Most of the hikes I've taken in the National Park are from trailheads at over 9,000 feet, so even hikes with less than a 1,000 foot elevation gain offer astounding views! Rocky Mountain NP is over 400 square miles & I plan to see as much of my little corner as I possibly can. I like this area because we're on the "dry side" of the Continental Divide so the downhill skiing (& its culture) is an hour or more away. This area is for hiking, snowshoeing, and x-c skiing, and in turn, Estes Park is not like Aspen. Don't get me wrong, there's money here but people are unpretentious.
We're also in "rut season", a new concept to me, and the male elk are butting horns and bugling on a frequent basis. I heard one 2 days ago, and when I looked out my window, I saw a huge elk walking right up the middle of the road in front of my dorm. Bizarre and amazing!