Contributed by Laura Cromwell, Cabela’s
For 100 years, Rocky Mountain National Park has stirred the adventurous spirit and satisfied the appetites of explorers seeking the freedom and fun found within nature. Embracing well over 265,000 acres of land that includes rushing rivers, winding trails, breathtaking views of the Rockies, and fresh mountain air. Welcoming millions of visitors per year, Rocky Mountain National Park is the antidote to run-of-the-mill amusement parks. Forget rides, costumed mascots, and fake scenery—this is the real thing and it’s here to stay. If you’re in need of a few ideas to get the most out of your visit, below are 10 exciting activities to make this trip one you’ll never forget.
1. Hiking – Whether you’re a beginner or advanced hiker, the park has over 80 different trails to suit any level of experience. Lace up your hiking boots and choose from five different regions of the park, each with their own appeal ranging from sweeping meadows to backcountry wilderness.
2. Fishing – Enjoy catch-and-release fly fishing, open-lake fishing or ice fishing in one of the many lakes and rivers that Rocky Mountain National Park holds dear (tip: the first weekend in June requires no license or license fee!).
3. Rafting – Experience the rush of whitewater rafting down the Poudre River. Skilled raft guides are ready and waiting to give you a thrill that’s both wet and wild.
4. Wildlife Viewing – Catch a glimpse of magnificent animals roaming free throughout the park. Expect to see elk that are far from camera shy.
5. Horseback Riding – Saddle up and leisurely explore the park on four hooves. Experienced guides are set to take you out on the trails for as short as two hours or as long as all day.
6. Snowshoeing – Get in some wintertime cardio by trekking through the snow-covered terrain. This is a great time to admire the Rockies—they’re even more beautiful when dusted in white.
7. Snowmobiling – Give a whole new meaning to the phrase, “dashing through the snow” and zoom through the powder. The park allows snowmobiling on two miles of the North Supply Access Trail which connects to the town of Grand Lake, then to trails belonging to Arapaho National Forest for 300 miles of snowmobile-ready trails. No snowmobile? No problem! You can rent one in Grand Lake.
8. Kayaking – With a kayak course of their very own, Estes Park has a run about .14 miles long and includes pools and eddies. Bring your own kayak or rent one there.
9. Birding – Grab a pair of binoculars and set your sights on 280 species of beautiful birds. Witness species such as Ruddy Duck, Sage Grouse, Snowy Egret, and many more. You may get lucky and spot a Bald Eagle.
10. Camping – Pack up your tent and sleep out under the stars with your favorite nature-loving companions. Choose from Timber Creek, Moraine Park, Longs Peak, Glacier Basin, and Aspenglen campgrounds.
For the love of the outdoors and all it has to offer, plant memories that will last a lifetime and instill an admiration for one of our nation’s finest parcels of land. We here at Cabela’s know that not only are our national parks and wildlife conservation to be cherished and supported, but so that families and thrill-seekers can enjoy them for years to come.
Here’s to another 100 years.
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