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Located northwest of Colorado, the Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the world's premier camping destinations. Due to its high altitude of up to 14,000 feet, the national park attracts tourists every year. It boasts five glaciers, 150 lakes, and several waterfalls. With thousands of acres, the park is home to an assortment of wildlife, including 67 mammals, 300 bird species, fish, and an endless category of insects.

There are two ways to access the Rocky Mountain National Park. The first is through Grand Lake Town, located to the west. Alternatively, travelers can use the easier Estes Park Town route, which is an easier route. Besides camping, the park is also famous for other activities such as hiking, skiing, and backpacking. Here is a detailed guide to camping in Rocky Mountain National Park.


Best Times To Visit

The Rocky Mountain National Park is open year-round, with the highest visitation season being from June to September. Depending on the activities on visitors' to-do lists, the season will help as a guide.

  • Summer: Prepare for breathtaking views of the beautiful wildflowers blooming in the large fields. Expect the camping sites to be buzzing with activities too.
  • Spring: This is the best time for any passionate hiker, but the higher altitudes are still covered in snow. Carrying the right gear to keep up with the challenge is recommended.
  • Autumn/Fall: The advantage of visiting during the fall is the easy schedules that require no reservations, unlike in winter and spring. Tourists also get to enjoy the popular elks' mating season.
  • Winter: Although it's considered the lowest season for visits due to seasonal closures, be sure to join in the cross-country skiing or practice snowshoeing.

Related: 10 Attractions To Explore In Rocky Mountain National Park

Camping Sites

The national park offers free dispersed camping and paid established campsites to keep up with tourists' preferences. The campgrounds include:

Glacier Basin Campground

Glacier Basin Campground is the go-to site for nature lovers, thanks to its breathtaking view of the Rocky Mountains. It has a capacity of 150 spots, but be sure to book a reservation as the spots are always up for grabs. The campground is still accessible to luxuries like running water and flush toilets.

  • Location: Bear Lake Road
  • Open Season: May to September
  • Reservations Required: Yes
  • Fee: $26

Moraine Campground

Apart from its easy access, Moraine Campground is the largest campsite in Rocky Mountain National Park. The pine trees surrounding the campsite serve as good resting spots for campers looking for an extended stay. Moraine has 244 sites, 64 of which are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • Location: Next to Trail Ridge Road
  • Open Season: Year-round
  • Reservations Required: Yes, up to six months in advance
  • Fee: $26

Related: These Lakes In Rocky Mountain National Park Are Good Alternatives To Summits

Timber Creek Campground

Sitting at 8,900 feet high, Timber Creek Campground is the only camping site on the national park's west side. The campground has about 98 spots and has flush toilets, among other facilities.

  • Location: Near Grand Lake Entrance
  • Open Season: May to November
  • Reservations Required: Yes (Open starting March)
  • Fee: $30

Most trees have been taken down due to pine beetle infestation, meaning shade is scarce in the campground.

Adventurous Activities To Engage In

As far as USA's National parks standards are concerned, the Rocky Mountains National Park ranks high for fun things to do. They include:


For any avid hiker, the Rocky Mountains National Park is an easy favorite. They range from short and easy trails to challenging hikes of up to 14,000 miles of altitude. The park has a total of 355 clearly-defined trails.

Wildlife Watching

From majestic elks in the mountains to smaller animals like chipmunks nestled in the pine trees, charismatic wildlife awaits visitors in this national park. Other common animals include mule deer, bighorn sheep, marmots, squirrels, black bears, and the rare mountain lion.

Visit Estes Park

Estes Park Town is located a few miles from the Rocky Mountain National Park, making it a must-visit for visitors who want to spend a few days in Colorado. The town has several restaurants and bars convenient for a buzzing night away from the forest. Stop by Bird and Jim or Stanley Hotel for a mouth-watering cuisine.

Helpful Tips For Visiting The Rocky Mountain National Park

Camping, especially for first-timers, can be overwhelming if one isn't fully prepared for potential dangers. Here are a few insider tips for a warm and safe stay at the campsite.

  • Stay Hydrated: At higher altitudes, it is likely for hikers to feel thirsty. Carrying a bottle or two is necessary to help the body acclimate to the new weather while preventing altitude sickness.
  • Pack The Right Gear: Preparing for the worst weather during hiking should be on every visitor's mind. Conducting a tent-pitching test run before leaving home is the best method to ensure every piece of equipment is working.
  • Keep A Healthy Distance From Wildlife: Encounters with mountain lions, black bears, and elks should be handled with caution.

Enjoying your stay with activities that are kind to the bank account makes the Rocky Mountain National Park a perfect spot for a fantastic getaway away from the noisy cities. The destination is packed with almost everything an adventurous visitor would dream of.