Summer is an exciting time to be in the park. Whether you want to go on a hike to a expansive overlook, go fishing at a lake surrounded by glacier cirques, get up close and personal with a cascading waterfall, or attempt to climb a towering cliff, you are going to love being in Rocky Mountain in the summer. Below are some of the most popular things to do in Rocky Mountain National Park in the summer:
Hiking: Since most of the snow has melted at higher elevations, there are so many incredible hiking trails that are accessible in the summer. You can find out which hike is best for you by checking out our list of Rocky Mountain hikes, or by looking at the park’s full list of hikes.
Backpacking: Summer is the best time to go backpacking in the park; since all of the trails are open, it gives you great opportunities to go on multi-day trips in the backcountry. Make sure you plan in advance so you can get the itinerary you desire. Read about how to get backpacking permits, or go on a guided backpacking trip.
Fishing: With over 50 rivers, streams and lakes, fishing is a very popular thing to do in summer. Fish typically bite when it is warm out, so mid-day in the summer is ideal. Any fisher over the age of 16 is required to obtain a Colorado Fishing License. Some of the best places to fish in summer in the park include: Glacier Creek, Mills Lake, Dream Lake and Sky Pond.
Climbing: The wide range of peaks and granite walls in the park make Rocky Mountain National Park world-class for rock climbing. With the variety of rock there is the variety of climbing—mountaineering, bouldering, and big wall are all popular in Rocky Mountain. Read the National Park Service’s climbing regulations when planning your trip.
Ranger Programs: Summer is a great time of the year to attend a ranger-led program. With daily interpretive hikes that take place at various locations in the park, and evening programs, all ages will find these activities enjoyable.
Horseback Riding: If you want a true, western experience, horseback riding is a great thing to do in the summer. The guided ride takes you through meadows, next to rivers, and to fantastic views. Two stables—Moraine Park Stables and Glacier Creek Stables, are inside the park, and many others operate outside the park boundaries.
Bicycling: A wonderful way to experience Rocky Mountain is on bicycle. Bicycles are permitted on all roads, including Trail Ridge Road and Old Fall River Road. Trail Ridge Road is 48 miles in length, and has an elevation gain of 4,170, so it is not for everyone, and it is recommended to plan ahead with a car on the other side. If Trail Ridge Road is too much for you, bicyclists are allowed to ride on any paved road in the park where a car can drive—although there are few shoulders and no bike lanes, so ride at your own risk.