Alpine Visitor Center
Alpine Visitor Center
4.5
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  • Sailorsgirl
    Springfield, Missouri5,804 contributions
    So Much To See In RMNP!
    We came to Estes Park the first week of October for the Fall Elk Rut, which sadly turned out to be a huge disappointment. It looks like this area has suffered from severe drought conditions, so we didn't see as many elk as we do when we come in late May or early June. So we decided to enjoy the Park as much as we could under the current conditions. Driving up to the Alpine Center has always been a highlight of any trip to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. Due to the pandemic, timed reservations are required to enter the Park and can be obtained online at $2.00 per day for each reservation through the NPS website. The Park was brown from lack of rain, but the Aspen trees were changing color and looked like gold coins shimmering on the trees in the wind. Restrooms are open up at the Alpine Center as is the Visitor Center where you can talk to the friendly and knowledgeable Park Rangers who are doing a magnificent job under difficult circumstances. Be sure to wear a mask. We arrived too early and had to wait for the Park store and Visitor center to open. There is plenty of parking but bring a warm coat as it's cold and windy at the top in the Fall. Visitors can turn left out of the Alpine Center and head back down the mountain, or a right turn goes to the Continental Divide, Poudre Lake Trails and on to Grand Lake at the west side of the Park. Whenever you visit, Rocky Mountain National Park is a beautiful experience.
    Written October 4, 2020
  • Anthony
    New York City, New York843 contributions
    Visitor's Center High Up
    This visitor’s center is at the peak altitude of Trail Ridge Road. Aside from the usual visitor’s center, there is an adjacent store with a large selection of items and a cafe serving hot food and snacks. From the visitor’s center, there are nice views into a valley. Given the high altitude, take it easy and dress appropriately. When we visited in September, the plumbing had been turned off in preparation for the winter and hence only the vault toilets were available.
    Written December 18, 2022
  • Steve5863
    Avon, Ohio13,020 contributions
    NPS’s Highest Altitude Visitor Center
    Near the summit of Trail Ridge Road at 11,796 feet (3,595m), the Alpine Visitor Center is the highest visitor center in the entire National Park Service’s system. While the visitor center itself is quite small, the adjacent gift shop is extensive and there is also a restaurant and pit toilets onsite. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has temporarily closed access to the buildings but rangers continue to assist visitors outside. However, the physical facilities are not what make this visitor center exceptional, it is the surroundings. The views of the mountains and tundra from behind the visitor center, made even better dusted with an early October snow, tundra changing color and the elk in rut; the close up views of tundra habitat and broad vistas from the top of the adjacent Alpine Ridge Trail that, while short, climbs steadily, often with the aid of steps, to 12,005 feet (3,659m) that will have a low lander like me feeling the altitude, are what makes the Alpine Visitor Center a destination I would strongly recommend to every visitor to the park.
    Written September 28, 2020
These reviews are the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor checks reviews for fraud.
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sanju_222323
New Jersey13,440 contributions
Jul 2022
Come stop by the highest Visitor Center in the United States! The Alpine Visitor Center makes a great stopping point and a great spot to stretch your legs. Traffic was very slowly turning into the parking lot, but once inside there was plenty of parking. You’ll find restrooms, a large gift shop, and a cafe. We sipped our coffee, overlooking a gorgeous view of RMNP

The panoramic views you’ll enjoy at the Alpine Visitor Center are sure to take your breath away. Even if a visitor center doesn’t usually make your list of stops, the convenient location of the Alpine Visitor Center near the heart of Rocky Mountain makes it the perfect detour for any guest itinerary.

If you’re feeling energetic you can take a long walk uphill to the Alpine Ridge Trail (We did not go).

Because of its location, the Alpine Visitor Center is not open year-round and has limited hours during the shoulder season
Written July 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Gabrielle W
Mobile, AL393 contributions
Jun 2021
This was the best visitor center in the park, there's a pretty big gift shop and a cafe, which is nice if you are taking your time along Trail Ridge Road. Wish we had been able to go back again as they had many items in the store you couldn't find at other visitor centers. The overlooks around the center were closed due to snow but it's a must stop regardless.
Written June 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

KhimLee
Hillsborough, CA370 contributions
Sep 2020
Stopped here while on day trip in RoMo - made a U-turn back to Estes instead of continuing on to the west entrance of the park. It was a fantastic stop, one of the highest points in the park with endless vistas of tundra and glaciers. The visitor center itself is pretty small but there is a huge store in the next building which has all kinds of souvenir imaginable. The cafe is not not great BTW but fine for those who are hungry, The trail to the top which is accessible from the parking lot is quite the walk, especially if one has not yet adjusted to the altitude. On the way here we saw a coyote along the road - really nice against the mountain backdrop.
Written September 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Aimee R
Pekin, IL213 contributions
Jun 2021 • Family
This drive includes spectacular views around every bend (on that note, I recommend medication for anyone that becomes nauseated by long car rides or twists and turns). Once you arrive at the top, there are restrooms (that you will likely want to avoid if possible), a visitor center with a ton of shopping options, snacks, and drinks. You also have the option of taking the steps up to the highest point. There are a large number of stairs and it is a high elevation so the walk/hike will not be for everyone.
Written July 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kelly B
Iowa4,234 contributions
Jul 2022 • Family
Completely fogged in both times we drove through. They don’t open until 9:30, which includes the flushable restrooms. There was quite a crowd already at 8:45 a.m., so I was surprised they didn’t open anything until 9:30.
Written July 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

princessebird
Fort Worth, TX211 contributions
Jul 2020
You will likely stop here to go to the bathroom. The bathrooms are on the left side of the parking lot (vault style bathrooms). The visitors' center has a specified number of people allowed in at a time and Rangers are keeping it at that. The line was long so we didn't go in. The gift shop and cafe didn't have a limited number, but it had a one way path. Nice selection of stuff. Huffer's Hill was quite intense at the altitude, but the views were worth it. The majority of the people on the hill on a Monday afternoon were not wearing masks. It was more or less possible to stay six feet away, however.
Written August 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

msa23_2000
Chino Hills, CA1,301 contributions
Jul 2020
The building itself is closed for COVID, but the rangers stand outside and answer questions. There are nice restrooms. There is a short but steep hike right there with even better views. Lots of parking so that helps a lot, too.
Written July 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Brooke Hinkle
Medford, NJ707 contributions
Jul 2021 • Family
Yeah, the concept of a 12,000 foot Visitor Center is awesome, and so were the views! But there are other visitor centers that are less crowded, and other bathrooms that don’t have a 25 minute wait. The highlight of this stop was huffer’s hill, a short but strenuous hike for sweeping views. I also enjoyed and recommend having a hot lunch at the Trail Ridge Store next to the visitor center.
Written July 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Victoria N
Gateshead, UK3,136 contributions
Aug 2022
The views here were beautiful, however the parking is a nightmare! I visited for the first time recently from the UK. Visitors were literally battling for spaces, there simply weren't enough. There is a great gift store inside, restrooms and a few exhibits. Definitely a great place to stop if you can find a parking space!
Written August 29, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Grover R
Pensacola, FL17,677 contributions
Sep 2022
This is the highest visitor center in the NPS at almost 12,000. The views from this Visitor Center are amazing. We got to watch at rain shower pass through and drop the temperature quickly. It was simply incredible to see. This is a great stop at the top not only for the information, park store and restroom. In addition this is the trail for the short but arduous Alpine Ridge Trail. This trail is only 3/4 of a mile with less than 150 feet of elevation, but it is one of the harder hikes in the park at 12,000 feet of elevation. This is perhaps the easiest way to get to 12,000 feet so I highly encourage you to make the visit and the hike here.
Written December 11, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Alpine Visitor Center (Rocky Mountain National Park) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

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