this map a useful tool in pursuing a host of recreational activities from camping and fishing to skiing and snowmobiling. Created in partnership with local land management agencies, this expertly researched map features key areas of interest including Trail Ridge Road, Longs Peak, Arapaho National Forest, Routt National Forest, Roosevelt National Forest, Never Summer Wilderness, Comanche Peak Wilderness, and the Continental Divide Trail.
The Rocky Mountain National Park map can guide you off the beaten path and back again with over 400 miles of mapped trails including hiking, horse, snowmobile, cross-country ski, ATV, and mountain bike trails. The map base includes contour lines and elevations for summits, passes, and major lakes. Many recreation features are noted as well, including campgrounds, trailheads, interpretive trails, boat launches, fishing access, and horse rental locations.
Every Trails Illustrated map is printed on “Backcountry Tough” waterproof, tear-resistant paper. A full UTM grid is printed on the map to aid with GPS navigation.
Region : Waterfalls And Backcountry
Region 5, known for waterfalls and backcountry, is south of Estes Park and contains Longs Peakthe park’s iconic fourteenerand the Wild Basin area. Other peaks and passes include Lily Mountain, Estes Cone, Twin Sisters, Boulder-Grand Pass, and Granite Pass. Eugenia Mine operated about the late-19th to early-20th century, with some old equipment and a log cabin remaining. Sites and trails include Boulder Field, Wild Basin Trail, and Homer Rouse Memorial Trail.
Enos Mills, the main figure behind the creation of Rocky Mountain National Park, enjoyed walking to Lily Lake from his nearby cabin. Wildflowers are common in the spring and early summer. In the winter, the trail around the lake is often suitable for walking in boots, or as a short snowshoe or ski. Other lakes in the Wild Basin include Chasm Lake, Snowbank Lake, Lion Lakes 1 and 2, Thunder Lake, Ouzel Lake, Finch Lake, Bluebird Lake, Pear Lake, and Sandbeach Lake. Many of the lakes have backcountry campsites. Waterfalls include Ouzel Falls, Trio Falls, Copeland Falls, and Calypso Cascades.
Rocky Mountain National Park Hours
Come rain, snow, or shine, Rocky Mountain National Park is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. However, depending on the weather and time of year, you may not be able to access all areas as certain facilities and roads are closed seasonally. So, its worth doing your research before setting off on your adventure to avoid disappointment.
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Best Hikes In Rocky Mountain National Park
With 355 miles of hiking trails, Rocky Mountain National Park is a go-to destination for backpackers and outdoor enthusiasts. Heres a list of 15 of our favorite hiking trails in and around the park:
Easy, perfect for families:
Rocky Mountain National Park Airbnb
If youd prefer not to go camping or stay in a hotel, theres always the option to stay in one of many incredible Airbnb properties based in or around Rocky Mountain National Park. Despite its small size, the charming town of Estes Park is one of the most popular areas to stay in an Airbnb. Estes Park has a huge variety of stunning accommodation options available whether youre on a budget or looking to immerse yourself in pure luxury!
Rocky Mountain National Park Timber Creek Campground
Timber Creek Campground is the only campground on the west side of the park. Located at 8900 feet along the Colorado River about eight miles north of the Grand Lake entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. A mountain pine beetle infestation caused most of the trees to be removed, so there is no shade at campsites. There is also a limit on vehicle length of no longer then 30ft allowed in Timber Creek Campground.
Timber Creek Camgpround contains single family tent-only sites, walk-to sites, and RV sites without hookups. There is no group camping at Rimber Creek Campground. If you are looking for a group site, please check Glacier Basin Camground located on the east side of the park located off of the Bear Lake Road. Each campsite is equipped with a picnic table, and fire ring with grate.
During the summer season, a dump station is located in the campground and is open for use to all campers. Additional dumpsters and recycling areas are scattered throughout the campground for the camper’s convenience.
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Technical Climbing Bivouac In Rmnp
The final backcountry camping experience that is possible in RMNP is for climbers needing to bivouac prior to/during a climb of one of the parks many climbing routes. The NPS defines a bivouac as an open air, temporary encampment. If youre not sure what a climbing bivvy is, it is probably not for you!
If you are looking to bivouac before climbing in RMNP, youll need to get a technical climbing wilderness permit. These limit group sizes to four climbers and have limits on the number of permits issued for various zones throughout the park.
Rocky Mountain National Park Wilderness Permits
Rocky Mountain National Parkâs 415 square miles encompass and protect spectacular mountain environments. The park provides exceptional access to wild places for visitors to recreate and experience solitude and outstanding scenic beauty. Roads and over 300 miles of trails bring visitors to the doorstep of a variety of wilderness-based recreational opportunities and ability to enjoy viewing wildflowers, wildlife, mountain scenery and starry nights.
Congress has set aside 95% of Rocky Mountain National Park as designated wilderness. Rocky Mountain National Park is managed in a way to preserve its wilderness character for future generations.
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Estes Park Campground At Marys Lake
Just like the name implies the campground is on the shore of Marys Lake. It is at 2120 Marys Lake Road south of Estes Park, Colorado. There are 128 sites and they have sites for tents and even big rigs! The campground is mostly sunny and provides awesome views of the surrounding area.
There is a dump station, hot showers, flush toilets, heated swimming pool, camp store, laundry and propane filling station. You can choose between standard full hookups with 50-amp or standard water and electric with 30-amp.
Each site has its own picnic table and fire ring so after a busy day you can enjoy a quiet meal. Firewood and ice are also available at the campground.
Besides all the activities that are available at Rocky Mountain National Park, you can enjoy the recreational activities that the Estes Park area offers from this location. A free shuttle provides service to Estes Park during the summer.
For more information about the campground call 970-577-1026. For a campground map to help you prepare for your visit go here.
Van Camping Life Tip: Your best chance to spot an elk is where the forest meets a field or in a field. The most popular viewing time for elk is during the fall rut.
The following campgrounds that I am going to highlight are all privately owned ones.
Rocky Mountain National Park Tours
From its vast array of wildlife to its breathtaking scenery, Rocky Mountain is the place to be if youre looking to head off the beaten path. For those ready for adventure, a guided tour is definitely the way to go. From Green Jeep Tours to horseback riding to rock climbing, and everything in between, theres something for everyone at Rocky Mountain. And with an experienced professional by your side, youll be left in the very best hands.
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Rocky Mountain National Park Basic Location And History
Established in 1915 by President Woodrow Wilson, Rocky Mountain National Park proved something of a boon to local communities, particularly the small town of Estes Park. During the Great Depression in the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps helped stich together a network of park roads and other infrastructure. Today, Rocky Mountain National Park covers some 250,000 acres located a short 70 miles from Downtown Denver. This proximity makes the park quite convenient as a daytrip or short overnight adventure from Denver, Boulder, or Fort Collins. Estes Park is the primary gateway into the parks eastern sections and a good place to stop for provisions if you need them. In addition to a smattering of dining and drinking options, there are a few art galleries specializing in works dedicated to Rocky Mountain imagery. Youll also find the smallish Fun City amusement park featuring a go-kart track, waterslides, and miniature golf. The Estes Park Aerial Tramway normally ferries visitors up to the top of nearby Prospect Peak for an impressive panoramic view however, the tram is not operating this season due to COVID-19.
Where To Get Supplies
Rocky Mountain National Park is well served on both the east and west side of the park. Youll have no problem getting anything and everything you could possibly need for your camping trip in the two adjacent towns, outlined below:
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A Definitive Guide To Camping When Visiting Colorados Most Popular National Park Rocky Mountain National Park
First, Ill talk about how to find and reserve the best campsites in the Park.
Then, Ill give you camping alternatives during the busy summer season.
Finally, well talk about wilder camping: backcountry, winter, and the ultimate adventure cliff camping.
Sound good? Lets dive right in
- Cliff Camping the ultimate camping adventure
Things you need to know to make your trip successful
Rocky Mountain National Park Campgrounds
The first step in planning your perfect camping trip in Rocky Mountain National Park is to understand a bit about the geography of the park. RMNP sits in the northern Front Range and is generally divided in half by the continental divide.
On the east side of the park, the main hub of activity is the town of Estes Park, while on the west side youll find Grand Lake. Connecting the east and west side of the park is Trail Ridge Road, a spectacular drive that is a highlight for many visitors RMNP trip.
Generally speaking, the east side of Rocky Mountain is more frequently visited, as it is much closer to Denver and the rest of the Front Range.
Youll find good camping options on both sides of the park, and weve generally broken down your options geographically so that you have a good sense of what is available depending on which part of the park you want to explore.
Check out the map below to get a general sense of where the developed campgrounds in Rocky Mountain National Park are located.
In addition to the overview map shown above weve also created an interactive map with all of the campgrounds included in this guide displayed.
Campgrounds with a green tent icon are the developed campgrounds within the park, the blue camper trailer icon represents RV campgrounds near the park, and finally the red tent icon represents car camping options near RMNP.
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Reserve A Slice Of Heaven
Get immersed in nature within Rocky Mountain National Parks more than 124 peaks, 150 lakes, forests, meadows and rivers. Five campgrounds and backcountry camping offer tent campers access to the mountain views, waterfalls and wildlife wonders at elevations exceeding 8,000 feet. Tent camping within this magnificent corner of the United States requires planning. Although the seasonal Timber Creek and Longs Peak campgrounds operate on a first-come, first-served basis, most park tent sites fill by reservation. Make reservations up to six months in advance to secure a spot at the seasonal Aspenglen, Glacier Basin campgrounds or the year-round Moraine Park walk-in tent sites. Visit Recreation.gov or call 444-6777 to stake claim to a campsite. More than 200 backcountry campsites are located throughout the park, many within a short hike from trailheads. Select a backcountry individual or group site from the wilderness campsite map on the park website. Backcountry permits are issued online beginning March 1 of the current year, or at the Beaver Meadows and Kawuneeche visitor centers. Backcountry tent campers are limited to three consecutive nights at one campsite. From June 1 through September 30, stays are limited to seven nights total throughout the park.
What To Bring Camping In Rocky Mountain National Park
Preparing for your Rocky Mountain National Park camping trip involves more than deciding which campground best fits your needs. There is also the important job of making sure you have all the right gear youll need to ensure a great trip.
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Ouzel Lake On The South Side
A 4.9-mile hike in, Ouzel Lake is located in Wild Basin, a more rugged area of Rocky Mountain National Park. It sits at 10,020 feet.
Along the way to the lake, you will pass Calypso Cascades and Ouzel Falls, popular destinations, but most people turn around at the falls, leaving the trail less crowded once you leave the falls behind. Wildlife are abundant here, so keep your eyes out, especially for moose. Youll also see a number of peaks, including Mount Meeker at 13,911.
Because of the distance required to get to Ouzel Lake, youll find few people and plenty of solitude once you set up camp. Park officials ask that you pitch your tent close to the indicated site out of potential hazards of standing dead trees. A maximum of 7 people are allowed at individual sites and 12 maximum at group sites. There is a privy at the backcountry campsite at Ouzel Lake.
If you spend two nights here, you can do a nice, strenuous day hike to Bluebird Lake, two miles and nearly 1,000 feet above you.
You need a permit to camp overnight in the backcountry, and you can reserve a permit in advance online at www.pay.gov/public/form/start/68498987, which is highly recommended, or pick one up at either of two backcountry offices in the park, beginning March 1 at 8 a.m. for the current calendar year. At Rocky Mountain National Park, you cannot fax or call in permit requests.
Be Prepared With Appropriate Gear:
Sleeping bag/tent with appropriate seasonal rating. Snow sealed or plastic boots. Stormgear, gaiters, cap, gloves etc. Sunglasses , sunscreen . Topographical map/compass. Supplies to purify all water. Rope for hanging all food. 40′ of rope and 2 stuff sacks. Camp stove. The “Essentials”. Signed permit . Dash tag required for each vehicle at the trailhead. Snowshoes or skis seasonally. Check upcoming weather before departure. Remember, conditions can change quickly! Backcountry Camping Rules and Regulations
A backcountry use permit is required for all overnight backcountry use and must be displayed on the outside of your pack while hiking to your campsite and on you tent at the campsite. The permit is valid only for the dates and camp areas listed. A displayed “dash tag” is required for overnight parking. Camp must be established on designated tent pads where provided or within 15′ of the metal arrowhead that marks the designated site. Use pit toilets where provided, otherwise dig a 6″ deep “cat-hole” at least 200′ from water, trails and campsites.
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Aspenglen Campground Takes Reservations
Open late May through late September, Aspenglen Campground is just west of the Fall River Entrance Station in a beautiful pine forest near Fall River. At 8,200 feet, you are that much closer to the canopy stars hanging above you at night- and all for $26 per night.
With 53 sites total accommodating tents and RVs up to 30 feet in length , this campground allows generators on the C Loop only from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. You can make reservations up to six months in advance online at www.recreation.gov or by calling 877-444-6777.
Because cell phones dont work here, get ready to truly disconnect from the rest of the world and immerse yourself into the wonders of the park. Just a short walk away lies Fall River Visitor Center and ranger-led evening programs are often offered in the summer.
Camping Near Rocky Mountain National Park
Given the popularity and scarcity of options, it is always possible that you wont be able to find a campground within Rocky Mountain National Park. However, dont give up as there are plentiful camping options just outside the National Park boundary!
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Rocky Mountain Topo Maps
Heres a Rocky small scale topographic map , zooming out to show almost the entire park and much of the surrounding region, such as the Indian Peaks to the south toward Brainerd Lakes.
This is a Bear Lake area topo map , focusing on the Continental Divide peaks and trails at the end of the Bear Lake Road to places like Glacier Gorge, Mills Lake, the Loch, and Emerald Lake.
The Longs Peak topo map includes the summit of Longs Peak and other popular locations such as Moraine Park. Note that things may have changed since this map was last updated in 1978.