Weather in Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park

weather in Estes ParkThe weather in Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park is beautiful for much of the year.  We are fortunate to get about 300 days of sun each year, which makes Estes Park a generally cheery place to live and visit.  The dry climate makes this a nice escape from hotter, more humid areas of the country.

Here is what to expect for Estes Park weather in the various seasons.

Summer (June, July, August): Summers are mild, with peak temperatures in the low 90s.  The average high in the middle of summer is in the low 80s.  At night it cools off quite a bit, and can be under 50.  Most people are comfortable in long pants and a t-shirt during the day, with a jacket for the evening.

Thunderstorms are common on summer afternoons, but these usually clear quickly (within a couple of hours). Do bring a rain jacket, but do not bring an umbrella–lighting is common here, and umbrellas are an invitation to get struck.

Average total annual precipitation is about 14″.

It should be noted that because our summers are so mild, many establishments do not have air conditioning. If staying cool at all costs is important to you, be sure to check with your hotel to make sure there is A/C.

An important note about Rocky Mountain National Park: Because the elevation in parts of the park is so much higher than Estes Park, it is not uncommon to encounter freezing temperatures, and even snow, during the hottest months of the summer.

If you are planning on visiting Rocky Mountain National Park, especially the higher elevations such as those found on Trail Ridge Road, it would be wise to bring a coat, hat, and gloves at the very least.  Do not expect to wear shorts everywhere, or chances are you’ll be really uncomfortable.

Fall (SeptemWeather in Estes Parkber, October, November): Fall days are usually crisp and sunny, with highs in the 50s-60s and lows in the 30s or even cooler.  Afternoon thunderstorms are not as common in the fall, and occasional snowstorms are not unusual.

Because the weather in Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park can be cool to downright cold in the fall, you should bring long sleeved shirts and winter gear.

Winter (December, January, February): Because we are on the drier side of the Continental Divide, we don’t get a ton of snow in the winter. Because we get so much sun, what snow we do get tends to melt quickly.  Snow does accumulate at higher elevations in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Average total annual snowfall is about 33″.

The weather in Estes Park can be pretty cold here in the winter, but the sunshine usually makes up for that. Highs are in the low 40s, lows are in the teens.

The real drawback to Estes Park winters is the WIND.  Gale force (~40 mph) winds are relatively common.

Winter gear, including long underwear, is a good choice for visiting Estes Park in the winter.

Spring (March, April, May): Highs are in the 50s-60s and lows are in the 20s-30s.  The wind is still sometimes an issue, but spring days are generally cool and pleasant.

Weather in Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park changes rapidly, so it is a good idea to come prepared for a variety of situations.

 

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