So you want all the details, or maybe you want to go yourself?
Here is what you may want to know.

Rocky Mountian National Park in Colorado

1. Park Location
2. Hike Locations, Red: Ridge Road, Yellow: Emerald Lake, Green: The Loch




Who wants to hear about a trip if it's to expensive to go yourself? I've always hated travel shows that show you an incredible location and never mention the price, or the price mentioned doesn't include taxes or fees which can be up to 25% in some areas. Or worst of all is when you check the price for yourself you find that prices are ridiculous and only for the super rich. These are the prices you'll get yourself from the vendor's website after taxes.

Cost for 2 people, 5 Days, 4 nights

Airfare $616
Room $735
Car $167
Park Fee $20
Total $1,540

Planes, Hotels, and Rental Cars:

If you live in Raleigh it's almost impossible to beat the prices to Denver via Southwest, which is not really a surprise as both Raleigh and Denver are Southwest Hub cities. In the past we have always tried to take the Non-Stop flight from Raleigh to Denver, but this time we tried something different and took the 7:00am to Chicago and then to Denver. This is now my recommended method. The non-stop is great but does not get to Denver until about 2:00pm. It is also always packed to capacity, so there are no open seats. By contrast, the first leg of the 7am flight to Chicago is barely half full and the flight lands at 10am. the second half of the flight from Chicago to Denver is full once again but that makes it only half the time stuffed in a plane like a sardine. Better yet, if you land at 10am it gives you enough time to get a rental car, drive the hour west to Idaho Springs and have a 12:00 noon lunch at Tommy Nockers Brewery . A ten beer sampler and soup is the perfect way to start a trip. After that its an hour scenic drive through the mountains to Estes Park.

We stayed at the McGregor Mountain Lodge and loved it. Clean, quaint, nice views, as close to the park as you can get, and only 10 min from downtown Estes Park. A flat screen tv in your private cabin was a great way to end the day.

Rental Cars:
Something interesting I noticed while planning this trip was the price of rental cars. When doing searches on Expedia and other sites, the rental car prices were in the $300's which was far higher than I've paid for cars in the Denver area in the past. When I did a check to the individual car companies over the next couple days I finally found a special deal and was able to get the car for half. This was the same experience I had last winter, so I'm thinking this might be a new standard ploy on the car rental agencies.


Tommy Nockers

McGregor Cabins

McGregor Cabins

Other Notes