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National Park Journal

National Park Journal Rocky Mountain 2018

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Get the digital version of the National Park Journal with its four separate park editions (Grand Canyon, Rocky Mountain, Yellowstone and Yosemite) to discover all-time favorite road trips to the national parks. From Utah’s dazzling deserts, the adobe-lined streets of New Mexico’s charming towns, Wyoming’s authentic outposts, California’s stunning coastline and Colorado’s mountain towns, we feature all the amazing places to explore en route to the parks, no matter where you begin your adventure. Plus , our insider’s guide includes our top things to do in each national park in 48 hours. Discover the best hiking trails, campsites and attractions in our magazine. Our illustrated wildlife guide will help you discover the best of the park's wild animals, including tips on where to find them, and our packing list ensures you don’t leave anything at home.

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United States
Pocket Outdoor Media, LLC
4 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
editor's note

I see Longs Peak every day when I drive out of my office parking lot, its enormous granite flat top towering high above any other mountain in my view. It’s the highest mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park at 14,259 feet. Without me consciously thinking about it, it has become my weather beacon of sorts. Since weather moves west to east, I look west to see if rain clouds have gathered at its peak, if it's snowing in the high country, if the skies around it are blue. Whatever weather is hanging over Longs will soon be in Boulder where we are based. But seeing Rocky Mountain National Park’s iconic peak also is a daily reminder that there is a place not far from traffic, tract housing and shopping centers where alpine…

1 min.
paperless trail

YOUR SHOT You flooded our annual photo contest with incredible shots. Here are the top three photographs from our 2017 contest. Learn more about our contest on page 2 and enter our 2018 contest at nationalparktripsmedia.com . Grand Prize Wildlife Brown bear Lake Clark National Park ROGER TWILLEY • TULSA, OKLA. Grand Prize Landscape A beautiful night at Ruby Beach Olympic National Park MATT MEISENHEIMER • JANESVILLE, WIS. Grand Prize Night Skies The Milky Way rises boldly over Arch Rock Joshua Tree National Park TONY PRINCE • YUCCA VALLEY, CALIF. Online Visit MyRockyMountainPark.com to find out where to stay and what to do during your vacation. Interested in exploring other national parks? Check us out: MyGrandCanyonPark.com MyOlympicPark.com MySmokyMountainPark.com MyUtahParks.com MyYellowstonePark.com MyYosemitePark.com Trip Planner Start planning your dream vacation by requesting our tip-filled Colorado Trip Planner online. You also can request vacation planning materials from our partners in Colorado. Enewsletter Don’t forget to…

1 min.
behind the scenery

When you drive up Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park, one of the mountains you’ll see is Longs Peak. Piercing the sky at 14,259 feet, it has a curiously flat summit that bears a striking resemblance to an uneven table top. It attracts avid hikers from all over the world to climb it. What many don’t know is the love story entangled with the peak. Without it, Rocky Mountain National Park might not exist. It started in 1884 when 14-year-old Enos Mills arrived in Estes Park from Kansas. When he spotted Longs Peak, it was love at first sight. He positioned his small log cabin, so he would have fantastic views of Longs. He climbed the peak 40 times on his own and an additional 300 times as a…

1 min.
park pass

A day park pass costs $20 and a 7-day pass costs $30/vehicle (subject to change). Buy either online or at park entrance stations. Purchase the Rocky Mountain National Park Pass for $60 for unlimited visits to the park for 12 months. Planning on visiting more than one park this year? Consider the America the Beautiful annual pass for $80. The Access Pass is a free lifetime admission for U.S. citizens/ permanent residents with lifelong disabilities. The Senior Pass is a one-time $80 fee for U.S. citizens/ permanent residents 62 and older. Fourth-graders and their families get a free one-year pass. Print out a voucher at everykidinapark.gov and bring it to a park entrance.…

2 min.
park entrance primer

BEAVER MEADOWS ENTRANCE On the park’s east side lies the Beaver Meadows Entrance, the most direct entrance from Estes Park, a town that sits right outside Rocky Mountain National Park. An hour’s drive from Boulder and two hours from Denver, the lively Estes Park is the closest town to the park on the east side. Open year round, the Beaver Meadows Entrance is the most popular and is accessed by Hwy. 36. Stop by the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center to get information, books, maps and backcountry permits, as well to as catch the park bus. The park bus system enables you to avoid the stress of looking for parking spots. FALL RIVER ENTRANCE If driving Trail Ridge Road or Old Fall River Road is on the top of your list and you have limited time,…

2 min.
48 hours in the park

WATCH THE SUN RISE ON THE PARK’S EAST SIDE Wake up early to get to Bear Lake, a .5-mile loop around the lake, to catch the sunlight as it rises over Hallett Peak and Flattop Mountain. Arrive at least 30 minutes before dawn. HIKE GEM LAKE Located 2.5 miles from downtown Estes Park, this 3.3-mile roundtrip trail is fun for the family and can be less crowded than other trails, mostly because it’s not in the heart of the park. While you’ll climb less than 1,000 feet, a number of rock steps lead you to the sparkling shores of Gem Lake. CLIMB LONGS PEAK If you are a strong hiker who has trained for a really long day of hiking, head to Longs Peak, the park’s tallest mountain at 14,259 feet. This hike can take…