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Rocky Mountain National Park: Camping, Map & Entrance Permit 2020

Rocky Mountain National Park: Camping, Map & Entrance Permit 2020

TripBlog
Aug 20, 20203811

Few things symbolize the rugged adventurism central to the American psyche as well as the Rocky Mountains. The towering, snow-capped peaks run for thousands of miles across the United States and Canada, forming the backbone of North America. If asked to select a single destination where it’s possible to explore the Rocky Mountains in all their majestic glory, one would be hard-pressed to do better than Colorado. Fully 78 of the 100 highest peaks are located here, including the 30 highest.

Table of Contents

Rocky Mountain National Park Basic Location and History
Accessing Rocky Mountain National Park
What to Once Inside RMNP
Tips for Staying Safe from COVID-19
Great Daytrips around Rocky Mountain National Park
Parting Thoughts: Check the Webcams

Rocky Mountain National Park: Camping, Map & Entrance Permit 2020

In this guide we profile Northcentral Colorado and Rocky Mountain National Park. A UNESCO-designated World Biosphere Reserve, Rocky Mountain National Park contains a multitude of species, scenic hiking trails, river recreation, phenomenal camping, and more. Particularly now when safe and affordable vacation destinations are scarce, you’ll find the wide-open spaces a welcome relief from months of pent-up coronavirus-induced frustrations. Come along as we explore Rocky Mountain National Park.

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 park’s 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. You’ll 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.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Camping, Map & Entrance Permit 2020

Accessing Rocky Mountain National Park

Heading out from Estes Park on either US-34 or US-36 will take you into the park via the Fall River Visitor Center or the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center, respectively. Beaver Meadows is normally open year-round and serves as the park headquarters. The most important thing to keep in mind this year is that the National Park Service has instituted a system of “timed-entry permits” to manage the number of visitors and protect public health during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. To access the park you will need BOTH an entrance pass and a timed-entry permit. Passes are available for purchase at all staffed park entrance stations and cost between $15 and $25 depending on whether you arrive on foot or in a vehicle.

To obtain a timed-entry permit, you must apply online at Recreation.gov. Entrance passes and timed-entry permits are REQUIRED to enter ALL areas of Rocky Mountain National Park between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., including along US-34 (Trail Ridge Road). Reservations for timed-entry permits are available through at least August 31, 2020. The permit provides you with a two hour window of opportunity to enter the park and you may only enter the park during your reserved time slot. Once inside, however, you can remain as long as you wish. A comprehensive list of frequently asked questions is available on the park website.

What to Once Inside RMNP

Rocky Mountain National Park’s central attraction are, of course, the Rocky Mountain peaks themselves. Longs Peak is the highest, topping out at 14,258 ft. Other peaks are clustered throughout the park and can be grouped together by connecting trail systems. Most people will spend a significant portion of their stay on the trails. As you’re considering where to go and what to see, it’s helpful to keep in mind the park’s five main regions. They each have their own draw whether it’s the large meadows and chance to see moose and other game in Region 1, hiking the Alpine tundra in Region 2, losing yourself in the vast isolated wilderness areas in Region 3, sticking close to the heart of the park in Region 4, or going backcountry in Region 5.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Camping, Map & Entrance Permit 2020

Needless to say, many people are attracted to Region 4 for the convenience and accessibility. Among the most popular hikes in this area is the Bear Lake Loop. This flat, circuitous route takes visitors around scenic Bear Lake. Another alternative is the hike to Dream Lake. You’ll gain roughly 425 ft. over the course of 1.1 miles and be rewarded with spectacular views and a great photography spot in both summer and winter. Those looking forward to glimpsing amazing wildlife might opt for Region 1 on the park’s west side. The Colorado River Trailhead will give you plenty to write home about, offering something of a moose and meadows tour. Venturing here is richly rewarding, especially for families.

Tips for Staying Safe from COVID-19

If you’re planning a visit to Rocky Mountain National Park this season, make sure you help do you part to fight COVID-19. Though it may seem like you’re out there away from everyone and everything, it is imperative you recreate safely and responsibly. First and foremost, if you have reason to believe you or someone you’re traveling with have been exposed to COVID-19, please please opt instead to delay your trip until you can get tested or wait out the incubation period. Once you arrive, you will inevitably come into contact with other visitors, park staff, local people, and more. When you do, maintain appropriate physical distancing and wear a mask. CDC guidelines and the National Park Service recommend wearing a mask anytime you’re in public facilities such as restrooms, visitor centers, or on in-park public transportation. Make sure you pack an alcohol-based hand sanitizer for use when you’re away from facilities with running water. As you’re hiking between areas or along the trails, do not leave anything behind. If you take it in, bring it out. Finally, also make sure you know your own physical limits. Rocky Mountain National Park features myriad places where thrill-seeking visitors eager for an Instagram photo or Trip Moment stray just a bit too far. The last thing you need is to finish your vacation injured or worse. Know your limits and stay within them. These sensible guidelines will help you enjoy the beauty on offer in the Rocky Mountains while protecting yourself and others from danger. Remember, we’ll all in this together.

Great Daytrips around Rocky Mountain National Park

This part of Colorado offers an outstanding array of places to visit. Nearby Boulder is a case-in-point. Grab yourself a cup of excellent coffee and head out to explore the local arts scene. The Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art showcases talent from around the region. Downtown Boulder also features a host of smaller galleries to explore. A hot air balloon ride will get you above the trees and afford some perspective and might help you spot a great local restaurant or two.

If you’re exploring the region as part of a road trip, you’ll no doubt pass through Denver at some point. From there you can use I-70 to reach the mountains and visit the famed resort towns of Aspen, Crested Butte, Breckenridge, and Vail. Less busy in the summer, these towns are every bit as gorgeous as road trip destinations. Of course Denver itself is replete with great attractions like the Denver Zoo and Denver Botanic Gardens. Stop at the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum or just stroll along the South Platte River downtown.

A bit further south is Colorado Springs and the always popular Great Wolf Lodge waterpark. Make sure to call ahead to check operating hours, which may change depending on state and local health and safety regulations. Great Wolf Lodge has worked to implement a robust system for protecting visitors and letting families enjoy themselves. At the time of writing, Great Wolf Lodge was scheduled to be closed through July 29, 202o, as part of ongoing regional effort to prevent COVID-19.

Parting Thoughts: Check the Webcams

Rocky Mountain National Park and greater Central Colorado are a recreation lover’s dream. An ideal spot for a vacation, there are literally dozens of ways to find excitement and adventure here. One protip for determining your plans is to make use of the Rocky Mountain National Park webcams. The National Park Service operates several webcams throughout the park. These provide accurate information about trail conditions, sightseeing opportunities, and can be downright fun to watch from time to time. Links to the various cams are found on the park website. Incorporate them into your planning and it will help make your own adventure that much better.

With miles and miles of wide open spaces and outstanding natural wonder, Rocky Mountain National Park can easily be the centerpiece of your upcoming vacation. The brief introduction offered here only scratches the surface of what’s on offer. Dig into local resources and discover even more things to do and see. As we’re all struggling to find ways to enjoy ourselves amid the ongoing reality of life with new coronavirus, the great outdoors and America’s national parks are arguably the perfect place to reconnect with yourself and discover all there is to see and do in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Truly this is a region like few others anywhere on Earth. Come answer the call of the wild and experience the adventure of a lifetime.

Disclaimer: This article has been used directly from the Qingqi Qiu Platform, the copyright belongs to the original author. If there is any discrepancy with the copyright please contact us directly and we will immediately delete the content.Index for Network Information Infringement Protection
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