Tips for Finding Last Minute Summer Lodging in Estes Park

With 3 million visitors each year, summers are busy around Rocky Mountain National Park. Many families return year after year because it’s such a special place, and book their lodging a year in advance.

If you find yourself wanting to put together a last minute summer visit to the mountains, you might discover it’s not so easy to find a place to stay because many lodges are already booked during the “high” season, especially during July and August.

What can you do? Here are some tips to help make your last minute summer visit a reality:

1) Be flexible. If you don’t have to go on specific dates, a lodge can often find openings around your desired dates.

2) Be willing to change rooms in the middle of your stay. Indicate your willingness to change and ask the lodge if they can put together two openings to form a block for you.

3) Book a 1-2 night midweek stay. If weekends are full, Mondays and Tuesdays often have openings.

4) Go to and submit a Lodging Availability Request Form. It notifies all the lodges of what you’re looking for, and you’ll get return emails from the ones with openings that match your parameters.

5) If you can’t find lodging for your entire stay and you’re flying into Denver, consider staying the first and/or last night in a motel near the airport. It’s a 90 minute drive to Estes Park.

6) Take an overnight trip in the middle of your stay to explore the west side of RMNP and stay in Grand Lake for one night. This will allow you to put together two non-consecutive blocks.

The End is Nigh - Last Chance to Enjoy Trail Ridge Road

Trail Ridge Road, RMNP, TundraMany people will tell you that the highlight of their trip in Rocky Mountain National Park was a trip over Trail Ridge Road. The striking beauty around every curve is overwhelming for many who drive this grand road. But when September arrives, the days to travel over Trail Ridge are numbered. The tundra plants have been prepared for the brief summer, some for nearly the last century, each time fall arrives they draw their reserves into their roots, turn yellow, burnt orange or red and then finally brown to wait out yet another winter. Tundra fall is a brilliant display in this 4 inch forest.

Much like the flowers, the next time we'll visit the tundra is when the first warm rays of summer arrive next May. So if you have the privilege to drive over Trail Ridge during September enjoy the colors and remember much like the summer flowers, we are just brief visitors to this grand landscape.

By Jared Gricoskie of Yellow Wood Guiding. To book your own guided tour through Rocky Mountain National Park, contact Jared at

Let us help you find your perfect place to stay while visiting RMNP: the ORIGINAL visitors' guide to Estes Park, CO.