Several companies offer guided tour services of the area, including Rocky Mountain National Park. The guides point out facts and features, making the trip more enjoyable for all.
Area Car Trips
Trail Ridge Road
Trail Ridge Road, the highest continuous paved road in the U.S., travels through the heart of Rocky Mountain National Park from Estes Park to Grand Lake. It is open from Memorial Day until heavy snowfalls make the route impractical to keep clear, usually sometime from late-September to Thanksgiving.
The route, with 11 miles of pavement above treeline, climbs from about 7,800 feet at Park Headquarters to more than 12,000 feet at the summit.
On this trip, travelers can view alpine tundra which makes up a full third of the park. At this altitude you’ll find a fragile environment of aged but dwarfed plants and animals that have adapted to the high elevation. No other arctic-like world exists that is as accessible. Four to six hours should be allowed for the trip
Fall River – Trail Ridge Road Loop
For a half-day treat, take U.S. 34 west through the National Park’s entrance to Fall River Road, built in 1920. When you reach Endovalley, the road becomes gravel, one-way and uphill for nearly 10 miles. Waterfalls, glacier deposits, icy pools and breathtaking views are all part of this trip. Because of the steep grades and switchbacks, it is not open to trailers or mobile homes. At the Alpine Visitors Center, turn left. Along the route, you will pass Trail Ridge Road’s high point. From Deer Ridge Junction, continue to Estes Park on scenic U.S. Hwy. 34 or U.S. Hwy. 36.
St. Vrain Half-Day Circle Trip
This Peak-to-Peak Scenic Byway trip starts in Estes Park on Colo. Hwy. 7, and travels south where you’ll climb over 1,500 feet through densely forested areas as snowcapped mountains, including Longs Peak and Twin Sisters, parallel the road. Follow Hwy. 7 south to Allenspark and on through impressive boulder-lined canyons to Lyons. Then take U.S. Hwy. 36 from Lyons back to Estes Park. This 57-mile trip takes about three hours with stops.
Big Thompson-Glen Haven Half-Day Loop
Travel the Big Thompson Canyon east as it follows its river namesake on U.S. Hwy. 34 from Estes Park. About 16 miles from Estes, you’ll enter “The Narrows,” a spectacular winding gorge made by the river’s long erosion of rock formations. At The Dam Store, return west along the same route to Drake before turning right on Devil’s Gulch Road to Glen Haven. South of Glen Haven at the top of the switchbacks, you’ll encounter a locally-favored spectacular view of the Estes valley.