Camping at Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park offers several campgrounds within its boundaries:
- Moraine Park: Open year-round, but only with reservation from May to October.
- Glacier Basin: Typically open from late May to mid-September, reservations required.
- Aspenglen: Open seasonally, usually from late May to September, reservations needed.
- Timber Creek: Located on the park's west side, open seasonally, first-come, first-served basis.
- Longs Peak: Tent-only campground, open summer through fall, first-come, first-served.
Reservations and Fees
- Reservations: Campground reservations can be made through Recreation.gov and are highly recommended, especially during the peak summer season.
- Fees: There are nightly fees for camping, which vary by campground and type of campsite. Additionally, there's an entrance fee for the park.
For a more secluded experience, backcountry camping is available:
- Permits: A permit is required for all overnight backcountry camping. They can be obtained at the park's backcountry office or through the mail.
- Fees and Regulations: There's a fee for each backcountry camping permit, and regulations are strictly enforced to protect the park's wilderness.
Amenities and Facilities
Campground facilities vary but may include:
- Restrooms: Flush or vault toilets are available.
- Potable Water: Available at most campgrounds, except in the winter or at backcountry sites.
- Picnic Tables and Fire Rings: Provided at each campsite.
- Note that showers and full hook-ups are not available in the park.
Wildlife and Safety
- Bears: The park is home to black bears; proper food storage and handling are mandatory.
- Altitude: The high altitude can affect visitors; acclimatization and hydration are important.
Weather and Preparation
- Mountain Weather: Weather can change rapidly, with possibilities for snow, even in summer.
- Preparation: It's essential to be prepared with the right gear and clothing layers.
Rules and Regulations
- Quiet Hours: Typically enforced from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
- Pets: Allowed in campgrounds, but must be leashed and are not permitted on trails.
- Fires: Allowed only in designated fire rings or grills.
- Wilderness Preservation: Follow Leave No Trace principles to minimize your impact on the park.
- Some campgrounds have accessible sites and facilities. Check in advance to ensure accommodation for any specific needs.
Activities and Attractions
- Hiking Trails: The park offers over 300 miles of hiking trails.
- Wildlife Viewing: Elk, moose, deer, and many bird species are commonly sighted.
- Scenic Drives: Trail Ridge Road and Old Fall River Road provide stunning views.
- Visitor Centers: Stop by to get information, maps, and advice from rangers.
Useful Contact Information
- For reservations: Visit Recreation.gov or call their reservation line.
- For backcountry permits and park information: Contact the park's backcountry office or visit the official Rocky Mountain National Park website.
Additional Tips: Plan ahead, especially if you're visiting during peak season. Check the park's official website for any alerts, closures, or updates before your trip.