Weather

Rocky Mountain Weather and Climate Overview The high country of Rocky Mountain National Park is noted for extreme weather patterns. Shaped by elevation, slope, and exposure, these patterns can change rapidly. Annual Climate Conditions for Estes Park and Grand Lake Temperatures are often moderate at elevations below 9,400′ (2,865 m). At higher points, like Bear

Snowy Long's Peak (Photo by Ben Fullerton)

High-Altitude Sickness and How to Treat It

Rocky Mountain National Park starts at the already-lofty elevation of 7,840 feet and extends all the way up to 14,259 feet at the summit of Longs Peak. Read More...

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Rocky Mountain Almanac

What to see in every season Read More...

Weather for Rocky Mountain National Park
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It is forcast to be Chance Rain at 9:00 PM MDT on April 16, 2014
Chance Rain
46°/21°
It is forcast to be Partly Cloudy at 9:00 PM MDT on April 17, 2014
Partly Cloudy
52°/36°
It is forcast to be Chance of Rain at 9:00 PM MDT on April 18, 2014
Chance of Rain
64°/39°
It is forcast to be Chance of Rain at 9:00 PM MDT on April 19, 2014
Chance of Rain
63°/36°
It is forcast to be Chance of a Thunderstorm at 9:00 PM MDT on April 20, 2014
Chance of a Thunderstorm
63°/36°
It is forcast to be Partly Cloudy at 9:00 PM MDT on April 21, 2014
Partly Cloudy
64°/46°

Rocky Mountain Weather and Climate Overview

The high country of Rocky Mountain National Park is noted for extreme weather patterns. Shaped by elevation, slope, and exposure, these patterns can change rapidly.

Annual Climate Conditions for Estes Park and Grand Lake

Temperatures are often moderate at elevations below 9,400′ (2,865 m). At higher points, like Bear Lake, Trail Ridge Road, or Longs Peak, it may snow even in July. A wide variation between day and nighttime temperatures is also typical of mountain weather. Summer days in July and August often reach the 70′s or 80′s and drop into the 40′s at night (all temperatures given are in Fahrenheit). Based on ten years of precipitation data, Estes Park receives approximately 13.10″ of moisture every year. Grand Lake receives about 19.95″ yearly. This precipitation comes in the form of rain or snowfall through the year.

Typical Weather in Rocky Mountain National Park Region

The Continental Divide runs northwest to southeast through the center of the park atop the high peaks. This accounts for two distinct climate patterns – one typical of the east side near Estes Park and the other associated with the Grand Lake area on the park’s west side.

Seasonal Weather in Rocky Mountain National Park

Winter Season (December, January, February, March)

Lower elevations on the east slope of Rocky Mountain National Park are usually free of deep snow. At higher elevations, arctic conditions prevail. Sudden blizzards, high winds, and deep snowpack are common. The west side of the park experiences more snow, less wind, and clear cold days during these months. Most high country overnight trips require gear suitable for -35 degrees or below. Skiing and snowshoeing conditions are best in January, February, and March.

Spring Season (April and May)

Spring comes to the montane environs – elevations 8,000′ to 9,500′ (2,438 – 2,895 m) – in late April, although snowfall is not uncommon at this time of year. Unpredictable weather alternates between warm and cold, wet and dry. In June, spring is just reaching the subalpine country – 9,500′ to 11,500′ (2,895 – 3,505 m), while summer is on the plains. Wildflowers begin blooming at lower elevations in late April or early May. Many trails are still snow-covered. In late May, Trail Ridge Road opens for the season.

Summer Season (June, July, August)

On the alpine tundra — 11,500′ to 13,000′ (3,505 – 3,962 m) wildflowers bloom from late June to early August. Afternoon thunderstorms and wind are normal patterns. Always be prepared for temperature drops of 10-20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Fall Season (September, October, November)

September and October bring clear, crisp air, blue skies, and generally dry weather. An early snowstorm may occur. Aspen leaves start changing colors in mid-September. Elk mating season begins in September and continues through most of October. Trail Ridge Road usually closes for the winter by mid-October.

Top Ten Things to do in Rocky Mountain

1. See Aspens in Fall

Starting in late August, aspens in the highest reaches of the Park begin their annual quaking, a term to describe the aspens unique leaves changing a golden-yellow hue and how they react in wind. Read More...

2. Take in a Festival

Want to dance, drink, and eat good food all in the name of a frozen dead guy? Done. How about attend the best small rodeo in America? Yep, got that covered too. Or how about throwing on a kilt and tossing a kaber? Better yet, how about tossing it with the Rocky Mountains as your backdrop? Done, done and done. Read More...

3. Hike to the Top of Longs Peak

Dominating the skyline, and topping out at 14,259 feet, Longs Peak is the ultimate adventure for enthusiastic hikers. Read More...

4. 350 Miles of Hiking Trails

Over 350 miles of trails crisscross the Park, linking together alpine lakes, jagged peaks, thick lodgepole Pine forests and rocky tundra. Also, right outside the park sits plenty of National Forest land. Read More...

5. See Wild Animals

Home to thousands of Elk, Mule Dear, Marmots, Big Horn Sheep, and the occasional Black Beer, it’s not uncommon to have your Park experience include a wildlife sighting. Read More...

6. Enjoy a Ranger-Led Activity in Rocky Mountain National Park

We know exploring a national park can be an exciting activity to do on your own, but why not spend a few hours and check out a ranger-led program? Read More...

7. Tour Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park

Known appropriately as the Highway to the Sky, Trail Ridge Road crosses the continental divide at a whopping 12,183 feet. Colorado has also designated Trail Ridge Road as a scenic and history byway. Read More...

8. Go Sledding at Hidden Valley Snow Play Area

If you love skiing, snowmobiling, ice climbing, sledding, hut trips, ice skating, and anything that involves frozen water just figure Colorado is the place to be. Read More...

9. Spend a Night in the Historic Stanley Hotel

Just six miles from Rocky Mountain National Park and towering above the small mountain town of Estes Park, The Stanley Hotel should be included in every visitors to do list. Read More...

10. A Perfect Day in Rocky Mountain National Park

We decided to spill one of our perfect days in Rocky Mountain National Park, just for you. Read More...

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