A Great Weekend to Visit Rocky Mountain National Park
Contact: Lindsey Prell, 970-586-1443
Contact: Larry Frederick, 970-586-1443
There's a lot to celebrate this weekend at Rocky Mountain National Park. Today marks the 20th anniversary of National Public Lands Day, Elk Fest in Estes Park is underway, Grand Lake continues to welcome visitors, the fall colors are vibrant and now even more areas and trails have opened in the park. In addition to the openings that were announced Thursday, the open areas now include: Wild Basin up to the winter trailhead and parking area as well as most of the backcountry campsites on the east side of the park. This brings the total open areas in the park to ninety-nine percent.
Visitors to Wild Basin should expect detours and trail closures. Also, the bridge at Ouzel Falls is missing and the section of trail between the Finch Lake junction and Calypso Cascades is closed. Watch for detour signs.
Closures still remain in some areas on the east side of the park. The National Park Service is continuing to conduct damage assessments in the closed areas. Some of these areas will remain closed for the long-term, while others will reopen as quickly as possible. The areas that remain closed are: Twin Sisters Trail, Aspenglen Campground, Longs Peak Campground, McGraw Ranch Road and Cow Creek Trailhead, Dunraven Trailhead to the North Fork Trails, and the Ypsilon and Lawn Lake trails. Endovalley Road and Old Fall River Road are closed to all use, including pedestrian traffic. Upper Beaver Meadows Road will remain closed through the weekend and Trail Ridge Road is currently closed due to weather conditions.
Fees at the entrance stations, campgrounds and backcountry will continue to be waived through the weekend. Beaver Meadows Visitor Center and Kawuneeche Visitor Center are open daily.
Backcountry travelers will encounter different conditions than they have experienced in the past. Most of Rocky Mountain National Park is designated wilderness, where self-reliance and adventure are expected. Hikers should be prepared to take responsibility for their own actions; search and rescue may be delayed. Be prepared to stay overnight even if you are a day hiker. Hiking poles may be helpful on uneven trails. Route finding skills may be required. Carry a map and compass and other backcountry travel essentials. Expect missing foot bridges, uneven trail surfaces, unstable slopes, falling trees due to soil moisture, rutted trails, damaged water bars and steps, standing water, difficult water crossings, and missing directional signs. Be prepared; hike at your own risk. Click here to view a map showing closures. The park website and Facebook page will continue to be updated as conditions change.
For the most up-to-date park information call the park's Information Office at 970-586-1206 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. daily. For a recorded message on Trail Ridge Road status call 970-586-1222, 24-hours a day.
Did You Know?
These women, pictured in the 1960s National Park Service uniform, are rangers not flight attendants.