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Forest Canyon Overlook

HomeEstes Park AttractionsForest Canyon Overlook

There’s nothing like seeing the majesty of the Rocky Mountains spread out before you, a vista of seemingly unending rugged peaks and valleys, so high they seem to touch the sky. There are many places in the Rocky Mountain National Park where you can soak up these otherworldly views, from scenic pull-offs to winding trails, but if you’re looking for a simple way to get gorgeous views, you must put Forest Canyon Overlook on your itinerary!

A Popular Panoramic View at Over 11,000 Feet

Forest Canyon Overlook is a well-known stop on the magnificent Trail Ridge Road, which spans from the east to the west side of the Rocky Mountain National Park. Traversing different plains from forests to alpine tundra, the road is a journey unlike any other. Forest Canyon Overlook is located on the delicate alpine tundra, and from it you can see the peaks of the Continental Divide, as well as a green valley carved out by a 1,500-foot-thick piece of glacial ice thousands of years ago.

A convenient parking lot leads to a paved trail, but beware if it’s a busy day or weekend, as the parking lot is on the smaller size! From the parking lot you can take the paved trail on about a five-minute walk to the overlook area. Gaze down at the glory of Forest Canyon, and look out to its tributary canyons, Gorge Lakes, and Hayden Gorge. There’s always a chance to spot some wildlife, as everything from pika to moose can be found on the tundra. The views are unbeatable and unlike anything else you’ve ever seen, making this one of the most treasured spots of Rocky Mountain National Park.

Check Conditions Before Departure

Trail Ridge Road, which you take to get to Forest Canyon Overlook, is the highest highway in America, with the peak point ringing in at 12, 183 feet! The road is only open from the end of May to October, but even during the summer it’s a wise idea to check conditions before you leave, as weather in the mountains has been known to change suddenly. The 24/7 recorded status line for Trail Ridge Road can be reached at 970-586-1222 and has the most up-to-date information on driving conditions.

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