Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, USA
Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park – A UNESCO Treasure
In 1915 President Wilson put his official pen to paper to protect this mountainous wilderness. More than a century and a half later, in 1976, UNESCO designated Rocky Mountain National Park a World Biosphere Reserve. Woodrow Wilson’s forward thinking paid off. Rent your RV and explore this wildlife rich Colorado park with it’s tranquil lakes and stunning views. You may just get the feeling that you really are on top of the world.
Trail Ridge Road
Trail Ridge Road, often called the Highway to the Sky, winds some 11 miles through arctic tundra, a land of mini plants and abundant wildlife. The entire route is 48 miles long, starting in either Grand Lake or Estes Park. You start out in thick pine forests, watch as the trees get smaller and smaller and then you burst into the sunlight at the top of the world. Panoramic views reach as far as Wyoming and the beginnings of the Great Plains. Peak elevation on your journey is 12,183 feet.
Spotting various wildlife species while out and about just adds to your park experience. As as you travel along the park’s roadways you may come across an elk traffic jam, or bighorn sheep grazing along the road shoulders. Moose are found mostly near lakes and streams. Bears can be anywhere. Eagles and prairie falcons soar above the Trail Ridge Road. If you hike along the tundra you might spot ptarmigans, masters at camouflage.
Holzwarth Historic Site
From mid-June through the early part of September, tour the Holzwarth Historic Site, popular in the 1920’s. One of the oldest manmade tourism attractions in the park, this dude ranch is authentically restored. Tour the grounds and buildings and find out how travelers enjoyed the park nearly a century ago.
RV Camping in Rocky Mountain National Park
Five campgrounds are spread out within the park’s 415 square miles, four of them having RV campsites. Three of them, Aspenglen, Glacier Basin and Moraine Park, allow reservations for the summer season, roughly the end of May through the end of September. Longs Peak and Timber Creek Campgrounds are first-come, first-served at all times. Generators may be used during certain hours of the day; check your campground for times. Reservations are available through Recreation.gov.
RVs and tent campers share the campgrounds, sometimes in designated areas. No hook-ups are available in the park, and dump stations are not available at all campgrounds. It’s a great idea to empty your waste tanks and fill your fresh water tank, just in case. Several grocery stores are in nearby Estes Park.
Tucked in between a forest of mixed pine trees, you’ll enjoy a combination of sun and shade at Aspenglen. The 52 sites often fill up six months ahead of time and reservations are advised. This is a staffed summer campground, with firewood, ice and potable water available. The closest dump station is at the Moraine Park Campground. Maximum trailer or RV length is 30 feet.
Glacier Basin Campground
Also in a pine forest with a few Engelmann spruce thrown in, Glacier Basin Campground has 150 sites, with 73 of them tent only. This is also a summer only campground with onsite staff and amenities similar to Aspenglen, except it does have an onsite dump station. Maximum trailer or RV length is 35 feet.
Moraine Park Campground
Located off of Highway 36, near the Beaver Meadows Park Entrance, Moraine Park, open year-round, is the park’s largest campground. Having 244 sites, the campground designates 101 for tents only. RV sites can handle rigs up to 40 feet. The onsite dump station is open in summer, when the campground is staffed. Ice and firewood is available during the summer. Water is available year round, but only one spigot operates during the winter months.
Timber Creek Campground
Timber Creek Campground, on the western side of the park, has 98 first-come, first-served campsites that accommodate both RV and tent campers. The summer only campground is staffed, with firewood and water available, along with a seasonal dump station. Maximum RV or trailer length is 30 feet. There are few trees, and little shade at the campsites.