Planning for a winter visit to RMNP – Estes Park Trail-Gazette

Are you planning a visit to Rocky Mountain National Park during the winter season? Winter is a magical time to visit the park, a time when there are fewer crowds and it’s easy to enjoy both solitude and snow on a winter wilderness adventure.

However, snowpacked and icy roads, temperatures that frequenlty drop below freezing, and seasonal road closures can create challenges for visitors.

Extra planning is key to a successful winter adventure in Rocky Mountain National Park.

When Does the Winter Season Begin?

With elevations ranging from 7,800 feet to over 14,000 feet above sea level, winter conditions can greatly vary in the Rocky Mountains. The winter season, especially at locations above 8,000 feet, can stretch from late September or early October to late May or early June. Planning a trip to the park during April or May? You need to be ready for winter conditions.

Be Avalanche Aware!

Did you know that many of the park’s winter trails, including destinations in the Bear Lake and Hidden Valley areas, are located within significant avalanche terrain?

Avalanches can be triggered by snowshoers, winter hikers, backcountry skiers, and even wildlife.

Interested in learning more about avalanche safety in the park? Visit our Avalanche Awareness webpage at

How Much Snow is in the Park?

The park has SNOWTEL monitors located near both Bear Lake and Wild Basin.

What Does the Park Currently Look Like? Check Out our Webcams!

Interested in seeing what conditions look like in the park? Rocky Mountain National Park has six live webcams showing views from different locations within the park. Go to

Wildlife Viewing

The winter season creates some unique wildlife viewing opportunities. To learn more about how to safely view wildlife, please visit our Wildlife Viewing page at

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Written by Cam Smash

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