The major mountain range in western North America offers stunning wildlife and natural wonders. The Rockies encompass spectacular mountain environments with rolling hills, jagged peaks, alpine lakes, rivers and waterfalls.
From June to mid-October you can take the scenic drive on the legendary Trail Ridge Road. Known appropriately as the Highway to the Sky, the highest paved road in the national park includes many overlooks to experience the subalpine and alpine landscapes. Stop at one of the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center, to get maps and information. The national park has over 480 km (298 miles) of hiking trails and 150 lakes with spectacular mountain environments.
Hike the Emerald Lake Trail or see the waterfalls in the Wild Basin and Glacier Gorge. Visit Bear Lake, one of the few places in the US where you can drive on a paved road right to an alpine lake. The Rocky Mountains are an important habitat for incredible array of wildlife. Admire the herds of elk, explore the Moraine Park Museum and stay a night in the historic, haunted Stanley Hotel. Fans of 'The Shining' will recognize the hotel as the setting for the creepy Stephen King novel.
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How to get there:
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Where to stay:
In Denver, 3* Hampton Inn Denver has a good price and good reviews. All 150 rooms offer free WiFi, premium bedding and LCD TVs with cable channels. Other amenities available to guests include coffee/tea makers, free newspapers and free local calls. A 24-hour fitness centre, a 24-hour business centre and coffee/tea in a common area are available at this hotel. Free buffet breakfast, free WiFi in public areas and free self parking are also provided. Additionally, a seasonal outdoor pool, a meeting room and laundry facilities are on-site.
In Aspen we recommend you to book Mountain Chalet Aspen. This top rated hotel offers a heated year-round outdoor pool and a bar. WiFi is provided. A free hot breakfast and a continental breakfast are served. Each room at Mountain Chalet Aspen provides a flat-screen TV, an iPod dock and a refrigerator. An en suite bathroom with a hairdryer is also included. Select rooms offer a balcony. At Aspen Mountain Chalet a hot tub and a sauna are available for guest relaxation. Other facilities offered at the property include free storage for ski equipment, a shared lounge and a games room. The property offers free parking. Mountain Chalet Aspen is 5 minutes’ walk from Little Nell Ski Lift. The hotel is 200 m from Aspen Mountain Ajax. Snowmass Ski Area is 20 minutes’ drive from Mountain Chalet Aspen.
The campgrounds in the Rocky Mountains are extremely popular in the summer high season, so be sure to make reservations or arrive early in the morning for the sites that are first come, first served. You can go camping in the Arapahoe National Recreation Area, Never Summer Wilderness, Indian Peaks Wilderness, Roosevelt National Forest, and Comanche Peak Wilderness.
What to do:
The Rockies are perfect for outdoor enthusiasts of all types, like skiers, hikers, climbers or mountain bikers. Hiking is the main attraction of Rocky Mountains, so make sure to come prepared with comfortable shoes. Keep in mind that trails at higher elevations may have some snow on them, even in late summer. The high-alpine terrain around Bear Lake is a popular hiking area. Longs Peak is also the ultimate adventure for enthusiastic hikers. Expert rock climbers as well as novices can try hundreds of classic and big wall climbs.
You can try camping, horseback riding, mountaineering, and bouldering. Rocky Mountains National Park is also a wonderful place to fish for trout.
Soak up some tranquility, enjoy the mountain landscapes and watch for wildlife. This area is home to thousands of elk, mule and white-tailed deer, marmots, bighorn sheep and mountain goats. You can also view moose, pronghorn, badgers, black bears, coyotes, lynxes, and wolverines.
Spring and summer, early in the morning, are the best times for bird-watching. You can spot broad-tailed hummingbirds, hairy woodpeckers, and ouzels. Lumpy Ridge in the Rocky Mountains National Park is a nesting ground for several kinds of birds of prey.
Raft down a river in the La Poudre River Canyon or Gore Canyon. La Poudre River and Colorado River offer numerous rafting opportunities a short distance from the Rocky Mountain National Park area.
Discover the remnants of the dinosaurs and the cultures that inhabited the area. Dinosaur Ridge is a famous natural landmark, which features famous Jurassic dinosaur bones, and Cretaceous dinosaur footprints.
Visit Estes Park and check out the establishments along the Elkhorn Avenue. The park is a fantastic basecamp for exploring Rocky Mountain National Park’s eastern side.
The American Mountaineering Museum offers interactive exhibits and high tech displays. You can cross a crevasse, pick your route up Everest, and follow the footsteps of famous climbers.
Head to the Snowy Range Scenic Byway, an extraordinary route that takes you past gorgeous alpine peaks.
Enjoy the majestic landscapes of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area.
Take the Mount Evans Scenic Byway, which is the highest paved road in North America.
Admire the Garden of the Gods Natural Landmark, visit Mesa Verde National Park or take the Pikes Peak Cog Railway for a scenic trip.
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