USA: The Rockies
About The Rockies
Sara and John say...
Colorado, Utah, Wyoming:
There aren’t many spots across the USA where you’d recommend mostl times of year to visit, but The Rockies is one - although it might not all suit the same person! From guaranteed winter sport fun, to fabulously sunny, warm summer days, this region has a lot to offer, framed by a majestic backdrop.
Elevation plays a major role in some climate differences though, with some of the highest peaks seeing snow even in summer, and a huge day to night spread in temperatures. For most areas however, a general rule of thumb of cold winters and warm summer applies.
Skiers love the winter wonderland, with the popular resorts of Breckenridge, Vail, Aspen and Telluride among dozens of ski areas guaranteed to have plenty of the white stuff; Breckenridge reports an annual average of 350 inches/9 metres of snow per year. All visitors must keep an eye on weather forecasts, as sudden blizzards can strike. And the winter goes on, with March typically the snowiest month of the year.
Spring comes late to the high peaks, and not until June (if at all) at the highest elevations, but elsewhere the thaw sets in during late April and May. The weather can be unpredictable at this time of year though, with warm then cold, wet then dry patterns. Most campgrounds and park roads will remain closed to cars through most of spring, although those on two wheels can visit earlier than motor vehicles.
If you’re not a skier but love the outdoors, hiking, camping and fishing are all on offer in the summer months, with Yellowstone National Park’s geyser’s a major tourism draw. June to September is the most popular time to visit the Rocky Mountain National Park, with temperatures peaking at an average of 26ºC. Afternoon thunderstorms are a regular occurrence and temperatures can still suddenly drop but there’s abundant wildlife and all park services and campgrounds are open to eager visitors.