I went back to Rocky Mountain National Park!  And this time I knew what to expect.  It was the end of November, and we were on our way back to Utah, then Wyoming for the winter.  The Rockies were our last exciting stop before starting work again.  We set off from Fort Collins with mountains on our mind.

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The day before we got there was the day that a lot of the roads closed for the winter.  The main road closed at the Many Parks Curve.  The turnoff to Bear Lake was in the open part, but we didn’t go down there at all this trip.  There was another road branching off that was still open, but we stuck to the main one for this trip.

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We stopped at a few overlooks on our way up, and a few others on our way down.  It was pretty chilly, and like usual, we weren’t totally prepared for it.  That didn’t stop us from wandering around and running to little creeks and back before we froze.  It was our first taste of snow for the season and I was excited.  Who know’s how long that will last, though.

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I have to say, it was a perfect day to be there, weather aside.  The roads were fine, a little snowy, but noting Meredith (my Smart car) couldn’t handle.  There were people, but it wasn’t crazy busy.  Even Estes Park wasn’t very busy, which it probably isn’t usually in the winter, but I’ve mostly only seen it busy.  I’d say November is a good time to visit the park.  If it’s early in the month, you can probably do more hiking and drive further into the park.

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I definitely need to go back here in the summer and actually hike and see the lakes and hopefully more wildlife.  All I’ve seen here are elk, and a lot of them.  This park has so much to offer and I’ve barely seen any of it.  The hiking really looks awesome and hopefully I’ll make it back next summer.

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Helpful things:

  • Entrance fees are $20 per vehicle for a one day pass or $30 for a 7 day pass.  You can also purchase the America the Beautiful pass for $80.  I would recommend that if you plan on going to a few parks.  It’s totally worth it.
  • The main road closes in late November for the winter, opening back up in the spring, but there is still plenty to do.
  • You can probably (but not definitely, they are wild animals) see Elk near the visitors center.  That’s where I saw them both times.
  • Make a little time to wander around the shops of Estes Park, too.  Just an evening would be enough.

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Have you been to Rocky Mountain National Park?  What did you think of it?  What did you do there?  Do you want to go?