Located in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains about 76 miles (122 kilometers) northwest of Denver International Airport in north-central Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the United States’ most visited national parks. Estes Park is located to the east and Grand Lake to the west of the park. Mount El Capitan rises over the park in the northern corner. Mountain ranges, alpine lakes, and a great diversity of species inhabit the park’s different temperatures and ecosystems, from lush forests to the tundra.
It’s 415 square miles (265,807 acres) covers a wide variety of mountain settings. There is something for everyone to explore in the alpine and subalpine living zones, as well as the montane meadows and lakes that dot the landscape. Explore more than 300 miles of hiking trails and stunning wildlife seeing as you make your way.
Entrances and how to reach Rocky Mountain National Park
North-central Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park spans 415 square miles. Estes Park, on the east, and Grand Lake, on the west, are the park’s two gateway towns.
Travel by car, plane, bus, or train from the east to the west
From the East of Denver through Boulder/Hwy 36, these are the driving directions.
There is an approximate distance of 66 miles (106 kilometers).
1.5 to 2 hours
To get to Estes Park, use I-25 north to Exit 217 (US Highway 36).
Highway 66 will take you from Denver to Fort Collins.
71 mi 114 km
Hours: 1.5 to 2
Exit 243 of I-25 (Hwy 66) in Estes Park.
Peak-to-Peak scenic route from Denver Between 2.5 and 3 hours by means of 108 mi 174 miles
To get to Nederland, take I-70 west to Exit 244 (US Highway 6) and turn right onto State Highway 119. Estes Park may be reached by State Highway 7 from Nederland.
From Loveland via Hwy 34
The Big Thompson Canyon between Estes Park and Loveland is now accessible to full traffic on US 34. For the rest of the summer and autumn, construction will continue in the canyon, and vehicles may expect delays of up to 20 minutes.
Getting to Your Destination from West
West of Denver, on I-70
Distance: 61 miles 98 kilometers
Hours: 1.5 to 2
Take I-70 to exit 232 (Empire) and follow US Highway 40 to Granby, where you’ll take US Highway 34 to Grand Lake. Snow may cause US Highway 40 to be closed or restricted during the winter months.
Highway 40 / the town of Kremmling
One to two hours is needed to cover the distance of 42 miles (66 kilometers).
Go east on US Highway 40 to Granby, then turn left on US Highway 34 to Grand Lake.
The nearest major airport, Denver International Airport (DEN), is accessible through the air. From the airport, there are no public transit options to reach the park. From the airport to Estes Park, there is a commercial shuttle service.
There are Greyhound bus routes that go between the Denver metropolitan area and Granby. Only private vehicles can get you to the park from either Denver or Granby.
By Public transportation
East and west of the park are not accessible by public transit from the Denver metropolitan area. In the summer, Estes Park offers free public transportation to Rocky Mountain National Park with links to Rocky’s shuttle system.