Rocky Mountain National Park in northern Colorado covers over 250,000 acres of beautiful wilderness. There’s plenty to discover in the park’s majestic mountains and awe-inspiring forests; prepare for a fun and safe trip with these tips for exploring Rocky Mountain National Park.
Drive a Reliable Vehicle
When there’s no snow or ice on the ground, you can navigate most of the roads in Rocky Mountain National Park with ordinary passenger vehicles. Find out the trail and park conditions for the time of year you plan to visit, then look at the reports again as the time of your trip draws nearer.
Many people find that renting a vehicle is a great option for getting around the park. One of the top reasons to rent a Jeep to explore the Rockies is that it’s a reliable vehicle with high ground clearance and four-wheel or all-wheel drive. If you’re going to bring any gear with you, such as skis, consider renting the vehicle with optional accessories.
Dress in Layers
The next tip for exploring Rocky Mountain National Park is to dress in layers to keep your body temperature stable and comfortable. Whether it’s hot or cold outside, a moisture-wicking base layer will prevent sweat from building up and giving you chills.
A sweatshirt or fleece jacket mid-layer will help trap warmth, and a waterproof windbreaker or heavy jacket will prevent rain or snow from seeping into your clothes. Keep your feet dry and comfortable with wool socks and boots in good condition.
Start Hikes Early in the Morning
Crowds of visitors can spoil your views and experiences in the park, so plan to start your hikes early in the morning to make the most of the solitude. In warmer months, starting out early can also save you from the afternoon heat.
When you’re out on the trail, be sure to follow trail etiquette. Give uphill hikers the right of way and move to the side if someone behind you is approaching and walking faster than you.
While some visitor centers have free Wi-Fi, prepare for no Wi-Fi for most of your trip—this is a critical point that people can overlook. Research the trails you want to visit before you go, and bring a map with you into the park.
Walk the trail at your own pace to avoid fatigue and injury. Be sure to dress appropriately and bring snacks with you on the trail.
Drink plenty of water and electrolyte-rich drinks, eat nutritious meals, and fuel up with healthy snacks. Snacks like trail mix, energy bars, dried fruit, and whole fruit that doesn’t require refrigeration are good options. When you feel great, you’ll enjoy your trip to this beautiful location even more.