Rocky Mountain National Park encompasses 265,461 acres and was the 8th US national park (established in 1915 by President Woodrow Wilson). The park was designated a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, COLORADO
High point of the climb, 12,144’
Garmin has a different opinion . . .
Traversing Rocky Mountain National Park, and offering spectacular views along the giant switchbacks 20 miles below a summit that tops out at a whopping 12,000', Trail Ridge Road is the highest continuous paved road in the United States. Trail Ridge is also the second longest bike climb in the U.S. and the fifth longest in the world.
The road passes the Continental Divide at Milner Pass (elevation 10,758’), about 8.9 miles down Trail Ridge Road after cresting the summit of our climb.
SOME GREAT HIKES IN ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
(OFF OF OR VERY NEAR THE CYCLING ROUTE)
Mount Ida, 9.6 miles roundtrip, gain 2,465’ to 12,889’. A strenuous hike
Photo: All Trails
Ypsilon Lake Trail, 8.1 miles roundtrip, gaining 2,352’’ to 10,760. A strenuous hike.
Photo: All Trails
Mummy Mountain Trail (Mummy Mania)
Photo and description: Matt and Allison Doing Dangerous Deeds -- we think so!
This is likely the most challenging “day” hike in the park.
Good hiking resources for the park include the following:
HOW TO GET AROUND IN ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
Of course our first choice is always by bicycle. However, most of the millions of visitors to the park get around in motor vehicles. There is also a free shuttle that runs from about May to October.
WHERE TO STAY WHEN VISITING ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
We haven’t stayed in Estes, but we ate there and, yep, worth it!
The place to stay when cycling (and hiking the trails near the cycling route) is hands down Estes Park. This is a moderately sized resort town of about 6,000 people that acts as headquarters to Rocky Mountain National Park. It is the closest town to the park’s eastern border.