The Rocky Mountains form the largest mountain range in the United States – and Rocky Mountain National Park lies right at their epicentre. This gorgeous area of natural beauty draws tourists from across the world, thanks to the stunning scenery, challenging hikes, and quirky townships within its boundaries. Thinking about taking a staycation this year? You should definitely hit up the Rocky Mountains!

There aren’t actually any accommodation options inside the national park itself, so you’re going to have to look at the towns on its outskirts. This can be challenging, as there aren’t a lot of resources online that take these into consideration. Each town has something different to offer, so it’s really important to do your research.

Which is where we come in! We’ve combined our own experience with advice from locals and travel experts to bring you this guide to the four best places to stay near Rocky Mountain National Park. Whether you want panoramic vistas, laid-back rural retreats, or adventurous hiking trails – we have you covered!

So let’s dive right in!

Where to Stay in Rocky Mountain National Park?

The road networks surrounding Rocky Mountain National Park are easy enough to get around, so you might opt to choose one base and explore the region. If you don’t mind where you stay and are in a hurry, these are our top three overall accommodation picks.

Designer Cabin near Rocky Mountain National Park – Mountain Lodge

Mountain Lodge

Airbnb Plus properties are hand-selected for their gorgeous interior design, impeccable service, and luxurious vibes. This rustic log cabin is our top pick for Airbnb properties in the national park thanks to the stylish furnishings and rural feel. It is also surprisingly well priced, so budget travellers can rest easy in this one.

Mesmerising Lakeside Views in Rocky Mountain National Park – Custom Grand Lake Home

Custom Grand Lake Home

As you’ll see by the rest of our accommodation picks, Rocky Mountain National Park is full of gorgeous cabins! They’re great because you get to enjoy all your home comforts while still experiencing some connection to nature. This cabin in the heart of Grand Lake is our favourite thanks to its beautiful interior design and the equally dazzling scenery outside.

Luxurious Hotel in Rocky Mountain National Park: Woodlands on Fall River

Woodlands on Fall River

This dazzling five-star hotel is the perfect place to splurge on luxury accommodation in Rocky Mountain National Park! This large wood cabin style accommodation gives you the best of both worlds – the rustic charm of a rural cabin with the added convenience of staying in a hotel. It’s also located right on the river, providing a peaceful setting every morning.

Rocky Mountain National Park Neighborhood Guide

OVERALL BEST PLACE TO STAY IN ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
OVERALL BEST PLACE TO STAY IN ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK

ESTES

Estes Park is the main gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, and home to most of the tourist attractions and excursion providers. For first time visitors, Estes Park offers the easiest way to explore the region.

ON A BUDGET
Allenspark, Rocky Mountain National Park
ON A BUDGET

ALLENSPARK

As with any National Park, the closer you get to the centre of Rocky Mountain, the more expensive things get! Allenspark is about a 30 drive away, but if you’re sticking to a strict budget this year, it’s totally worth the extra travel time.

FOR FAMILIES
FOR FAMILIES

GRANBY

Located on the opposite side of the lakes from Grand Lake, Granby has spent a lot of time trying to position itself as a family-friendly alternative to the better known Rocky Mountain resort towns – and it has worked!

FOR COUPLES
Grand Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park
FOR COUPLES

GRAND LAKE

Lying on the opposite side of Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Lake is another important gateway to the region. It is also much calmer than Estes Park. For this reason, we reckon it’s a great choice for couples that want to escape the huge tourist crowds elsewhere in the region.

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Rocky Mountain National Park’s 4 Neighborhoods to Stay in

The Rocky Mountain National park is by far one of the best National Parks in the United States. Luckily, that means that there are quite a few incredible places to choose from. Keep reading to learn more about our top four picks for visiting the region – as well as the best places to stay and things to do in each destination.

#1 Estes Park – Overall Best Place to Stay in Rocky Mountain National Park

Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park

Estes Park is the main gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, and home to most of the tourist attractions and excursion providers. If you’re planning on a Colorado Road Trip, you’ll most likely end up in Estes Park along the way. For first time visitors, Estes Park offers the easiest way to explore the region. It is also home to some quirky local boutiques and restaurants, adding a touch of local flavour to the experience.

Not bringing a car? Estes Park is the place for you! The Rocky Mountain National Park is notoriously difficult to visit without a vehicle, but thanks to the tourism companies in Estes Park, it isn’t impossible. There are also direct public transport links with Boulder, giving you easy connections to the rest of the country.

Luxurious Holiday Home in Estes Park: Dancing Pines

Dancing Pines

This gorgeous Airbnb Plus apartment is the perfect upgrade for large families heading to Estes Park. The traditional interiors give a stylish 1950s vibe, and there are beautiful views out of every window. The outdoor decking area comes with sun loungers and a modern dining area. There’s even a hot tub! Staying in winter? Snuggle up around the rustic fire pit.

Rustic Riverside Retreat in Estes Park: Cabin on Fall River

Cabin on Fall River

Located right on the side of the river, this idyllic little cabin is the perfect spot for getting away from it all! You will wake up every morning to the peaceful sounds of the river flowing and the birds chirping, giving you a direct connection with nature throughout the day. The Old Man Mountain is just behind the cabin; it’s a great hike with stunning views from the top.

Welcoming Resort in Estes Park: Woodlands on Fall River

Woodlands on Fall River

This stunning cabin resort is a great alternative for those that want the added convenience of staying in a hotel. All the accommodations on offer come with their own private balconies, and there is a communal hot tub for guest use throughout their stay. Each suite comes with its own kitchen, meaning you still get the freedom of self-catering.

 Things to See and Do in Estes Park 

  • Always wanted to try your hand at rock climbing? This guided experience lets you scramble up the Rocky Mountains safely and securely.
  • There’s no doubt that the Rocky Mountains are home to some of the most beautiful scenery on earth – learn how to capture it with this five-star photography experience.
  • Unwind at Riverspointe Spa – they have a vast selection of holistic therapies, plus an excellent tea and cake selection for treating your tastebuds.
  • Brought the car with you? Head along Trail Ridge Road to enjoy the best scenery of the Rocky Mountain National Park.
  • Sundeck Restaurant might be a bit on the pricey side, but their gorgeous Rocky Mountain smoky trout makes it all worth it.

#2 Grand Lake – Where to Stay in Rocky Mountain National Park for Couples

Grand Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park

Lying on the opposite side of Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Lake is another important gateway to the region. It is also much calmer than Estes Park. For this reason, we reckon it’s a great choice for couples that want to escape the huge tourist crowds elsewhere in the region.

Named after its location next to a major lake, the town is also home to some great watersports providers, giving you something a little bit different compared to the rest of the park. It’s pretty easy to get to, especially if you’re arriving from the west – but we do recommend bringing a car if you can.

Jaw-dropping Views in Grand Lake: The Lookout

The Lookout

Speaking of gorgeous views, it doesn’t really get any better than this! The breathtaking mountain scenery provides the perfect backdrop for a romantic retreat to the Rockies. Inside, you’ll find traditional furnishings, a well-stocked kitchen, and spacious bedrooms. The best water sports activities are also only a short walk from your front door, as are some excellent bars and restaurants.

Gorgeous Lake House in Grand Lake: Custom Grand Lake Home

Custom Grand Lake Home

Solid wood ceilings, exposed beams, and floor to ceiling windows make this one of the most beautiful lake houses in Rocky Mountain National Park! Located just a short walk from the lakefront, you can admire the stunning scenery from the large balcony area outside the living room. We also love the rustic furnishings and cozy little log burner.

Romantic Condo in Grand Lake: Shadow Mountain Lake

Shadow Mountain Lake

Just the two of you visiting? This charming little condo is the place for you! It’s right in the centre of Grand Lake, so you’ll have quick access to the best bars and restaurants in town. The small balcony comes with a cute dining area where you can admire views of the mountains over breakfast. It comes with a gas fireplace in the living room.

Things to See and Do in Grand Lake

  • Head down to Grand Lake Marina where you can hire a yacht year-round – as well as jet-skis, parachutes and paddleboards in the summer.
  • The Arapaho National Recreation Area is a region of unspoiled natural beauty – perfect for grabbing those all-important Instagram snaps.
  • There are plenty of fantastic hiking opportunities in the region – we love Continental Divide National Scenic Trail in particular.
  • Planning a winter excursion? Head to Grand Adventures Snowmobile Rentals for an epic way to explore the landscape.
  • Feeling peckish? Sagebrush BBQ & Grill offer some truly delicious, all American cuisine right in the heart of the town.

#3 Granby – Best Place to Stay near Rocky Mountain National Park for Families

Granby

Located on the opposite side of the lakes from Grand Lake, Granby has spent a lot of time trying to position itself as a family-friendly alternative to the better known Rocky Mountain resort towns – and it has worked! Combining laid-back vibes with plenty of kid-friendly activities, Granby is a fantastic base for a family adventure this year.

It’s a bit harder to get to, so you’ll definitely need a car – but totally worth it once you’ve arrived. During the winter, it’s also a great destination for hitting the slopes, with a host of ski tour providers offering excursions deep into the mountains.

Rustic Studio in Granby: Resort Studio

Resort Studio

Small family on a budget? Look no further than this charming little studio within a larger resort complex. Located on the second floor, you’ll be treated to gorgeous views of the resort as well as your own private balcony. As it is within a resort, you will also have access to hot tubs, racquetball courts, and ski rental in the winter.

Modern Family Home in Granby: Pristine Home on River

Pristine Home on River

This gorgeous three-bedroom house is perfect for larger families heading to Rocky Mountain National Park. The pristine interiors combine tradition with modernity to create a calm and convenient space. There’s an en-suite bathroom in the master bedroom, giving parents a little extra privacy during their stay. It’s also located right on the river, giving you stunning views of the surrounding nature.

Charming Bed and Breakfast near Granby: Wild Horse Inn

Wild Horse Inn

This one is a short drive outside Granby, but totally worth the journey if you want something peaceful. It’s a bed and breakfast, so your morning meal is included; there’s a great selection, including hot food, vegan grub, and gluten-free delights. During the winter they offer a ski rental service, as well as bike rental throughout the year.

Things to See and Do in Granby

  • Granby Mesa is a pretty challenging but absolutely rewarding hike – great if you’re travelling with active teenagers.
  • Granby Ranch might be the most laid-back ski resort in the country – they offer regular classes to suit all levels, and the apres-ski facilities are family-friendly.
  • Keen for a spot of golf? Grand Elk Golf Club comes with two courses and gorgeous views across the mountains.
  • The Rocky Mountain Railroad passes through Granby – learn more about it at the Moffat Road Railroad Museum.
  • Azteca Mexican Restaurant is a cute little local restaurant with an extensive kids’ menu and outstanding guest reviews.
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#4 Allenspark – Where to Stay near Rocky Mountain National Park on a Budget

Allenspark, Rocky Mountain National Park

As with any National Park, the closer you get to the centre of Rocky Mountain, the more expensive things get! Allenspark is about a 30 drive away, but if you’re backpacking the USA on a budget, it’s totally worth the extra travel time. What’s more, it also has a much more local atmosphere thanks to the lack of tourists.

Many visitors to Allenspark are taken aback by how creative the town is, with plenty of art galleries across the town and local artisans selling their crafts in boutiques. Allenspark might not be the first place you think of, but it’s certainly worth considering if you want to head off the beaten path.

Stylish Cabin in Allenspark: Mountain Lodge

Mountain Lodge

This authentic log cabin is a little bit secluded, making it a firm favourite for those that really just want to get away from civilisation for a bit. Lord knows, that’s all of us this year! It comes with two bedrooms, plus a sofa bed in the living room, so most party sizes can comfortably stay in this pleasant bolthole.

Beautiful Log Cabin in Allenspark: Enchanting Cabin

Enchanting Cabin

Nestled just north of Allenspark, this quirky cabin has a large outdoor space, making it a popular choice with families on a budget. With hammocks and stunning nature, you’ll barely want to leave your accommodation. The traditional interiors give it a homely atmosphere, and two of the bedrooms come with en-suites. We also love the secluded hot tub round the back of the garden.

Budget Bolthole in Allenspark: Cozy Cabin Studio

Cozy Cabin Studio

Another budget-friendly cabin in Allenspark, this one is perfect for couples heading to the area! Inside it is a studio, with a small kitchenette and spacious bedroom area. There’s a cute little porch out front with great views towards the Rocky Mountains. There are a couple of hiking trails passing by the property – perfect for a romantic stroll through nature.

Things to See and Do in Allenspark

  • The Old Gallery is the most popular creative store in the heart of the town showcasing work from local artists and craftspeople.
  • The Wild Basin Trailhead is a very challenging walk, but an absolute must for experienced hikers that love chasing waterfalls.
  • Unwind at Meadow Mountain Café – a locally owned eatery with speciality coffee and gorgeous brunch items on the menu.
  • Interested in hiking but don’t have much experience? Take a drive up to Sandbeach Trail Head, an easy-going walk with stunning scenery.
  • Have a drink with locals and fill your belly at Rock Creek Tavern and Pizzeria.

Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Rocky Mountain National Park?

With towering mountains, crystal clear lakes, and laid-back villages, it’s no wonder Rocky Mountain National Park draws tourists from across the world year after year. This is the year of the staycation, so why not explore one of the most beautiful national parks in the country? You definitely won’t be disappointed!

If we had to pick a favourite, we absolutely love Grand Lake! It has all the charms of Estes Park, but with smaller crowds. The national park is right on your doorstep, meaning some of the best hiking trails in the world are only a stone’s throw away.

That being said, everywhere mentioned in this guide has its pros and cons. Wherever is best for you really depends on what you want to get out of your stay. We hope this guide has helped you narrow down your options for your upcoming trip.

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!

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