Rocky Mountain National Park
I frequently read and contribute to Lonely Planet’s “Thorn Tree” forum, and often asked questions are from Colorado bound travelers regarding places to hike in Rocky Mountain National Park.
My recent hike in October proves it’s one of the best months to visit. Crowds are few, the air is cool and comfortable, and the aspen trees are at their color-changin’ best.
RMNP is about 80 miles from Denver. From downtown Denver Google maps routes it up highway 36, through Boulder, but a faster way to drive is up interstate 25 to highway 66 then west through the small town of Lyons, and take highway 7. (Quickest access to the Wild Basin trails described below).
If traveling to Estes Park take interstate 25 to highway 34, then west through Loveland.
Hiking trails of all skill levels can be found at the Wild Basin trailhead, from a simple stroll to some nearby cascades, to overnight camping, (via longer hikes), at the remote lakes.
Because it’s a national park the entrance fee is $20 per car. During the summer arrive early, as parking spots fill up fast. The lower trails can be busy, but of course the further back into the park you go the more sparse seeing other hikers becomes.
Compared to most trails in Colorado RNMP is marked extremely well. Around the lower portions of most trails the paths are wide. Steep inclines are “stepped” with railroad ties, and it’s almost impossible to get lost.
More hiking trails here