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Best route through RMNP from Denver to Beaver Creek

Milford, Connecticut
2 posts
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Best route through RMNP from Denver to Beaver Creek

Hi,

I will be driving from Denver to Beaver Creek with my girlfriend at the end of August this year and I want to drive though RMNP and make the most of the trip. We have never been to Colorado so any advice is greatly appreciated. We are interested great views and seeing wildlife, maybe even some pit stops for a short hike or two.

Thanks in advance!

Todd

Windsor, Colorado
Destination Expert
for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
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11,031 posts
132 reviews
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1. Re: Best route through RMNP from Denver to Beaver Creek

Denver through Boulder Canyon to Nederland where you join the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway through Estes Park into RMNP by way of the Fall River Entrance Station to Trail Ridge Road over to Grand Lake through Kremmling and on to Beaver Creek.

Here is the google map link.

http://goo.gl/maps/nI1pF

That is a fairly long drive. I sent you into RMNP by way of the Fall River Entrance for the possibility of bighorn sheep. By late August, some elk will be heading down to lower elevations with cooler weather but Trail Ridge Road is still your best bet for seeing wildlife. Moose frequent the west side of RMNP. Trail Ridge Road has many overlooks where you stop, park, get out and take a short walk. It will add about 2 hours to your trip just to do all the overlooks. Get an early start. Bring a picnic lunch or pick one up at the Safeway Grocery Deli in Estes Park.. The two short walks I would do would be 1)Tundra Communities Trail at Rock Cut - 1 mile total in and back, an uphill trail at over 12,000 ft. with great views, wildlife, tundra and 2)Holzwarth Historic Site - 1 mile total in and back, a flat trail for the Colorado River and good area for moose and elk.

rockymountainhikingtrails.com/tundra-communi…

My favorite overlooks are Rainbow Curve, Forest Canyon, Gore Range and the Alpine Visitor Center.

You also have a good chance to see wildlife along the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway between Nederland and Estes Park.

Nederland, Colorado
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11,296 posts
15 reviews
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2. Re: Best route through RMNP from Denver to Beaver Creek

Ha! You beat me to it, fv. But I couldn't get Google maps to go over TRR - I was mapping it on Mapquest.

I concur with that route though I might make one change, and that would be to take Hwy 40 south over Berthoud Pass to get to I-70 west.

Windsor, Colorado
Destination Expert
for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
Level Contributor
11,031 posts
132 reviews
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3. Re: Best route through RMNP from Denver to Beaver Creek

I debated making that change because I prefer the route over Berthoud Pass for scenery. Sometimes in later afternoon and toward evening, elk and deer are spotted along the Kremmling/highway 9 route so I left it for that reason.

You sometimes have to trick Google maps. Entering the Alpine Visitor Center is the key to getting the route over Trail Ridge Road before the road opens entirely.

Milford, Connecticut
2 posts
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4. Re: Best route through RMNP from Denver to Beaver Creek

Thanks fv and Babalax for the quick and thorough replies! That sounds like a great route and nice small hikes to stretch our legs after all that driving, haha. Thanks again!

Todd

5. Re: Best route through RMNP from Denver to Beaver Creek

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