• Photo of park visitors enjoying sunset from the Alpine Ridge Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park.

    Rocky Mountain

    National Park Colorado

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  • Impacts from September 2013 Flood - Old Fall River Road, Alluvial Fan and Trails

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Trees & Shrubs

In the Central Rocky Mountains, trees and shrubs make their home in a patchwork of forests and meadows between 5500 ft. and 11500 ft. (1650 m.-3450 m.). Different ecosystems in the park support particular species depending on elevation, precipitation, and aspect (the steepness and direction of the slope). In the harsh mountain environment only evergreen trees, a few hardy deciduous trees and strong adaptive shrubs can thrive.
 
Photo of Spruce and Fir Forest

NPS photo

Conifers

Green conifer forests blanket the mountainsides, providing shade in summer and contrasting with the bright white snow of winter. The park has several of these cone producing trees including pine, spruce, and fir. Learn more
 
Photo of an Aspen Grove

NPS photo by J. Westfall

Deciduous Trees

Famous for the brilliant color of their autumn leaves, these trees can be found growing along streams and mixed in with the evergreen conifers. Deciduous trees often contribute to some of the most biologically diverse habitats in the park. Learn more

 
Photo of a shrub

NPS photo

Shrubs

Coming in all shapes and sizes, shrubs make their home throughout the park. Some produce beautiful flowers and fruit, making them important food for wildlife. Others help stabilize soil. A few even catch your eye with their vibrant foliage. Learn more

Did You Know?

a photo of Elizabeth Burnell, the nation's first female nature guide

Rocky Mountain National Park licensed the nation’s first female nature guides in 1917. Sisters Ester and Elizabeth Burnell learned the naturalist trade from advocate and author Enos Mills.