GyPsy Guide provides a professional tour guide commentary along scenic drives. Our tours highlight the very best of the region with entertaining stories about history, geology, legends and local advice, so all you have to do is drive, listen and soak in the scenery.
Just Like Having A Tour Guide In Your Car™
Stories, local tips and directions as you drive, so you don’t miss a thing.
All the benefits of a guided tour, the freedom to drive yourself.
Download over wifi, tour offline. No data, cellular or wifi required, while driving.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK TOUR
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK ROUTE MAP
What to Expect
Rocky Mountain National Park boasts the very best of what Colorado and the Rocky Mountains has to offer: unbelievably scenic mountains, awesome hiking and superb wildlife viewing. But perhaps the most memorable aspect of the Park is that it was created with the driving visitor in mind.
Nowhere else in the country can you drive a scenic route that brings you above the treeline and into the alpine tundra for 11 miles, peaking at altitudes over 12,000 feet. Or you may want to follow the historic route that the earliest visitors drove in their Stanley Steamer or Model T’s on the Old Fall River Road. There are many scenic viewpoints including Rainbow Curve Outlook and Mushroom Rocks overlooks along the driving route, and easy, accessible trails at Sprague and Bear Lakes.
Hear all about the “Father of Rocky Mountain National Park” and the other influential characters who fought and invested heavily to preserve this area.
But many visitors are drawn by the excellent wildlife watching opportunities. Especially during the Fall rut when male bull elk and moose are fending off rivals vocally and physically. We’ll point out the best locations to keep watch and increase your chances.
This is a truly unique experience that has thrilled drivers and passengers since the 1920s.
What You’ll See
Highlights along the tour route include;
Old Fall River Road
Holzwarth Historic Site
Trail Ridge Road
Many Parks Curve Overlook
Rainbow Curve Outlook
Prepare for the Tour
Good To Know Before You Go
- Driving distance from Estes to Grand Lake on the Trail Ridge Road is 49 miles (78 km) and takes about 2hrs without any of our recommended stops.
- You can pre-purchase America the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Annual Passes online.
- Visit early in the day. National Parks get busier every year. You’ll avoid the crowds, access the trails and improve your chances of seeing wildlife if you arrive before 8:00am.
- Remember you’re in the mountains – be prepared for all kinds of weather with lots of layers and windproof jackets. You’re going to 12,000ft.
- Pack a lunch and bring plenty of water.
Where the Tour Starts
The tour officially starts and end close to the entrances for Rocky Mountain National Park.
- Estes Park is the much busier side and the mountain has many accommodations and services for visitors. There are 2 entrance stations for the National Park on this side; Beaver Meadows and Fall River. On busy days, the line up may be shorter at the Fall River entrance – but not guaranteed. Commentary begins right in town and will lead you to the entrance stations.
- Grand Lake is a smaller town and less busy. The commentary begins as you drive the short drive between the town and the entrance station.
- Or you can join and pick up the commentary anywhere along the route. Narration will automatically trigger at the next commentary point.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK APP REVIEWS
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK TOUR PLAN
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK & NEARBY DRIVING TOUR APPS
PLAY TO HEAR SAMPLE COMMENTARY
What should I bring?
Its important to keep charging your device as you drive and we recommend using a DC cigarette lighter-style of charger. Plugging directly into the vehicle’s USB port is not recommended.
Fill up with gas before you enter the Park. The distances are not huge, so you will not be likely to used up more than a half tank of gas.
It’s a good idea to bring food and drinks with you – especially water as we will be reaching very high altitudes. The only place where you can purchase food and drinks inside the Park is at the Alpine Visitor Centre. Drinking lots of water will help reduce the chance of getting a headache from the altitude.
Always bring a jacket as weather can change quickly in the mountains, and we will be in some high and exposed places on this drive. Sturdy shoes are recommended if hiking, as well as a hat if its a sunny day.
Make sure you have lots of memory for your camera or phone – you will take many photos!
Can I tour the entire Park in one day?
It is possible to drive all of the roads in a single, but very long, day. Its highly recommended to have at least 2 days to allow yourself enough time to stop at the many places of interest and scenic locations. Even the short hikes are very rewarding and recommended.
Of course, having more than 2 days is best and will allow you more time for wildlife spotting and seeing the views at different times of day, Plus being able to enjoy more of the short, or even longer hikes.
You can experience the Park as a one way trip. Eg, start in Estes Park and finish in Grand Lake. The best thing to do is to drive all the way from one end to the other, and back again.
Old Fall River Road in a one way road and can only be driven uphill. Be aware that you will need to double back if you want to drive both Trail Ridge Road and Old Fall River Road from Estes Park – and that is something you should do.
Can any vehicle drive Old Fall River Road?
Old Fall River Road is not paved. Its has a gravel surface, but it is very well maintained – so any standard vehicle will be just fine for doing this historic drive.
This road has a shorter season and often does not open until 4th July and will normally close before Trail Ridge Road. Check at the Info Centers or on the NPS website to see the status of the road.
Trailers and oversize vehicles cannot travel this road due to the tight switchbacks.
I'm not from the USA - will I need data?
There is no requirement for any data or wifi network connection while you drive. The app only uses the free gps signal to operate. You can leave your cellular data function turned off – the tour will still work.