• Photo of the continental divide blanketed in snow. NPS Photo by VIP Schonlau

    Rocky Mountain

    National Park Colorado

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  • Old Fall River Road will be closed in 2014 due to flood damage

    Damages on Old Fall River Road are extensive and the road will remain closed to vehicles through 2014. It is unknown at this time whether hikers and bicyclists will be allowed on the road. More »

  • Impacts from September 2013 Flood

    Due to recent flooding, there are still some closures in the park that could affect your visit. More »

Self Guided

Students at Morain Park Museum

Students explore Moraine Park Museum

Courtesy NPS

Plan a Self-Guided Visit

Rocky Mountain National Park is an ideal outdoor classroom. It has a diversity of natural resources, easy spring and fall access, and close proximity to Front Range and Grand County communities. Rocky Mountain offers the availability of Moraine Park Visitor Center, the Fall River Visitor Center, Kawuneeche Visitor Center, and a wealth of field sites.

Reservations
Reservations are required for the use of Moraine Park Visitor Center or Fall River Visitor Center.We recommend that you schedule a 30 minute welcome program for your group to orient the students to the facility and Park. There is no fee to reserve the museum, nor for the welcome program. Because of the popularity of these facilities, please have alternate trip days in mind. Reservations are made on a first-come basis, and must be made at least 30 days in advance.

To Reserve use of Moraine Park Visitor Center or Fall River Visitor Center please call the Education and Outreach Coordinator at (970) 586-3777.

Moraine Park Visitor Center is an insightful starting point for any visit to the Park. The museum displays highlight the park geology, glacial history, human history, weather and climate, and ecology. Reservations are scheduled from 9am - 4pm. The building can accommodate a maximum of 80 students; 40 maximum in the exhibit area, and 40 maximum in the downstairs reception room. From the museum, access to a wide variety of study sites and trails is only minutes away. Upon request, a ranger will greet your students with a 30-minute welcome program about Rocky Mountain National Park and the treasures that it protects. The welcome program is free, and given to the whole group upon arrival. There is no fee to reserve the visitor center, nor for the welcome program. Reservations are made on a first-come basis, and must be made at least 30 days in advance.

Fall River Visitor Center is a gateway for schools planning to conduct field studies in the Horseshoe Park and Alluvial Fan areas. The visitor center features beautiful exhibits using seasonal themes of the most likely wildlife that students will encounter.Fall River Visitor Center is available by reservation only for the autumn or spring. The building can accommodate a maximum of 80 students; 40 maximum in the exhibit area, and 40 maximum in the Discovery Center. Teachers can use the Discovery Center as a staging area or for indoor activities of their own choosing.Upon request, a ranger will greet your students with a 30-minute welcome program about Rocky Mountain National Park and the treasures that it protects. The welcome program is free, and given to the whole group upon arrival. There is no fee to reserve the museum, nor for the welcome program.Reservations are made on a first-come basis, and must be made at least 30 days in advance.

Park Etiquette
Please be aware of and teach your students the necessity for Rocky Mountain's rules and regulations. These are provided for you in the Park map/brochure or by asking a ranger. Please be gentle on the land. Do not collect specimens or allow students to cut trails or relieve themselves within 200 feet of a water source. Toilet tissue should be packed out in a plastic bag that students can bring from home and of course, "Leave No Trace" of your visit.

Safety
Weather in Rocky Mountain National Park changes quickly and is always colder and windier than on the Front Range. Be sure students are prepared for adverse weather. Students should dress in layers and always take along warm jackets or sweaters. Check for appropriate clothing before students board the bus. Shoes with laces and drinking water are essential. On the trails never leave a tired or ill student alone to be picked up later. Should a student (or adult) become separated from the group, contact park rangers immediately (dial 911). An ideal ratio is one adult chaperone to every ten students.

Recommended Field Sites
Hidden Valley
Endovalley Picnic Area
Alluvial Fan
Hollowell Park
Cub Lake Trailhead
Lilly Lake

Did You Know?

a photo of folks throwing snowballs in front of the snow-covered Alpine Visitor Center

The coldest temperature inside the Alpine Visitor Center during the winter is rarely below 20 degrees. The snow insulates the building when it is closed for the winter.