Rocky Mountain NP


Staff member
As with all NPs, there's lots to do in the park. But in particular, simply driving over US34 in RMNP is a treat in and of itself. I've ridden over that pass several times on my MC, and done it twice with the RV.

I recall the amazing shift in my kids attitude in mere minutes while going up the mountain (East to West). It was overcast and there were low hanging clouds/fog as we approached and started our ascent. I was telling my young kids (9 and 7) that clouds are essentially fog that does not touch the ground, and vice-versa. (Condensation lesson, as it were). As we went up, the fog got worse and worse. The kids were bummed because there was absolutely nothing for them to see.

Then, within two minutes, the fog started getting brighter, and thinner. Suddenly we were above the cloud line and into the Alpine area. It was completely sunny and inspiring, as if we had been transported into the Alps with the VonTrapps. No trees, total sun, rock outcroppings, etc. We got to the "top" of the road and stopped at a lookout. While we could not see the lower plains below us, it was as if we were looking over an ocean of clouds.

We then proceeded to drive west and got to the Continental Divide. My kids were mildly interested until I explained how water rolling down one side ended up in the Pacific Ocean, and down the other, into the Atlantic. My daughter got a water bottle and was running back and forth across the GD, giggling as she "filled up the oceans". My son, the more creative and devious of the two, asked if he could pee "into the ocean". (sigh ... sure, go ahead ... no one's coming ...).

Sometimes it's not the big ticket items that entertain and become life-long memories; occasionally it's the little nuances of giggles and urinating downhill.
....and there is the difference between boys and girls!

We drove US-34 through the park a couple years ago (not with trailer in tow) - you are a brave man David. But now that I know you've done it, I have to do it too. Trail Ridge Road (US-34) is such an amazing view. The visitor center at the top is has a balcony with a view to kill. We probably stood there for an hour looking and taking pictures.

360° Photo of Trail Ridge Summit

These are a couple pictures from around the visitor center on Trail Ridge Road. It's amazing up there, but also always windy and cold.

Last edited: