Lakes and snow-capped mountain peaks abound in the Rocky Mountain National Park near Denver, making tours from the city to the wilderness a great way to escape for a few hours.
The Rocky Mountains are a vast range of peaks running from northern Canada all the way down through the United States to New Mexico. The highest peaks of this 3,000-mile (4,830km) morass are mostly confined towards the southern end in the state of Colorado. Rocky Mountain National Park protects one of the most picturesque tranches of the Coloradoan Rockies, and its proximity to Denver makes it a popular day trip destination. Here are some excellent guided tours from the Mile-High City to the even-loftier climes of Rocky Mountain NP.
Small-group Tour of Rocky Mountain National Park
See the best of the Rocky Mountain National Park, from wildlife to vistas on this eight-hour guided tour from Denver. Depending on the time of year, your group (maximum 14 people) will follow a different itinerary. In summer you’ll tackle the Trail Ridge Road, a winding stretch of road above the tree line with expansive views that really give a sense of the magnitude of the mountains. In winter you’ll explore Bear Lake. Keep an eye out for wildlife, such as elk, moose and eagles. From $123 per person.
Denver to Rocky Mountain NP Tour
Pass the famous Flatirons Rock Formations as you head north from Denver and into the heart of the Rockies. These are the first major landforms that will give you a sense of the major upheaval of land that has gone into making the remarkable mountain range. Once you reach Estes Park, the real fun of Rocky Mountain National Park begins. Discover and photograph glacial lakes, Alpine valleys and mountain views. There’ll be chance to take walks and in summer, the tour heads up as high as 13,000 feet (3,960m) along the Trail Ridge. From $139 per person.
Hiking Tour of Rocky Mountain National Park
If you’d prefer to get out into nature, away from the roads and the droves of tourists that stick close by them, then look no further than this fantastic hiking tour. Although this is no advanced hiker’s jaunt: the walk is a mere four miles past lakes, and through forests and meadows. The altitude may make it feel like you’ve hiked further though. During the winter, when snow is on the ground, snowshoes are provided for a unique way to interact with the landscape. And during this time, wildlife is often easier to spot too. From $149 per person.
Rocky Mountain National Park Winter Tour from Denver
Another popular and well-established day trip from Denver passes through Boulder on the way to Rocky Mountain National Park. The itinerary is neatly balanced to include examples of the park’s finest features, including: Many Parks Curve Overlook, a wide-ranging viewpoint; the beautiful cascade of Alluvial Fan waterfall; and Sprague Lake, formed by glacial activity and reflecting the surrounding peaks. You might be lucky enough to see mule deer, elk and other wildlife along the way. This tour only runs in the winter. From $129 per person.
Private Rocky Mountain National Park Tour from Denver
The best way to explore Rocky Mountain National Park though is by private tour. Curate the itinerary, with help from your knowledgeable guide, to the preferences of your group. If you enjoy the freedom of hiking, you can focus on hitting as many of the trails and loops as possible. Otherwise, head out to spots that aren’t frequented by the other tour groups for a little solitude with the natural surroundings. This tour is available for groups of up to five people. From $599 per group.