Tips on Visiting RMNP When it's not as Crowded

Elk grazing in RMNP


Rocky Mountain National Park's visitation was up again in 2016 with a little over 4.5 million visitors, an increase of 40 percent since 2012! Much of this was due to the National Park Service's 100th anniversary - which brought added crowds to all the national parks, not just RMNP. All months except for December set new visitation records. So how can you visit the park when it's not as crowded?


  • Visit the park during the week, not the weekends... The top 10 busiest days in order from top-most visited to tenth-most visited were : September 24, July 3, September 4, September 17, July 24, July 10, July 17, September 5, July 23 and July 30, all of which fell either on a weekend or a holiday! Weekends from late June through September are the most crowded.
  • Get to the park early (before 10 am) ... the park staff this past summer and fall limited the access to both the Bear Lake Road  corridor and the Wild Basin area when the parking areas were filled and there was a possibility of heavy congestion in those areas.
  • Ride the bus ... it's easier to park in downtown Estes, then take the free shuttle into the park. 
  • Visit the park during the off-peak season when you can get good deals on lodging ... January through mid-May and October through December.

For more information about Rocky Mountain National Park, call 970-586-1206 or visit or the National Park Service RMNP website.