Trail Ridge Road offers RV vacations that are beyond compare. This scenic byway is the highest continuous road in the United States and takes you across the Continental Divide, past sweeping views of the Rockies. Along all 63 miles, from Estes Park to Granby, Colorado, are breathtaking views, wandering wildlife and a wide variety of outdoor recreational opportunities.
The best time to go is from late May to mid-June and from the middle of August to mid-October. Otherwise you will run into the summer crowds. Drive north to Estes Park, the gateway town to Rocky Mountain National Park.
The quaint mountain town of Estes Park will invite you to stay awhile. Motorhome vacations wouldn’t be complete without thoroughly taking in everything along the way. Surrounded by the Rocky Mountain wilderness, Estes Park, Colorado is definitely a place to stop and enjoy some popular attractions. You should make it a point to visit the historic Stanley Hotel, where Stephen King was inspired to write The Shining. Take a ride on the Aerial Tram to the top of Prospect Mountain for a one-of-a-kind experience.
Now you are ready to embark on the exciting trip over Trail Ridge Road, through Rocky Mountain National Park. You can plan your motorhome vacation more completely when you know that this park offers four campgrounds where you can park RV rentals up to 30 to 40 feet long. These campgrounds are:
- Aspenglen Campground – RVs up to 30 feet
- Glacier Basin Campground – RVs up to 35 feet
- Moraine Park Campground – RVs up to 40 feet
- Timber Creek Campground – RVs up to 30 feet
As you follow Highway 36 into the park, you will come to Beaver Meadows Visitor Center, a fascinating place to stop before turning south on Bear Lake Road. This side-trip takes you to Sprague Lake and Bear Lake, where you can fish or hike. The Bear Lake hike is one of the park’s most famous trails.
Back on Highway 36, you’ll soon be on Highway 34 (Trail Ridge Road). As you travel in your motorhome rental, discover the magic of the Rockies by getting in some more time out in the fresh air. Stop at the Deer Mountain Trailhead to and hike a little ways on the trail. At Beaver Ponds, you can walk the boardwalk in the peaceful forest, and enjoy a picnic at the picnic area. Each place you stop in your RV rental, you wish you could stay there for weeks. However, there is more to see and do.
Soon you will arrive at Many Parks Curve, at an elevation of 9,624 feet. Stop here and walk the boardwalk for some spectacular views. Further along, Lava Cliffs offers more views, and soon thereafter you will be at an elevation of 12,183 feet, the highest point on Trail Ridge Road. The Alpine Visitor Center is a good place to stop for a snack, picking up some gifts and enjoying views of the tundra. You will cross the Continental Divide officially at Milner Pass.
The scenic Kawuneeche Valley has much to offer, with many chances to see wildlife roaming the meadows and forests. Here you’ll discover a historic homestead that was a dude ranch in the 1920s. Holzwarth Historic Site is a must-see and a tour will be worth your while.
As you move south on Highway 34, you’ll notice a number of trailheads. At the Coyote Valley Trailhead, you can enjoy a one-mile trail to see the lovely valley and a wide variety of wildlife, particularly moose and elk. The Green Mountain Trailhead is another hike of 3.6 miles through fir forests. No matter if you see photos of this lovely spot, they never seem to do it justice.
As you leave the park and head further south on Highway 34 towards Granby, you will drive along the shores of Shadow Mountain Lake. Stop for a picnic at Pine Beach where the north fork of the Colorado River enters the lake. This is a great canoe access to the water.
Motorhome rentals are really a home away from home. When you take an RV vacation across Trail Ridge Road, you are actually making the Rocky Mountains one of your home locations, with a wide array of activities and the incredible sights and sounds of true wilderness country.