To experience the full, pristine grandeur of the Rockies, and especially its wildlife, a visit to the ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK is essential. The park straddles the Continental Divide at elevations often well in excess of 10,000ft, with large sections inhabited by elk herds, moose, black bears and bighorn sheep. A full third of the park is above the tree line, and large areas of snow never melt; the name of the Never Summer Mountains speaks volumes about the long, empty expanses of arctic-style tundra. The park’s lower reaches, among the rich forests, hold patches of lush greenery; you never know when you may stumble upon a sheltered mountain meadow flecked with flowers. Parallels with the European Alps spring to mind – helped, of course, by the heavy-handed Swiss and Bavarian themes of so many local motels and restaurants. Note however, that at a tenth of the size of Yellowstone, the park attracts a similar number of visitors – more than three million per year, the bulk of whom come in high summer, meaning that the one main road through the mountains can get incredibly congested.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

USA features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

20 picturesque Christmas destinations

20 picturesque Christmas destinations

Dreaming of a trip this Christmas? We're here to help. From glittering cities to a few snowy escapes, here are 20 classic destinations for a festive break. …

12 Dec 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
King of the road: on the Civil Rights Trail through America’s south

King of the road: on the Civil Rights Trail through America’s south

Next year marks 50 years since the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr and also the launch of a new Civil Rights Trail through the USA's south. On a road …

05 Dec 2017 • Ella Buchan local_activity Special feature
Weird America: 9 of the USA's most bizarre traditions

Weird America: 9 of the USA's most bizarre traditions

Despite being a relatively young nation – at just 240 years old – America has developed its fair share of traditions. Most of us are familiar with the big h…

24 Nov 2017 • Helen Abramson insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right