Rocky Mountain National Park has over 300 miles of hiking trails, and the famous Trail Ridge Road peaks at 12,000 feet. With the right gear and a little planning, you’ll see nature like you’ve never seen it before.
Planning your backpacking trip in Rocky Mountain National Park
Over 4.1 million people visited Rocky Mountain National Park in 2015, and more are expected to visit this year. If you want a little solitude as you hike the 12,000 feet to the top of Trail Ridge Road, you’re going to have to be a little stealthy, and you’ll most likely have to get up early.
Tips for beating the crowds at Rocky Mountain National Park
Here are a few tips to help you beat the crowds and get a little one-on-one time with nature.
Get up early – Parking lots, visitor centers, and trails are busiest between the hours of 10 AM and 3 PM. Ironically, those are also the times that the National Cancer Society tells you to stay out of the sun, so hitting the trails early will help you beat the crowds and skin cancer! Alternatively, you can wait until later in the afternoon and catch a sunset on the trails. Whatever time you show up, you’re going to see an abundance of wildlife, nature, breathtaking views, and jaw-dropping sceneries.
Don’t use the east entrance – 80% of visitors enter through the east entrance, also known as Beaver Meadows Entrance! It almost feels like cheating, but it’s totally okay to use the Wild Basin Entrance Station to the south, the Fall River Entrance Station to the north, or the Grand Lake Entrance Station to the west. Whichever entrance you decide to use, when you see a ranger, volunteer, or employee of the National Park Service, be sure to wish them a happy 100th birthday!
Bring the right hiking and camping gear – Whether you’re here for a day or a week, make sure you bring the right gear. The right backpack can improve any hike, and the right camping gear can help you sleep comfortably, protected against the elements.
Denver outdoor store
Rent, buy, or try quality backpacks and camping gear at Outdoors Geek in Denver, Colorado. We also offer super lightweight backpacking packages for up to four people.