Rocky Mountains, Colorado
After the Smoky Mountains and Grand Canyon, the Rocky Mountains are the third most visited (4.2 million annually!) national park in the country—and there’s good reason why. Among the most popular activities within the more than 265,000-acre park include world-class rock climbing (and cliff camping where you spend a night on a rock face hundreds of feet off the ground), mountaineering up one of Colorado’s iconic 14ers like Long’s Peak (towering at 14,259 feet), fly fishing with llama shlepping your stuff, and super scenic running trails that will beg you to keep going. Since there are no accommodations within the wilderness preserve, opt to make Estes Park, the quaint mountain town located 90 minutes outside Denver, your gateway to adventure.
>>$155 per night (2 people) at the McGregor Mountain Lodge (mcgregormountainlodge.com), or $300 per night for up to 6 people at Solitude Cabins, includes full kitchen (solitudecabins.com). Cliff camping with Kent Mountain Adventure Center is $800 per person, minimum 2 people (kmaconline.com). Overnight Llama Pack Trip with Kirks Flyshop is $250 per person, minimum 2 people, includes tents, sleeping bags, backpacks and food (kirksflyshop.com).
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