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Beaver Meadows Visitor Center - Things to Know Before Visiting

1000 US-36, Estes Park, CO 80517, USA

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About Beaver Meadows Visitor Center

The Beaver Meadows Visitor Center is a window into the past. When the center was built in 1967, its design was based on the historic Rocky Mountain National Park Headquarters building that stood at the same site. Today, the visitor center houses a museum that tells the story of the park and its many visitors. In addition to exhibits on the history of the area, It also features interactive displays that allow visitors to explore the park's wildlife and geology.

Things to Do at Beaver Meadows Visitor Center

Whether you're looking to learn about the area's history or just enjoy its natural beauty, you'll find plenty to do at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Cente. The center is located in Rocky Mountain National Park, which is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including elk, bighorn sheep, and moose.

The visitor center houses an exhibit on the area's geology, as well as a range of interactive displays that are perfect for kids. The center also has an auditorium where ranger-led programs are offered daily during the summer months.

Outside, you can explore various nature trais including a scenic hike along the Big Thompson River. And no visit to Beaver Meadows would be complete without a trip to the top of Horseshoe Park - one of the best vantage points in Rocky Mountain National Park.

In the winter, visitos can enjoy cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.In the summer, there are ranger-led programs, interpretive exhibits, and a Junior Ranger program. Hiking is very popular in summer months. The Visitor Center also has a gift shop, a cafe, and a research library with a focus on the local environment.

History of Beaver Meadows Visitor Center

Beaver Meadows Visitor Center in Rocky Mountain National Park first opened its doors to the public in 1967, though the building itself was not completed until 1978. The center was designed to provide visitors with information about the park and its many attractions. Today, the visitor center is a popular stop for tourists, offering a variety of exhibits on the park's history, wildlife, and geology. The center also houses a ranger station, gift shop, and restaurant. In recent years, the visitor center has undergone several renovations, including the addition of an ADA-accessible entrance and an updated exhibit hall.

Best Time to Visit Beaver Meadows Visitor Center

The best time to visit Beaver Meadows Visitor Center is from late May to early September when the weather is warmer and drier. However, the park is open all year round and there are plenty of activities to keep visitors entertained no matter what time of year they come. In the winter, visitors can go cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, while summer months are ideal for hiking, biking, and fishing.

Tips for Visiting Beaver Meadows Visitor Center

  1. Pick up a Junior Ranger program booklet at the visitor center or download one before your visit.
  2. Attend a ranger-led program to learn about the park's wildlife, geology, or history.
  3. Explore the exhibits on your own or take a self-guided tour with an audio wand.
  4. Watch for wildlife from the deck or on one of the nearby hiking trails.
  5. Ask a ranger for advice on where to hike, what to see, and how to stay safe in the park.
  6. Visit in different seasons to experience the park's changing landscapes and wildlife behavior.
  7. Arrive early – the visitor center can get very crowded, especially during the summer months. Try to arrive before 9:00 am to avoid the crowds.

Interesting Facts and Trivias About Beaver Meadows Visitor Center

  1. The visitor center is named for the beaver meadow that it overlooks.

How Much Time Did Visitors Spend at Beaver Meadows Visitor Center

Visitors spend about 2 hours in average at Beaver Meadows Visitor Center. But with the numerous activities that are available to do in the area, it can range easily from few hours to a full day.

How to Reach Beaver Meadows Visitor Center

The best way to reach the visitor center is by car. From Denver, take I-25 north to US 36 west. Follow US 36 west for about 60 miles to the town of Estes Park. From Estes Park, continue west on US 36 for another seven miles to the turn-off for Rocky Mountain National Park. Once you enter the park, follow the signs for Beaver Meadows Visitor Center. The drive from Denver takes about an hour and a half under ideal conditions, but can take longer during peak tourist season or if road conditions are bad.

Also, shuttle buses run daily from Estes Park to the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center from late May through early September, and on weekends in April, October, and November.

Entrance Fee of Beaver Meadows Visitor Center

The entrance fee to Beaver Meadows Visitor Center in Larimer, Colorado is $3.00 per person. This fee includes a self-guided tour of the center, as well as access to the gift shop and restrooms.

Opening Hours of Beaver Meadows Visitor Center

The visitor center is open daily from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM, and it's a great way to spend a day in nature. The center is open year-round, but hours and services vary seasonally.

Attractions Near Beaver Meadows Visitor Center

Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park2.31km from Beaver Meadows Visitor Center

Rocky Mountain National Park is an American national park located approximately 55 mi northwest of Denver in north-central Colorado, within the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. The eastern and western slopes of the Continental Divide run directly through the center of the park with the headwaters of the Colorado River located in the park's northwestern region. The main features of the park include mountains, alpine lakes and a wide variety of wildlife within various climates.

Bear Lake Road
Bear Lake Road2.42km from Beaver Meadows Visitor Center

Bear Lake Road is a 10.5 mile drive from the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center starts at 7,840 ft and climbs up to Bear Lake at 9,475 ft.Along the way, you’ll pass trailheads for hiking trails, picnic areas, campgrounds, the Moraine Park Museum and Sprague Lake. There is a large picnic area and The road ends in the Bear Lake parking lot.

Estes Park Aerial Tramway
Estes Park Aerial Tramway3.29km from Beaver Meadows Visitor Center

The Estes Park Aerial Tram safely whisks you above the treetops to the summit of Prospect Mountain. Operating daily from the end of May to early September, the tram is one of the few European-style cable cars operating in the United States. Since its inaugural trip, the tramway has ferried more than 3 million people over the tree line and to the mountain's peak.

Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park3.54km from Beaver Meadows Visitor Center

Rocky Mountain National Park is an American national park located approximately 55 mi northwest of Denver in north-central Colorado. The main features of the park include mountains, alpine lakes and a wide variety of wildlife within various climates and environments, from wooded forests to mountain tundra. The park is one of the most visited in the National Park System, ranking as the third most visited national park in 2015.

Sprague Lake
Sprague Lake6.31km from Beaver Meadows Visitor Center

Sprague Lake is a 13-acre lake named after Abner Sprague, an early resident of the Estes Park area who ran a game lodge on the this property which is now part of Rocky Mountain National Park. The half-mile walk around the lake is wheelchair accessible and features boardwalks and bridges with views of Flattop Mountain and Hallet Peak. The lake is popular for Brook trout fishing.

Sheep Lakes
Sheep Lakes6.72km from Beaver Meadows Visitor Center

Sheep Lakes is a large meadow with two small lakes in Horseshoe Park, a flat U-shaped valley located just west of the Fall River Entrance.

Where is Beaver Meadows Visitor Center

Discover More Attractions in Larimer County, Where Beaver Meadows Visitor Center Is Located

Larimer County
Larimer County
30 attractions

Larimer County is one of the 64 counties in the U.S. state of Colorado.It is the seventh largest county in Colorado based on population. The territory was home to Ute, Cheyenne, and Arapaho in the early 19th century before the arrival of the Europeans.