Locals and frequent visitors to Rocky Mountain National Park’s busy east side rarely drive past the Park & Ride in the park between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. in the summer and early fall. There’s too much traffic then and too little parking at popular trailheads. So follow their example and either get behind your wheel only during early or late hours—or take the bus. The park’s free shuttle service is an easygoing way to see the sites and avoid parking hassles, and it’s the only way to get directly to some trailheads when parking lots fill. All dates are snow dependent; stops vary by route. The park’s free shuttle buses operate late spring, summer and early fall. The buses do not run in late fall, winter or early spring.
Rocky Mountain National Park Shuttles
Bear Lake Bus Route
Runs every 10-15 minutes between the Park & Ride and Bear Lake. This popular road has trailheads and campgrounds with limited parking.
Moraine Park Bus Route
Runs every 30 minutes between the Park & Ride and Fern Lake trailheads.
Hiker Shuttle Express Route from Estes Park
This shuttle leaves from the Estes Park Visitor Center, which has free parking, and only stops at the Park & Ride inside the park where you can transfer to another shuttle route. In 2022, reservations are required to ride the Hiker Shuttle in addition to a park pass. They cost $2 and can be purchased at recreation.gov.
Estes Park Visitor Shuttles
The town of Estes Park also provides free visitor shuttles from its downtown visitor center to various stops in town. The five shuttle routes operate daily from late June through mid-September. Get more details at Visit Estes Park.