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Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park Scenic Drive

Total Drive Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Boulder is just an hour from Rocky Mountain National Park, one of the nation’s most majestic parklands. Follow Hwy. 36 north toward the town of Lyons, worth a stop for its cute cafes and shops.

Drive Wisely

Please use caution when driving mountain roads. It's best to download a map before you leave in case you go into areas with no cell coverage. In winter, ensure you have snow tires or chains. And if you need to take a moment to enjoy the scenery or consult your map, pull over in a safe, out-of-the-way spot.

Continue on to Estes Park, a charming tourist destination with a bustling downtown lined with fudge and ice cream parlors, souvenir shops and spectacular views.

Downtown Estes Park

You’re now just minutes from Rocky Mountain National Park, with its crystalline lakes, fragrant ponderosa pine forests and sprawling meadows.

Please note: If you're visiting late May through mid-October, you will need a Timed Entry Permit Reservation to enter the park. Rocky Mountain National Park accepts only cashless payments at entrances and campgrounds for fees and payments. Additionally, 2024 construction at the Fall River entrance may create delays at east entrances. Find more information here.

Get Inspired

Gather inspiration for your trip with our Three-Day Itinerary of Boulder and Rocky Mountain National Park.

Trail Ridge Road

Hike, picnic, drive Trail Ridge Road (open only seasonally), spot wildlife and enjoy the spectacular terrain. If you plan on camping, you’ll need reservations, and please be aware that pets are not allowed on trails or in natural areas — only in parking, picnic and campground areas.