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Colorado > Rocky Mountain National Park
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Rocky Mountain National Park


Area Map

Bear Lake Area- A recreation area within the Rocky Mountain National Park that covers the section just east of the park's center.
Kawuneeche Area- A recreation area within the Rocky Mountain National Park covering the western section of the park. This area includes the less popular west entrance and western campgrounds near Grand Lake.
Longs Peak Area- This recreation area within the park offers access to Longs Peak, the highest peak in the park. It is located in the central/western region of the park.
Moraine Park Area- This area is the most popular in the park. It is located just inside either of the popular eastern entrances to the park. This area is popular all times of the year.
Wild Basin Area- Located in the southeastern corner of the park, this area offers some of the most secluded recreation opportunities. Though not that difficult to reach, a fair amount of privacy can be found in this section of the park.

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General Information

Upper Beaver Meadows & Longs Peak
Copyright: Rocky Mountain National Park
Upper Beaver Meadows & Longs Peak
Description - The park's rich scenery typifies the massive grandeur of the Rocky Mountains. Snow-covered peaks rise above lush subalpine valleys and lakes. One-third of the park is above tree line, in the alpine tundra. Trail Ridge Road crosses the Continental Divide and looks out over peaks that tower more than 14,000 feet above sea level. Wildlife and wildflowers call these 415.2 square miles (265,727 acres) home. With more than three million annual visitors, Rocky Mountain is one of the most popular National Parks in the country.

Attractions -

Headquarters Visitor Center and Kawuneeche Visitor Center offer park orientation exhibits and movies. They are open daily throughout the year(closed December 25). The Moraine Park Museum, Alpine Visitor Center and Lily Lake Visitor Center explore different ecosystems in the park through interpretive exhibits, which are open to the public throughout the summer season. The Never Summer Ranch examines historical dude ranching, open mid-June through Labor day.

Recreation - Visitors to Rocky Mountain National Park during the non-winter months can enjoy hiking, horseback riding, fishing, scenic driving, rock climbing, camping, picnicking, road biking, and wildlife viewing. In autumn, visitors come to the park to see the elk gathering and hear them bugle during their fall "rut".

From about November through April, much of the park is covered in snow and visitors enjoy cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and mountaineering. Some areas on the east side of the park, however, remain relatively snow-free through the winter and offer trails for winter hiking without the need for skis or snowshoes. Several campgrounds in the park remain open year-round.

Climate - Rocky Mountain National Park has weather that should be taken seriously. The winter season is long and typically brings around 300 inches of annual snowfall. These frigid conditions become more severe with altitude and should be expected from mid October through April.

The summer months are far less severe but can be deceiving. While the days are generally warm, nighttime temperatures can dip below freezing, even during the middle of summer. Late afternoon thunder showers are the norm even on the clearest of mornings. Snowfall is possible any day of the year at the higher altitudes. Always be prepared for a variety of conditions.

Location - Rocky Mountain National Park is located in north central Colorado. Estes Park lies on the northeastern boundary and Lake Granby lies on the southwestern park boundary. The Continental Divide divides the park diagonally. The Colorado River headwaters lie on the western side of the park.


Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: Ed Greene (Piedmont, SC)
Number of People Encountered: 25-50 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Neutral
Report: Rocky Mountain National Park contains beautiful scenery, and a variety of wildlife, but way too many people, even during the "off season" (early May). IMO, the popularity of the park is hurting it. Traffic on the Trail Ridge Road was manageable, but I did observe as several parents were apparently unconcerned while their kids played on the tundra, despite the signs pleading to the contrary. However, the park staff was very helpful and friendly and I certainly plan to return.

Filed By: Chris Snyder (Toledo, OH)
Number of People Encountered: 50+ ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Neutral
Report: Way too many people there. Campgrounds always seemed full. Suggest that you make C.G. reservations. Overall, a decent park. There are some cool hikes and sights to do.

Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Not Recommended
Report: Hiked North Inlet trail to Snowdrift Peak then out Tonahuta trail to Grand Lake. Spectacular Beauty dessimated by the destruction of the alpine sections due to errosion caused by livestock usage. What trails weren't made impassable by severe erosion were instead covered in horse manure causing hikers to walk beside the trail which inturn caused additional erosion. This would normally be a moderate hike but is made difficult and unenjoyable due to trail conditions

Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: My wife and I hiked the Alberta Falls, Mills lake trail and found it to be an excellant hike. However, on the way to Mills Lake, we couldn't identify the trail and we took the wrong turn and ended up eating lunch on the St. Vrain river. We later talked to a park ranger who said that a lot of people have a hard time following that trail. The ranger said that when the trail was being cleared, they couldn't cut through the rock, so they threw some cairns down to aide hikers in climbing up to the lake. Although now the cairns look like a rock slide and the trail is not readily identifiable. kcphoto197@excite.com.


More Information

Contact Information:
Headquarters: Rocky Mountain National Park, 1000 Highway 36 , Estes Park, CO, 80517-8397, Phone: 970-586-1206, Fax: 970-586-1256, TTY: 970-586-1319

Additional Information:
Boulder Area - Nestled at the base of the foothills in the shadow of the majestic Flatirons lies the city of Boulder, one of Colorado's foremost havens of commerce, education, research and recreation.
Colorado National Forests & Parks - Colorado is well known for its National Forests and Parks which include 14,000-foot mountains, world-class ski resorts, semiarid deserts, ancient Indian ruins and wide open plains.
Estes Park Area - Estes Park is located on the Big Thompson River, northwest of Denver, on the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park.
Granby/Grand Lake Area - The Granby and Grand Lake area is located in north-central Colorado, in the upper Colorado River Valley. The area is approximately 90 miles northwest of Denver and lies on the southwest end of Rocky Mountain National Park.
Northwest Region - This diverse area encompasses mountains and high desert. The terrain supports a huge variety of recreation opportunities and some of Colorado's world famous resorts.

Links:
Online Campground Reservations - Reserve your campsite online with the NPS reservation service.
Rocky Mountain National Park - Official agency website

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