If you are going to be in Colorado in the southwest USA, make sure to check out Rocky Mountain National Park. It is 415 square miles of incredible mountain beauty. There are tons of wildlife, plants and beautiful lakes and waterfalls. Nearly 250,000 acres of the land is designated as a preserve for the wildlife.
There was a push in the early 1900’s to protect the land from development and the Rocky Mountain National Park was officially formed in 1915. This is one of the highest elevation national parks in the country. One of the most-frequented areas is Trail Ridge Road. It is more than 12,000 feet at its peak, while even the lowest points of this national park are still around 7,700 feet above sea level. Even that altitude can take a toll on some, so exercise care when visiting.
There is something to do for everyone at Rocky Mountain National Park, including plenty of walking trails. If you like the snow, there are options for you to go snowshoeing, cross country skiing, sledding and tubing. During the warmer months, you can enjoy the natural beauty of the park with bicycling, hiking or even backcountry camping.
For the more laid back adventurer on a southwest national park tour, there are Ranger-led programs and scenic drives throughout Rocky Mountain National Park. Fishing and horseback riding may also be good choices for those looking for a slower pace to your visit.
Our favorite walk:
Timberline Falls, an 8.1-mile roundtrip hike
Why we love it:
It is packed with beautiful lake views and amazing waterfalls.
Be prepared for a serious hike; there is some rather difficult terrain to navigate. Make sure to look for the incredible view of The Loch in the distance just over halfway through the hike.