This truly is a National Park for all seasons. In the summer, it is worth the extra time it takes to drive eleven miles up the unpaved curves of one-way Old Fall River Road to Alpine Visitor Center at 11,796 feet. Elk bulls spar and bugle in the autumn, when aspen trees briefly turn the mountainsides gold. Winter is a wonderful time for outdoor recreation if you come prepared for the cold and snow.
Bear Lake, Dream Lake, Trail Ridge Road, Adams Falls, Ouzel Falls,
From the famous Trail Ridge Road, you do not even have to get out of your car for amazing panoramas. If you want to walk, the one-mile Toll Memorial Trail at Tundra Communities Trailhead is paved and flat enough to not be too strenuous at 12,000 feet in elevation. Elk, pikas, and yellow-bellied marmots frequent the parking area around Rock Cut.
If you are looking to climb straight up the side of a mountain, there are plenty of options, including popular Flattop Mountain and the strenuous climb up Longs Peak. For a less busy trail, head to Ypsilon Lake and continue up the hillside, scrambling over boulders all the way to spectacular Spectacle Lakes.
In Grand Lake on the west side of the park, hiking or snowshoeing past Adams Falls up the East Inlet Trail is breathtaking in all seasons.
Summer is the busiest, but winter brings opportunities for snowshoeing.
$35 per vehicle ($25 for one day) or America The Beautiful pass
Almost all roads are paved; one-way Old Fall River Road is gravel and only open a few months in the summer.
There are multiple campgrounds within the park and Glacier Basin is open year round. Several National Forests surround the park and provide opportunities for dispersed camping, although around Grand Lake it does get crowded on summer weekends.
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