Estes Park, Colorado

Drive Rocky Mountain NP's Trail Ridge Road

Originally added by Joel Bear

Take in breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains on one of the two raods in CO that allows you to drive up to the peaks. This is a photographer's paradise, especially at sunrise and sunset.

Start by entering Rocky Mountain National Park through Estes Park, Colorado. After acquiring a map start your ascent on Trail Ridge Rd (the road is closed in winter). The Road will take you up in elevation into the mountains so a good car is strongly recommended.

As you wind up the switch backs, the tree line will start to thin and you will come upon an overlook called Medicine Bow Curve which is an amazing view of the valley in the National Park. Its amazing place to stop and watch the clouds roll over the valley and see the winding rivers cut through the terrain. Continue up the road and it will take you over the pass / ridge. The view is spectacular, with snow caped mountains and big clouds. If you go in early June the mountains can still be heavily covered in snow which is breathtaking to behold.

Continue driving up the road, it will take you through the mountain range and bring you out on the other side.We stayed up on the range till the sunset and then drove back down the way we came to Estes Park.Be aware of the snowmelt during the day that can rapidly turn to ice (or black ice) running over the winding road when the sun goes down and temperatures quickly drop below freezing.

This is a must see to any visitor and local in Colorado.

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Tags

Chillin
Photography
Forest
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Occasionally scary drivers, but so much wildlife

Love this drive for the late summer snow patches, the big horned sheep, and the views coming down into the west side of the park! Alpine tundra out there at the top!

Scenic Supreme

Just a beautiful drive from start to finish that takes you through a few ecosystems and gives you great shots of the Rocky Mountains. If you can go at sunrise or sunset during the summer or fall, on a weekday, you will be in heaven. Avoid spring as the snowpack is still strong and it's hard to really get out and get good photos and explore. They do a great job of maintaining the roads, which have many hairpins and high elevation, so be ready to take it slow, and take it all in. Many places to stop and hike, take photographs or have picnic. Small mountain towns that are wonderful. Great drive with stunning views.

Amazing Views

Great views at every turn on this road. Takes you through nearly every element of the park. The change in altitude is no joke. If that sort of things bother you, you might consider taking it a bit slow. Can't say you've seen Rocky Mtn NP if you haven't been through the full route though. Amazing.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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