To enter Rocky Mountain National Park between May 28 and October 11 two things are required: a timed entry permit PLUS a park pass or entrance fee. Use these tips to plan your trip into Rocky Mountain National Park.
Strap into a 4x4 vehicle for the ride of your life! A road trip like no other, off-roading in Estes Park delights, thrills and educates. Whether you're belted into a customized rock crawler or a regular Jeep, the experience promises to be one of the highlights of your getaway.
Slow or fast, guided or unguided, the various rides traverse trails in Roosevelt National Forest, across historic ranch lands and through public lands. Trails in the low country bounce through meadows dotted with horses or elk or across roller coaster-like bumps through the trees. In the national forest, a spider web of trails awaits, leading up to incredible views where regular cars simply can't go. But for the specialized off-road vehicles, water bars, mud and rock gardens are mere trifles. Up, over and through are the only ways to go! For riders, the obstacles mean loads of fun and a chance to get a little dirty.
A few of the trails have historical significance. One is a trail in the national forest pioneers used as they were coming into the valley. As guides will share, the settlers placed poles in their wagon wheels to act as brakes and slow their descent down what is now called Pole Hill. Another route, near the national forest, passes historic sites, such as the Bunce School site that's been turned into a museum, and an 1800s Native American trading post that's still in operation.
Running from May to as late as December, off-roading changes with the seasons. In spring, mud is more likely to splatter vehicles (and their passengers). In fall, the aspens turn a rich gold, competing with the mountains for your attention. Animals active in the region during these seasons don't run away from the vehicles. In fact, they seem comfortable with the sound-some of the trail systems have been open since the 1940s. Off-roading presents a chance to see these sights and places in Estes Park that would be difficult to reach otherwise.
On-road tours are also available for additional guided sightseeing.