Visiting Rocky Mountain National Park in an RV

Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the iconic destinations for Colorado-bound RVers. Ethan Welty/Aurora/Getty Images

It’s known that Colorado is a great destination for  RVers. The landscape is filled with everything from rugged mountains to forests and even sand dunes. Colorado also contains four National Parks among this terrain. Each one has its own unique qualities, but it could be argued that the gem of the Colorado park system is found at Rocky Mountain National Park.

Let’s look at Rocky Mountain National including a brief history, places to go, things to do, where to stay and the best time to visit.

A History of Rocky Mountain National Park

The area that would become known as Rocky Mountain National Park has actually been inhabited for around 11,000 years by early Native American settlers. Around the mid-19th century, American frontiersman reached the area of what would later become Estes Park and began grabbing large chunks of land to settle for mining, farming, and hunting.

A young boy named Enos Mill moved to Estes Park when he was 14 and fell in love with the area. This passion stayed with him throughout his life and Mill along with Denver lawyer James Grafton Rodgers advocated for protecting the area. Eventually, their advocating found results and the area known as Rocky Mountain National Park was signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson on January 26, 1915. The park is currently compromised of 265,000 acres along the Continental Divide on the Rocky Mountains’ Front Range.

Things to Do at Rocky Mountain National Park

Things to see and do in Rocky Mountain National Park have remained unchanged in the park's 100-year history.With 355 miles of trails, there are many paths to explore.The hikes take on many forms from beginner strolls around alpine lakes to tackling the 14,259' beast known as Longs Peak. Some of the more popular areas to hike and sight see include the Coyote Valley Trail in the Kauneechee Valley, Bear Lake, and Lily Lake. Those who prefer to drive have a few great options in Trail Ridge Road and Old Fall River Road.

These areas are chock full of great wildlife viewing, it’s not uncommon to spot mule deer, moose, elk and even bears in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Other popular activities at the park include fishing on the park’s lakes, mountaineering, kayaking or rafting down the Colorado River, going on ranger guided tours, backpacking and horseback riding. Rocky Mountain National Park definitely has something for the rugged outdoorsman in us all.

Where to Stay in Rocky Mountain National Park

Taking your RV straight into Rocky Mountain National Park is not the best idea as there are no grounds with utility hookups and grounds that do allow RVs have different size restrictions. Luckily the resort town of Estes Park is full of great RV parks including the Manor RV Park.

Best Time to Visit Rocky Mountain National Park

Like most National Parks, the prime time for most people to visit Rocky Mountain National is during the summer. If you want to avoid the summer crowds your best bet is to try Rocky Mountain during the shoulder seasons of spring and fall, spring especially. We say spring, especially because while temperatures are cool, they are definitely bearable. You also have the added bonus of wildflowers, some of the best wildlife viewing and many ski resorts around the area are still open all the way until late spring.

There are many different reasons to visit Colorado and with plenty of fun outdoor activities, sprawling mountain views and convenient nearby RV parks, visiting Rocky Mountain National Park should be at the top of your list.