Campsites often become full in the summer, so it's a good idea to make a reservation early. If no spaces are available in Rocky Mountain National Park, there are some other good options available just down the road.
Yogi Bear Jellystone Park™ of Estes has over 110 campsites available with several options to accommodate your needs - No Hook Up Tent Sites, Water & Electric Sites, Premium Water & Electric Sites, and Full Hookup Sites. Prices range from $35/night Sunday through Thursday from May 8 to October 3 to $70/night on a Friday or Saturday for a Premium Full Hook Up ($75 on Holiday & Halloween weekends). For more information or to reserve, call (970) 658-2536 or check out their website.
There are two campsites managed by the Estes Valley Recreation and Park District: The Estes Park Campground at Mary's Lake and The Estes Park Campground at East Portal. These are open from May 15th to October 3rd. Reservations can be made online at www.ReserveAmerica.com or through the call center at (800) 964-7806. Rates for 2016 are $30/night for a non-water/electric campsite, $40/night for a campsite with water and electric, and $45/night for a full hook-up campsite. For more information and the guidelines for reserving you can go to the EVRPD website.
There is also the Hermit Park Open Space campgrounds located 2 miles from Estes Park and is open year-round. Reservations can be made 180 days in the future. It has 108 campsites in 5 different campgrounds: Hermit's Hollow, Bobcat, Kruger Equestrian, Granite Gulch, and Camper Cabins. Each of these can be reserved through the reservations call center at (800) 397-7795 or online at the Larimer County Camping website.
This past week Colorado got a lot of snow in a 24-hour time-period - Allenspark received just over 20 inches of snow, and Estes Park received just under 15 inches of snow!! If you're looking for a fun family outing in the snow, you can head up to Rocky Mountain National Park to the Hidden Valley area for some slip sliding fun in the snow!
*Pictures taken January 22, 2016, prior to the snow storm*
Parents and kids, get ready to have a fun trip down the mountain, as the sledding slopes at Hidden Valley are awesome. It was formerly a ski area that operated from 1955 to 1991, so the hills are perfect. The sledding hill is located on the 'bunny slope' of the former ski area, but if your kids want to, they can work up some good speed!! Get out your sleds, tubes, or saucers and head on up! You have to bring your own, so if you don't have your own, you can rent some from most of the outdoor shops in town. Plus, on weekends when there is an attendant, a warming room is available for those who need it, as well as a restroom with flush/running water.
You might also find skiiers, snowboarders and snowshoers on the different runs, however they must slow down to yield the right-of-way to sledders. There can be lots of wind in the area, so be sure to call the RMNP information office for the latest conditions at 970-586-1206.