Where to stay near Rocky Mountain National Park, CO

  • Post last modified:October 18, 2021
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Rocky Mountain National Park spoils its visitors with alpine lakes, fascinating wildlife and tall mountain tops. The high Colorado park reaches elevations of more than 14,000 feet. In Rocky Mountain National Park you really feel like you’re on top of the world. But where to stay near Rocky Mountain National Park for the best experience?

Rocky Mountain National Park is situated between the two towns Estes Park and Grand Lake. In the gateway towns you find the best places to stay near Rocky Mountain National Park. Further away Loveland and Boulder offer less convenient Rocky Mountain lodging.

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Where to stay near Rocky Mountain National Park, CO

Estes Park, CO – Places to stay near Rocky Mountain National Park in the east

There are no places to stay within Rocky Mountain National Park. But both the gateway towns Estes Park and Grand Lake offer Rocky Mountain National Park lodging in the front row.

Estes Park is Rocky Mountain National Park’s eastern gateway town. From Rocky Mountain lodging in Estes Park it only takes you minutes to get to the park adventure.

Trail Ridge Road is a park highlight that cuts through the park from Estes Park in the east to Grand Lake in the west. The famous road is easy to reach from Rocky Mountain National Park hotels at both ends.

Still the eastern location is extra convenient as that’s where you find many of the other most visited Rocky Mountain spots. Emerald Lake, Alberta Falls and Bear Lake are among the popular highlights on the eastern side of the Colorado park. From Rocky Mountain hotels in Estes Park it’s just 14 miles (23 km) and 30 minutes to Bear Lake at the very end of Bear Lake Road.

Estes Park is also the perfect Rocky Mountain National Park base if you prefer a more lively town. It’s the bigger of the gateway towns where you find more Rocky Mountain National Park hotels, restaurants and things to do. Downtown Estes Park has an appreciated selection of cute souvenir shops, candy stores and restaurants.

But the attractive location and lively vibe makes Estes Park very popular for where to stay when visiting Rocky Mountain National Park. Therefore make sure that you book your Rocky Mountain lodging as early as possible if you want Estes Park as your base.

In short, Estes Park is the best option for where to stay near Rocky Mountain National Park with the whole package. If you pick Estes Park you get both great access to the most popular spots in the park and a fun liveliness. But look towards Grand Lake if you prefer Rocky Mountain lodging in a quieter town.

Stay in Estes Park for: The whole Rocky Mountain National Park package.

Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park
Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, CO.

Recommended Rocky Mountain hotels in Estes Park

The Inn on Fall River – Cozy Rocky Mountain accommodation by the river

At the Inn on Fall River it’s easy to believe that you’re staying inside the actual national park. The setting on Fall River is very peaceful and the Rocky Mountain lodging is a great place to relax after a day in the park. With the sound of the river present it’s easy to unwind. And its location near both the national park and Estes Park fun also makes it one of the best places to stay near Rocky Mountain National Park to get the best of both worlds.

Rams Horn Village Resort – A spacious Rocky Mountain National Park resort

Rams Horn Village Resort is also conveniently located between Downtown Estes Park and the national park. The resort is homely Rocky Mountain National Park lodging at its best where you can spread out and to the fullest enjoy the beautiful environment. It’s one of the best places to stay near Rocky Mountains National Park both for families and couples who want something spacious. If you’re lucky you might even see elk and deer roaming the property of the Rocky Mountain National Park resort.

There are places to stay near Rocky Mountain National Park in the gateway town Estes Park
Welcome to Estes Park, CO.

Grand Lake, CO – Hotels near Rocky Mountain National Park in the west

Grand Lake is Rocky Mountain National Park’s western gateway town. From Rocky Mountain accommodation in Grand Lake you effortlessly get to the adventure in the adjacent Colorado park.

In particular you easily access the high and popular Trail Ridge Road from Grand Lake. To explore the road that goes through the park is one of the best things to do in Rocky Mountain National Park.

But from Rocky Mountain lodging in Grand Lake you have a longer drive to get to some of the most visited spots on the eastern side including Emerald Lake, Alberta Falls and Bear Lake. From Grand Lake it’s 52 miles (84 km) and as much as around two hours to get across the park to Bear Lake.

Rocky Mountain’s western side where Grand Lake is located is known as the quieter side. Places to stay near Rocky Mountain National Park in the west offer more solitude than if you stay on the busier eastern side.

The western gateway town also offers less Rocky Mountain National Park lodging, dining options and things to do. Grand Lake is a much smaller town than Estes Park in the east.

But with its attractive gateway location and peacefulness Grand Lake is also a very popular option for where to stay near Rocky Mountain National Park. Therefore make sure that you just like for Estes Park book your Rocky Mountain National Park accommodation as early as possible.

To sum up, Grand Lake is a great option for where to stay near Rocky Mountain National Park if you look for peacefulness. The western side of the park is an excellent choice if you want to avoid larger crowds and don’t mind to be further away from the popular attractions on the eastern side.

Stay in Grand Lake for: Hotels near Rocky Mountain National Park in the quieter west.

View from Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park
View from Trail Ridge Road, CO

Loveland & Boulder, CO – Rocky Mountain lodging further away

Loveland and Boulder are two Colorado cities that are located much further away than the other options for where to stay when visiting Rocky Mountain National Park. From Loveland it’s 30 miles (48 km) and 45 minutes by car to get to Estes Park. And from Boulder the drive is even slightly longer.

That makes the cities much less convenient options for where to stay near Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s much more comfortable and rewarding to stay at Rocky Mountain National Park hotels in the gateway towns. From the gateway towns you easily get to the park and that’s where you find the true Rocky Mountain National Park ambience.

But away from Rocky Mountain National Park means that the hotel rates tend to go down. So Loveland and Boulder are options if you visit Rocky Mountain National Park on a budget.

In conclusion, Loveland and Boulder are not the best options for where to stay when visiting Rocky Mountain National Park. Lodging near Rocky Mountain National Park in the gateway towns is more convenient. But Loveland and Boulder are options if you look for Rocky Mountain places to stay on a budget and don’t mind the drive.

Stay in Loveland/Boulder for: Rocky Mountain National Park on a budget.

Fall colors a short drive from places to stay near Rocky Mountain National Park
Fall colors in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Search for a hotel near Rocky Mountain National Park, CO

Use the booking tool below to find the perfect places to stay near Rocky Mountain National Park. Browse the map for options in various areas, or click on the search button to get all Rocky Mountain National Park hotels listed.

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Where to stay near Rocky Mountain National Park FAQ

Here you find the answers to some frequently asked questions about where to stay near Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.

Where should I stay when visiting Rocky Mountain National Park?

The eastern gateway town Estes Park is the most popular Rocky Mountain National Park lodging option. In Estes Park you get great park access and a lively vibe. On the west side Grand Lake is a quieter gateway town that’s perfect if you want more solitude and don’t mind the longer drive to the Bear Lake area.

Is it better to stay in Estes Park or Grand Lake?

Both Estes Park and Grand Lake are great options for where to stay when visiting Rocky Mountain National Park. Estes Park is livelier and gives you better access to in particular the Bear Lake area. On the other hand Grand Lake is the more peaceful option that feels further away from it all.

What city is closest to Rocky Mountain National Park?

The adjacent gateway towns Estes Park and Grand Lake are the towns closest to Rocky Mountain National Park. Other options such as Loveland and Boulder are located much further away from the park.

Does Rocky Mountain National Park have a hotel?

There are no hotels within Rocky Mountain National Park. But the gateway towns Estes Park and Grand Lake provide great Rocky Mountain National Park lodging just a stone’s throw away from the park fun.

How many days do you need in Rocky Mountain National Park?

Three days in Rocky Mountain National Park gives you time for the most scenic drives and popular hikes in the park. But add more time if you want to explore the trails in the park more extensively.

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