We had such a blast visiting Rocky Mountain National Park on our summer road trip! It is one of the highest national parks in the country with 60 mountain peaks over 12,000 feet tall, the highest paved road in the National Park System, and unforgettable mountain vistas.
Sitting on the edge of a hairpin turn at 9,691 feet elevation, Many Parks Curve on Trail Ridge Road offers amazing views of Horseshoe Park, Moraine Park, and Estes Park below Mummy Range, the Fall River Pass, Bighorn Mountain, Deer Mountain, and Longs Peak, the highest mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Many Parks Curve Overlook, just above Deer Ridge Junction, is the first scenic viewpoint on Trail Ridge Road when traveling from Estes Park and the eastern Beaver Meadows Entrance Station and the last when traveling from Grand Lake.
There is a small parking area at the bottom of Many Parks Curve for those traveling downhill and a larger parking area across the street from the top of the vista point for those traveling uphill.
Every stop along Trail Ridge Road offers visitors breathtaking views. But unlike Farview Curve Overlook, Medicine Bow Curve Overlook, and Rainbow Curve Overlook that have improved observation areas and rock walls, the Gore Range Overlook and Lava Cliffs Overlook that are simple roadside pullouts, and the Alpine Visitor Center, Milner Pass, Rock Cut Overlook, and Forest Canyon Overlook that have hiking trails, interpretive signs, Many Parks Curve features a gorgeous wood observation deck skirting the edge of the mountainside.
Prominent in the stunning panoramic view are several parks: Beaver Meadows, Horseshoe Park, Moraine Park, Little Tuxedo Park, and parts of Estes Park. These parks are mountain-enclosed meadows separated by long forested ridges called moraines. Moraines are piles of rock debris that glaciers pushed or deposited along their sides between 150,000 and 12,000 years ago. Older glaciers did exist here at one point, but erosion has obliterated almost all evidence of their passing.
Know Before You Go
- Many Parks Curve Overlook is a scenic viewpoint on Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park. From this vista point at 9,691 feet elevation, you can see views of Horseshoe Park, Beaver Meadows, Moraine Park, Little Tuxedo Park, and Estes Park, as well as Deer Mountain, Longs Peak, and many other sights.
- Trail Ridge Road is a stretch of US Highway 34 that passes through Rocky Mountain National Park, connecting the town of Grand Lake in Grand County and the town of Estes Park in Larimer County, Colorado.
- Also known as the Beaver Meadow National Scenic Byway, Trail Ridge Road runs from Deer Ridge Junction (US HWY 36 and US HWY 34) on the east side of the park to the Colorado River Trailhead on the western side of the park and snow forces its closure from mid-October to June.
- The two-lane, 48 mile, paved road crosses the Continental Divide at Milner Pass and reaches a maximum elevation of 12,183 feet near Fall River Pass.
- Trail Ridge Road, the highest continuous road in the United States, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.
- Other things to do on Trail Ridge Road include: the Holzwarth Historic Site, Farview Curve Overlook, Milner Pass and Lake Poudre, Medicine Bow Curve Overlook, the Alpine Visitor Center, Gore Range Overlook, Lava Cliffs Overlook, Rock Cut Overlook, Forest Canyon Overlook, Rainbow Curve Overlook, and the Hidden Valley Beaver Ponds Boardwalk.
- Set aside at least a half day to drive Trail Ridge Road — longer if you plan on doing any hiking or sightseeing at one of the many overlooks.