Is Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Park?

03/21/2022 | by Lyles Armour | Estes Park Rocky Mountain National Park

Is Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Park? A question that gets asked many times, is one that we can easily answer. Yes, in a sense. We get to the bottom of this question and a few others below about visiting Estes Park and RMNP.

Is Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Park?

The easy answer is yes. Estes Park is a town, not a park, next to Rocky Mountain National Park. The town is best known as “the gateway to the Rockies,” as well as the National Park. When people plan their visit to RMNP, typically they make Estes Park their home base because the town is near three of the main entrances into the park.

The park’s east entrance is located on Highway 36, 3.5 miles west of Estes Park. This is the Beaver Meadows Entrance Station. This station is usually the most popular, receiving the highest volume of visitors each year. Plus, just 19 miles south of Estes Park on Highway 7 is the Wild Basin Entrance Station, known as one of the more remote areas of the park. This entrance typically sees less traffic than the Beaver Meadows station.

Traveling north of the Beaver Meadows station, on Highway 34, roughly four miles west of Estes Park, is the Fall River Entrance Station. This station is less than half a mile from the park’s newest visitor center, the Fall River Visitor Center.

And last, on the west side of the park, roughly two miles from the town of Grand Lake is the Grand Lake Entrance Station. Here you can visit the Kawuneeche Visitor Center near the beautiful Kawuneeche Valley. The famous Trail Ridge Road is the scenic byway that connects the two towns and is a great way to see much of the park all in one day!

What came first?

Technically the official formation of Rocky Mountain National Park was established in 1915, with the formal incorporation of the town of Estes Park taking place in 1917. But long before its incorporation, the area of Estes Park had been discovered by its first permanent residents, the Estes family, in the late 1800s, and the likes of Abner Sprague in 1905. But the declaration of the National Park was what really put Estes Park on the map.

Should I stay in Estes Park?

The town of Estes Park offers plenty to do including shopping, dining, outdoor activities, festivals, and year-round events. Downtown Estes Park is the main hub of town and where you will find most restaurants, art galleries, and shops, along with the Riverwalk. From central downtown, you are only 10 minutes from the Fall River Entrance Station, making a day in the mountains and in town possible!

Stay at Rocky Mountain Resorts

Located in the town of Estes Park and just minutes from the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park, Rocky Mountain Resorts is the ideal choice for lodging in the area. We offer a variety of accommodations ranging from cozy cabins and cottages to large and spacious vacation homes. Guests enjoy the nightlife of downtown Estes Park and are less than a 10-minute drive to RMNP. You truly have the best of both worlds when you stay with us!

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