Your Denver to Rocky Mountain National Park Scenic Loop road trip is a driving tour that is routed between the cities of Denver, CO, and Winter Park, CO. The Rocky Mountain National Park Scenic Loop travels directly through Rocky Mountain National Park from the city of Estes Park and then on to Winter Park. Trail Ridge Road is located in Rocky Mountain National Park and has a number of scenic viewpoints, including the Forest Canyon Overlook, Rainbow Curve Overlook, and Medicine Bow Curve Overlook. You can access multiple hiking trails from Trail Ridge Road, and the Alpine Visitor Center has information and refreshments. Once past the national park, you can stop at Grand Lake, the largest natural lake in Colorado, and then continue on to Granby.
Rocky Mountain National Park
As you travel along this Denver to Rocky Mountain National Park Loop road trip, you will pass directly through Rocky Mountain National Park. This park is a crown jewel of the national park system and features a diverse ecological landscape and a portion of the Continental Divide. The park contains mountains, forests, alpine tundra, and subalpine tundra. There are more than 100 mountains with an elevation above 11,000 feet. Longs Peak is one of the "fourteeners" of Colorado, which are mountains more than 14,000 feet high in elevation. At 14,259 feet, Longs Peak is the highest peak in the park, and visitors often use the Keyhole Route, a popular but technically challenging climbing trail, to reach the summit. Part of your route will take place on Trail Ridge Road, which is the highest paved road in the U.S. While in the park, you may see elk, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, marmots, and mule deer.
White Sands National Park
White Sands National Park contains 115 acres of a 275-acre gypsum sand dune field in the Chihuahuan Desert. This dune field is the largest gypsum field in the world, and it is still growing. At first glance, this amazing expanse of white sand appears devoid of life, but a closer look will reveal an amazing number of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and insects. There are more than 800 species of animals, including kangaroo rats, Apache pocket mice, roadrunners, kit foxes, burrowing owls, mockingbirds, beetles, frogs, and more. The park is the only home of the White Sands pupfish, a small and chunky fish that is found in four populations within the park. Sledding on the white sand is a favorite activity, and visitors also spend time camping, hiking, bicycling, and driving through the dunes. There are five hiking trails, and Dunes Drive is a scenic eight-mile road that begins at the visitor center and continues on through the dunes.
Lake Pueblo State Park
Lake Pueblo is a large man-made reservoir located in Lake Pueblo State Park. Everyone will enjoy the multiple water-based activities that are available on your road trip from Denver to the Rocky Mountain National Park Loop, such as boating, sailing, tubing, paddling, and water-skiing. There are two full-service marinas with boat ramps. The park is 10,000 acres and contains 60 miles of shoreline, and you can catch a great view of the Arkansas River from the dam above. There are several hiking trails that pass through stands of 200-year-old junipers and afford plenty of opportunities to see Pikes Peak, the Wet Mountains, and the Greenhorn Mountains.
Staunton State Park
Staunton State Park is only 40 miles southwest of Denver, and it provides a varied landscape of granite cliffs that reach upwards of 10,000 feet in elevation, green meadows, watersheds, and varying types of trees. The upper montane forests contain stands of lodgepole pine, limber pine, Englemann spruce, Douglas fir, and aspen. There are many hiking trails of different lengths and difficulty levels, and one of the newest trails is a 12-mile loop that leads to the formerly inaccessible Elk Falls. This beautiful 75-foot waterfall was previously only viewable from a distant scenic overlook. The park is home to a resident elk herd, and visitors may catch glimpses of red foxes, coyotes, Abert's squirrels, bobcats, black bears, mountain lions, and other animals.
Eldorado Canyon State Park
Eldorado Canyon State Park is best known for having more than 500 rock climbing routes on "Eldo's" golden cliffs, which climbers from around the world visit to test their skills. The park is home to sandstone cliffs, meadows, and waterways, and canyon wrens, white-throated swifts, and violet-green swallows nest on the sandstone cliffs. Adding this state park to your road trip itinerary from Denver to the Rocky Mountain National Park Loop is a fun option. Besides rock climbing, popular activities include hiking, fishing, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.
Pikes Peak is one of the most popular destinations in Colorado, and it can easily be added to your Denver to the Rocky Mountain National Park Loop RV road trip. The peak towers 14,115 feet above sea level and is one of Colorado's 58 fourteeners. This iconic symbol is known as "America's Mountain," and it is the inspiration for the song "America the Beautiful." There are several ways to access the summit, like riding the cog railway, driving up Pikes Peak Highway, or hiking up one of the trails. One of the most traveled hiking trails is the Barr Trail, which is a 13-mile hike that ascends 8,000 feet to the summit.
Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods is located in Colorado Springs and is a fun excursion for all. You will see more than 1,300 acres of red sandstone rock formations within this National Natural Landmark, some of which reach more than 300 feet high. Visitors are treated to views of Pikes Peak from several vantage points, including the terraces outside the visitor center. There are 15 miles of hiking trails, including the Perkins Central Garden Trail, which is a 1.5-mile path. Visitors can take electric bike tours and mountain bike on various multi-use paths. There are guided horseback riding and jeep tours. There are also rock climbing opportunities.
Estes Park Aerial Tramway
You will be rewarded with stunning views of Prospect Mountain, Longs Peak, the Continental Divide, the town of Estes Park, and the Rocky Mountains by taking the Estes Park Aerial Tram. This European-style cable car is one of the few of its kind existing in the U.S. The tram does not use towers to support the cables but instead travels along a free-standing span of wires that are attached to top and bottom stations. Climbing to a height of 8,700 feet at the summit of Prospect Mountain, the tram offers access to family-friendly hiking trails.
The municipality of Longmont is in the Denver greater community but has its own personality. The town is known for its strong agricultural history, and you can enjoy many farm-to-table events around the community, such as eating dinners at local farms, visiting the Farmers Market, and touring the Agricultural Heritage Center. The Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy offers tours, and there are several places where you can learn how to make cheese. Dump stations are easy to access around Longmont if you need one for your RV. Spruce Lake RV Resort is near Estes Park and offers plenty of places and activities for your family to enjoy, like a playground and a miniature golf course.
Estes Park, Colorado
Estes Park is next to Rocky Mountain National Park and is a main access point for the park. However, the city itself is a great place to visit in its own right. Here you will find guided tours, shopping, rustic and glamorous lodging, and tasty food. If you are in need of a dump station, there are many in the area. Elk Meadow Lodge and RV Resort is in Estes Park and has plenty of family-friendly features and activities.
Sitting at an elevation of 7,935 feet, the city of Granby is located almost at the end of your road trip from Denver to the Rocky Mountain National Park Loop. The town is known for its restaurants, shops, and outdoor supplies. Fishing is a popular activity, and the Colorado River has a portion designated as Gold Medal Waters. The Fraser River runs through Granby, and Granby Lake is 10 minutes from the city. Winter activities are a big draw, with many people coming to the area to snowmobile, ski downhill, snowboard, cross-country ski, and ice fish. You may need to utilize one of the many available dump stations near Granby. Located in Golden, CO, Dakota Ridge RV Park is a small RV camping spot that borders the Tin Cup Hogback Park with its great scenic views.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Denver to the Rocky Mountain National Park Loop, you will enjoy historic locations and beautiful scenery along the way. If you want to travel in comfort and style, consider an RV rental from RVshare. From large motorhomes to compact campervans, there is a rig that will meet your travel and budget needs. Once you hit the road, you are protected by our renter guarantee and 24/7 roadside assistance. Find the perfect vehicle for your travel needs in Denver or the Rocky Mountain National Park Loop.