Learn all about your options for staying in and around Rocky Mountain National Park as well information about restaurants, shopping, and other great activities just outside the park's borders.
Where to Stay, Shop, and Eat When Visiting Rocky Mountain National Park
While visiting Rocky Mountain National Park you have a wide range of choices for accommodations, restaurants, shopping, and more. Nearly all of it is found just outside the borders of the park in the towns of Estes Park and Grand Lake.
Inside Rocky Mountain National Park itself you will find little in terms of accommodation or food. There are several large campgrounds in the park and wilderness tent sites, but no hotels or lodges. At the Alpine Trail Ridge Store on Trail Ridge Road, you can find a few snack items and drinks, but there is no other food for sale in the national park. All of the other lodging and food options are found outside of the park.
The town of Estes Park is the main hub for these services. Estes Park serves as the eastern gateway town to Rocky Mountain National Park. This is a town of about 10,000 full-time residents located right at the edge of the park. Estes Park is a major tourist hub and has many hotels, lodges, campgrounds, restaurants, galleries, gift stores, as well as a handful of grocery stores.
The west side of Rocky Mountain National Park is bordered by the town of Grand Lake on the shores of Colorado’s largest natural lake. It is a small town with a full-time population of just over 500 people. Yet this small town offers numerous places to stay, a number of restaurants, many interesting shops, and two small grocery stores. Its wooden boardwalks give it an old-west feel and it is usually the quieter alternative to Estes Park.