Take on the wilderness of the great Rocky Mountain National Park with AVA on our guided hiking trips. AVA’s guided Colorado hiking trips are a great way to make the most out of your trek in RMNP. Your guide will not only point out landmarks and lead the trail; they will also provide information on the ecosystem and history of Rocky Mountain National Park. Your AVA guide will also transport all the food needed for your meal(s) during your hike, prepare the food and, if you are joining us for an overnight, help you set up your camp for the incredible evening under the stars. Ready to lace up those hiking boots and hit the trails with AVA this summer? Check out all the guided hiking trips in Rocky Mountain National Park that we have to offer.
Rocky Mountain National Park is the pride and joy of the great state of Colorado. The park encompasses 415 square miles of protected national land in Colorado and is one of the largest national parks in the United States. Rocky Mountain National Park is home to 5 campgrounds with 585 campsites in total and averages around 3 million visitors each year. With around 355 miles of hiking trails, it’s easy to see why Rocky Mountain National Park has consistently been a top destination in North America.
The wildlife sighting opportunities in Rocky Mountain National Park are nothing short of spectacular. Hundreds of different species call RMNP their home, including moose, elk, deer, bighorn sheep, bears, foxes, cougars, bobcats, marmots, beavers, porcupines and more. In addition to the land residents, RMNP has an impressive spread of aquatic residents. With 450 miles of streams and 156 lakes, Rocky Mountain National Park is a haven for fishing aficionados, with 4 different specifies of trout among the other species of fish you can find in the waters of the park. More interested in our friends in the sky? Rocky Mountain National Park is a perfect destination for the ornithology extraordinaire! With over 282 species of birds known to inhabit or visit the park, you’ll have your eyes in the sky all day.
Rocky Mountain National Park is certainly an incredible spot for wildlife, but it also claims a landscape like no other. Over 100 peaks above 11,000 feet in altitude can be found in the park, including Longs Peak which summits at 14,259 feet. The park is open 365 days a year, making it a perfect venue for the outdoor adventurer. You can even explore the highest continuously paved highway in North America — Trail Ridge Road.
Grand Lake, also known as the “Western Gateway” to Rocky Mountain National Park, is a small town home to Colorado’s largest natural body of water. The lakeside town serves as a popular destination for those visiting RMNP and provides year-round recreation for all, including hiking, biking, fishing, sailing, snowmobiling, Nordic skiing and more. Your Rocky Mountain National Park hiking trip with AVA will meet in the town of Grand Lake, and we suggest leaving some time to explore this charming mountain town.
There are a number of great hiking trails in RMNP for those looking to spend up to a day hiking. The Emerald Lake Trail is one of the most popular day hikes in the park. This moderate, 3.1 mile out and back trail offers incredible views of alpine lakes and rocky peaks. The trailhead is located just a short drive from Estes Park and is open year-round.
Another popular day hike in Rocky Mountain National Park is the Mount Ida Trail near Grand Lake. This hike is another out and back with an elevation gain of 2,306 feet and a total distance of 9.3 miles. It’s popular among trail runners and birders in addition to hikers.
Looking for something a little easier? Cascade Falls is an easy hike with a mellow elevation gain of 675 over 7.4 miles. Another out and back trail, you’ll be rewarded with views of the incredible waterfall on this hike. Keep an eye out for our four-legged friends — horses!
The East Inlet Trail is another great day hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. This easy to moderate hike is 10.3 miles round-trip with an elevation gain of 1,692 feet. AVA offers a full day guided hike on the East Inlet Trail that includes lunch.
The Green Mountain-Onahu Creek Loop is a popular loop trail hike spanning 7.5 miles with a 1,300 foot elevation gain. This hike starts out with a gradual climb that leads to incredible meadows known for being popular wildlife sighting locations. Join AVA for this full day hike with lunch in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Summer in Rocky Mountain National Park promises incredible adventures, activities and sightings for all. The bulk of the park’s 3 million annual visitors will be making their trip during this time, so expect the occasional crowd. Summer brings the visitors, and it also brings the heat. During the day, temperatures will reach the 70s and 80s in the park, and afternoon thundershowers are not to be unexpected. As is Colorado’s nature, the evenings will cool down considerably, averaging in the 40s at night. During the summer, make sure you come prepared with your rain gear and, if you will be camping, enough layers and blankets to make the 40 degree evenings comfortable.
You may have heard stories of the fall colors in Colorado, as they are a simply breathtaking sight. Fall in Rocky Mountain National Park is no different. The abundance of aspens cover the park in autumn color, and the native wildlife begin preparing for the winter season with migrations. Temperatures will begin to cool, and, although not extremely common, you may see early season snow flurries. Fall is also your last chance until Memorial Day to drive the notorious Trail Ridge Road before it closes for the winter. Trail Ridge Road is a must-do at this time, as the elevation provides an almost birds-eye view of Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park.
Rocky Mountain National Park turns into a winter wonderland towards the end of each year. While the scenery is amazing, and the adventures are just as thrilling as in the summer, winter in Rocky Mountain National Park requires a bit more planning and preparation. Temperatures will often sit well below freezing, but, depending on what activity you are doing, you may still work up a sweat. If you’re snowshoeing through the park, plan to wear layers so you can shed as you warm up. Start with an insulating base layer and top it off with a waterproof coat. Remember that you will also be at a high elevation, so the sun will be even more harsh than elsewhere. Don’t forget to re-apply sunscreen and wear sunglasses.
While many of RMNP’s wildlife will venture to a lower elevation in the winter, you will still see some of the park’s larger residents, such as moose and elk, stick around even in the colder temperatures.
Spring is a great time to head to Rocky Mountain National Park, as the temperatures are cool, wildflowers are starting to make their presence known and the majority of the park’s 3 million annual visitors are planning their summer trip. If you plan to visit in the spring, expect the higher elevated areas to remain snow-packed despite the sunny and snow-free lower meadows. You’ll catch the park at an incredible time, as one section will show the signs of spring, while the other remains in a snowy state.
While you can expect warmer temperatures in the spring, they are not guaranteed. Temperatures will likely be in the 20s at night and reach up to the 60s during the day, but snow is not an uncommon spring sight. Prepare yourself for the variable temperatures with layers.
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