Top Ten Winter Outdoor Family Getaways

Big Mountain Magic: Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
By Elyse Green
Rocky Mountain Elk
Rocky Mountain elk (Corel)

You know we had to. So what if three million people visit Rocky Mountain National Park every year?—two million of them come between June and August alone.

Smart travelers and snow buffs do RMNP during slow time: the other nine months of the year (each of which may as well be winter anyway—hey, we're talking Colorado, here). If your troop is one that prefers snowmen to sandcastles and winter wonder to summer sweat, then look no further. Rocky Mountain National Park is the place for you.

Naturally, much of RMNP's 355 miles of trail are fabulous for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

What's lesser-known, however, is that the consistently lighter snowfall on the eastern side of the Continental Divide leaves many trails—generally those below 8,700 feet—mostly or completely hikable, even in the dead of winter. The spectacular views, ice formations, and weathered granite rising up from these treasured trails beckon to even the littlest hearts, and with ample fodder for a snowball fight or two along the way!


Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

GORP's Rocky Mountain National Park Homepage

All the information you need, from how to get there to what to do. Includes maps, contacts, and camping and lodging information.

Winter Day Hikes in RMNP

Be sure to check out GORP's shortlist, a smattering of easy-to-moderate treks of 6 miles or less, so as not to freeze tiny toes or incite blizzards of whining. Just be sure to check conditions with park rangers before you depart.

The park is well-guarded by three surrounding federal lands: Roosevelt, Routt, and Arapaho National Forests. So there's plenty of room to explore. A national wild and scenic river— Cache la Poudre—originates in the park, offering even more fantastic scenery.

GORP's North Central Colorado Map

See RMNP as it sits in relation to other Colorado points of interest.

Everything you ever wanted to know about colorful Colorado. Enjoy your trip!


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