Let’s be honest here, the real reason you are coming to run is just an excuse for a getaway to Rocky Mountain National Park, right?
There is a lot you can do while visiting the park. We’ll offer some recommendations below, but we suggest you spend time on the NPS site and learn what you can before you come.
Hike Hallett Peak
This is Hallett Peak as seen from Bear Lake. It’s kind of awesome. It sits right on the continental divide at 12,720 feet. The trail head starts at Bear Lake. You can drive and park or take the shuttle from Estes Park.
The best part? Hike Hallett Peak within 72 hours after the race, send us a picture with your bib, finisher medal and face clearly visible and you will officially join the Continental Divide Club! That means you get your picture on the web forever and 50% off next year’s registration. Hallet Peak is not an especially dangerous hike. No cliffs or drop offs. But its long and gains a lot of elevation. Bring way more water than you think and watch for afternoon thunderstorms. They are deadly. Seriously, please don’t die.
Drive Trail Ridge Road
This drive is not for the faint of heart. Trail ridge road was opened in 1932 and is the highest continuous paved road in the United States. There is a short window when it is open and the race is right in the middle of that time frame. If you have a bold heart, but tired legs, this is the activity for you.
The road is 48 miles long and connects Estes Park with the Grand Lake community. The road peaks at 12,183 feet and crosses the continental divide at Milner Pass.
The road features steep roads, sharp turns, skinny roads, and unbelievable views. Learn more.
Hike Chasm Lake
Our sources have suggested this may be the best hike in the entire park. We’ll let you be the judge. This hike shares much of the path with the hike up Longs Peak, the highest peak in the park. The trail will be full of people no matter when you start, but we suggest you start early to avoid afternoon thunderstorms that are common during August. You can see a profile of the hike here.
Go Horseback Riding
Horses have been connected to the park since the beginning. If you don’t feel like walking after the race, this may be great activity for you.
Horses are allowed in most places within the park although there are some restrictions. Your best bet is to connect with one of the two stables that are located inside the park.
Hi Country Stables
Moraine Park – 970-586-2327
Glacier Creek – 970-586-3244
Enjoy Wildlife Viewing
These folks are actually standing on the course. Kind of awesome.
Guess what the number one favorite activity is for the park? You guessed it, viewing wildlife. If you leave without seeing an elk, bighorn sheep, mule deer or moose, then you aren’t even trying. I’m actually not sure it is possible to miss them.
The NPS website offers some tips and warnings regarding wildlife.
Please don’t get too close.