Above the treeline in the Rockies
Welcome to this tour of the Rocky Mountain National Park and one of America’s most spectacular scenic drives, as presented by Insight Guides. For much of this tour we’ll follow Trail Ridge Road, which takes you more than 12,000 feet high, above the treeline and across the Continental Divide. Because of heavy winter snowfall, this road is only open from Memorial Day at the end of May through mid-October. But it can still close during bad weather, so always check conditions at the visitor center or online before you start out.
My name is Katherine and I’ll be your guide. Although you can make the one-way trip on Trail Ridge Road in a little over two hours, I suggest you allow at least half a day so you can enjoy the beautiful scenery at the many viewpoints and parking areas. Better still, make a full day of it and stop for a leisurely hike or two along the park’s many trails. There is an admission fee of $20 per vehicle.
You can stop at any time and start again at the same spot later. You can follow the route on your phone or simply listen as I guide you from one sight to the next. I’ll be giving you clear directions and the audio will automatically start playing when you get close to the next sight on the tour. Don’t worry if you need to skip a sight as the tour will pick up at the next location.
Due to the potential lack of GPS signal in the area, it is recommended that you select manual mode in the app's settings before leaving, so that you can trigger the audio manually if it does not start automatically.
You’ll want to bring a jacket or sweatshirt, as it’s usually windy and much cooler at the higher altitudes. And do bring water, snacks or a picnic lunch. There’s only one restaurant in the park itself, but there are plenty of good picnic areas.
One more thing – always be aware of your surroundings, watch out for other traffic and especially for animals, and be sure to obey all warning signs. We'll learn about the park's features as we drive around.
Ready? Let's get started!
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