Stanley Hotel Tour#7 in Best Things To Do in Rocky Mountain National Park
Not only is the grand Stanley Hotel a member of the Historic Hotels of America, it's also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Aside from its historic accolades, the property boasts another claim to fame. Fans of "The Shining" will recognize the hotel as the setting for the creepy Stephen King novel, but the hotel also touts a history of paranormal activity. To learn more, visitors can take one of two tours – a daytime tour that focuses more on pop culture and a night tour that concentrates on the property's ghost lore.
Whether day or night, travelers say the tour guides are fantastic storytellers and that they impart a bevy of interesting tidbits.
Standard tickets cost between $23 and $28 per adult for those not staying at the hotel (hotel guests are granted discounted tickets). Keep in mind that the tours aren't recommended for children younger than 10. You'll find the property just north of downtown Estes Park. For more information, visit the Stanley Hotel's website.
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#1 Trail Ridge Road
Horace Albright, director of the National Park Service between 1929 and 1933, once said about Trail Ridge Road, "It's hard to describe what a sensation this new road is going to make. You will have the whole sweep of the Rockies before you in all directions." Trail Ridge Road was a sensation when it debuted back in 1932 and it remains so today for the travelers that make the 48-mile drive from Estes Park to Grand Lake, rising above the tree line for 11 miles at an elevation of more than 12,000 feet. Visitors should keep that in mind when they're stopping at the lookout points that the road experiences temperatures that are 20 and even 30 degrees lower than both Estes Park and Grand Park.
Most travelers call Trail Ridge Road a must-do while in Rocky Mountain National Park. One recent traveler, who said she spent a full day taking in the "stunning views" along Trail Ridge Road, saw elk, marmots and moose. Stopping at the pull-offs yields some spectacular photo ops, and some offer restrooms.
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