Park Chaser’s Best of Rocky Mountain National Park

On January 26th Rocky Mountain National Park will celebrate it’s Founder’s Day. For more than 100 years, visitors have come to Rocky Mountain for majestic peaks and spectacular wildlife. In honor of the park’s birthday, we’re sharing a collection of our Best of Rocky Mountain National Park posts. We hope it’s your one-stop spot for planning an upcoming trip to Colorado and one of our favorite parks.

So what’s on our list? Wildlife. Lots and lots of wildlife. Some of our closest encounters with elk were in this park. We’re also big fans of the hiking trails and the scenic drives.

Best of Rocky Mountain National Park logo with three images of the park.

Park Chaser’s Best of Rocky Mountain National Park

3 Places to See Elk in Rocky Mountain National Park

We spent hours and hours in the Moraine Park area with a pair of binoculars. Elk are everywhere here in the fall. In September, the gateway town of Estes Park hosts “Elkfest” when thousands of visitors come to see elk at the height of mating season.

Fall Hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park

Our 2016 visit to Rocky Mountain was just before the water shut off in the campground. The aspen trees were brilliant yellow and the mornings were crisp and cool. We love hiking in this park, but especially in fall.


Hiking Rocky Mountain National Park: The Loch Vale Trail

A photograph of the Loch Vale Trail hangs in our upstairs hallway. It’s one of our favorite hikes of all time. Departing from the Bear Lake Trailhead with lots of other visitors, the crowd quickly thinned out. By the time we reached Loch Vale, we had a private lunch on the lake and enjoyed an afternoon at one of the more ‘hidden’ spots in Rocky.

Hiking Rocky Mountain National Park: The Fern Lake Trail

On our last morning in the park we hiked The Fern Lake Trail. An easy, relatively flat hike that left from the campground, the trail connects to some of the best multi-day hiking trails in the park. We recommend it for everyone in your group, including kids. There are plenty of vistas along The Big Thompson River to stop, or hike all the way to Fern Falls.

Camping in Rocky Mountain National Park: The Moraine Park Campground

We stayed in the Moraine Park Campground during our visit to Rocky Mountain. It was the only campground that was reservable (and had running water) that late in the fall season. We loved how the elk wandered right past our tent and how close the trailheads were from our campsite.

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Great National Park Drives: Trail Ridge Road

One of the most popular roads in Rocky Mountain National Park is Trail Ridge Road. It cuts the park nearly in half west-to-east and serves as the only way to reach the Alpine Visitor’s Center. It sits at the highest elevation of all the visitor’s centers in the National Park Service.

More “Best Of” Park Lists

If you found this list helpful we’ve also put together “Best of” lists for these national parks:

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