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Plan Ahead for a More Enjoyable Visit to RMNP

The days are getting longer, the temperature is getting warmer and the kids are out of school. That can only mean one thing – it’s summertime! It’s time to pack the suitcases and the kids into the car and head west to Rocky Mountain National Park. In 2018, the park had over 4.5 million visitors, which was a 3.5 percent increase over visitation in 2017. To insure your family has the most enjoyable experience, we’ve compiled a few tips and tricks to help you plan ahead.

Rocky Mountain National Park is the busiest during the summer and fall weekends so traffic is to be expected. To avoid the long lines, full parking lots, and congested roads, we suggest carpooling and taking the free park shuttle. The trails are also quite busy during this season, so planning your hike early in the morning or later in the evening is your best bet to avoid a good amount of foot traffic and full parking lots at the trailheads.

It’s important to check the weather forecast before you arrive, allowing you to better plan your day and your destinations. If your plan is to hike later into the evening, it is critical that you know the weather forecast for the elevation of your destination. If you happen to have any questions, there are five visitor centers that are open during the summer months full of people who are more than willing to help!

If you’re in search of a more structured visit, the park does offer ranger led programs. These include walks and talks and programs on wildlife. Special evening programs at the campground and the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center are also available. These interactive talks are a great opportunity for all ages to learn about animals, lakes, flowers, geology, history and so much more!

For further information about Rocky Mountain National Park, please call the park’s Information Office at (970) 586-1206 or visit the park website at

About The Author

Kate Gillum is an Indiana native, spending her summer at YMCA of the Rockies as a marketing intern. In her free time she enjoys spending time with friends and family, eating ice cream, binge watching FRIENDS on Netflix and enjoying the outdoors.

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