Summer in the Rockies: A 3-5 Day RV Vacation to Rocky Mountain National Park

Colorado’s high country has a lot of territory to cover. But even if you don’t have much time, a Grand County, Colorado three to five day summer getaway can introduce you to the best of the Rocky Mountains. RV camping in this area reveals exotic views, plenty of water activities and horseback riding or even rodeos if you like.

Here’s a suggested three – five day trip itinerary:

Day 1: Arrival at High Altitude

If you’ve arrived from the lowlands, be smart and take a day to acclimate while getting an introduction to the area. Remember to drink plenty of water and take it easy—you are on vacation, after all.

Use your first day to take a drive on the Colorado Headwaters Scenic and Historic Byway. Begin on U.S. Highway 34 in Grand Lake. Follow the Colorado River south for 80 miles, through the towns of Granby, Hot Sulphur Springs, Parshall and Kremmling.

A short drive from the town of Grand Lake, Kawuneeche Visitor Center is located just past the entrance to the park. Here, you’ll find an unforgettable drive through pine meadows, up rugged slopes, and out into the open alpine highlands, Shadow Mountain Reservoir, and Lake Granby. End with the spectacular view of the rugged Upper Gore Canyon.

After your brief exploration, you may want to check in at your RV Campsite.

Camping Spots

If you’re looking to camp in or near the park, see suggestions below, or view the National Park Service’s Rocky Mountain National Park campgrounds  page, which offers five in-park campgrounds, 3 of which are available for reservations, and two on a first come, first served basis.

Nearby also find Elk Creek Campground and RV Park located in Grand Lake, Red Mountain RV Park and Wolford Campground in Kremmiling, and Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby near Winter Park. There is a US Forestry Service location near Winter Park and Granby as well where you can discover some of the best American outdoor experiences. See their official site for more details.

Remaining Day 1 or Day 2:

Once you’re settled in, enjoy taking your time visiting the Pioneer Village Museum in Hot Sulphur Springs – see the town’s original courthouse, a blacksmith shop, a 150-year-old ranch house, and several antique rail cars. Other local historical sites and museums are open for visitors in Fraser, Grand Lake, and Kremmling. Use the evening to relax at Hot Sulphur Springs Resort. Kick back with a soak in the ancient area hot springs, and enjoy your beautiful surroundings.

Day 2-3: Rocky Mountain Memories

The Rockies are what it’s all about up here!  Although Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the top 10 most visited national parks in the United States, its Western side is less frequented, less crowded, and much quieter.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park

Plan ahead and pack a picnic. With 35 trailheads in the park and several picnic spots, your family can spend all day in the wilderness, getting up close and personal with the wildlife.

Looking for a family-friendly excursion? Go on a hunt for secret places in Rocky Mountain National Park, which includes hidden lakes, hiking trails, and abandoned mining towns.

Day 4-5: The Western Experience

First settled in the 1880s as a ranching, farming and lumber center, Grand County has maintained many of its original buildings and sites as museums. Use the day or even 2 days to get the full western experience!

If you’re lucky to be here during rodeo season, experience traditional cowboy skills like roping, barrel racing, and bull riding. Watch the West come alive on Saturdays during the summer at Fraser’s High-Country Stampede Rodeo and Granby’s Flying Heels Rodeo. Continue your western experience with a horseback ride into the sunset. For a true hands-on western experience, contact one of the local outfitters who offer half-and full-day horseback rides.

When you’re heading back into Grand Lake, take a stroll along the boardwalk for some last-minute shopping and a leisurely dinner, visit the Kauffmann House Museum to learn more about the area’s history, and make sure to take advantage of some water recreation on Grand Lake.

More of a thrill-seeker than a history buff or shopper? No problem! Grand County is home to over 600 miles of hiking and biking trails. Visit Winter Park or Fraser to take advantage these elaborate trail systems and bike parks. Reach new heights with a challenging mountain trail or stay in town on a family-friendly route, the choice is up to you!

To make the most of your trip, you can easily rent an RV at El Monte Denver RV Rentals.

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