• Photo of mist drifting over Moraine Park meadow on a spring morning. NPS Photo by C. Brindle

    Rocky Mountain

    National Park Colorado

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Upcoming Fourth of July Holiday in Rocky

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Date: June 29, 2012
Contact: Kyle Patterson, (970) 586-1363

With the upcoming warm weather forecast, a busy Fourth of July holiday in Rocky Mountain National Park is expected. Park staff continue to answer hundreds of questions from all over the country about fires in Colorado, clarifying that there are no closures in the park because of fires. Due to prevailing winds, there has been very little smoke or haze over Rocky Mountain National Park. The nearest communities of Estes Park and Grand Lake are open for business.         

Because of the extreme fire danger, visitors to the park are encouraged to use caution. There is a complete fire ban in the park. Campfires, including charcoal briquette fires, are not permitted anywhere within the park. Petroleum fueled stoves and grills will still be permitted in designated backcountry campsites, as well as developed campgrounds and picnic areas. Smoking is also prohibited, except within enclosed vehicles, parking lots, or developed areas that are cleared of all flammable materials for at least three feet in diameter. Fireworks are prohibited in Rocky Mountain National Park.                      

If your destination is Bear Lake, get there early! Visitors are reminded that a major road reconstruction project is occurring on the lower section of Bear Lake Road, making travel into that area much more time consuming. Rocky Mountain National Park is over 416 square miles, and has many other beautiful areas to experience and discover! Our park staff are happy to assist you in planning your visit.      

The best options are to hike early or late, prior to 9:00 a.m. or after 4:00 p.m. in the Bear Lake area, or to explore other areas of Rocky Mountain National Park this summer.      

For those who wish to visit Bear Lake: from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., from one mile southwest of Moraine Park Visitor Center to Bear Lake, the road is accessible by free shuttle bus only, seven days a week. Private vehicles are allowed both directions prior to 9:00 a.m. and after 4:00 p.m. Visitors in private vehicles who make the 9:00 a.m. cutoff time can leave throughout the day.      

All visitors, whether in private vehicles or shuttle buses, should expect at least two 20-minute delays both directions through the construction area, twenty-four hours a day. All shuttles along the Bear Lake Route are experiencing significant delays, leading to transit times of more than 2 hours. Additional delays should be expected at shuttle stops, as demand can exceed the capacity of the buses. If you plan to board the shuttles, please be prepared with water and snacks and expect a lengthy trip.      

The reservation campgrounds in the park are nearly full for the holiday and the two first-come, first-served campgrounds are expected to fill as well.      

The park's wonderful ranger-led programs are in full swing every day with something for everyone-from 30-minute to 4-hour programs. Take a nature walk and learn about wildflowers and wildlife. Have little ones? Check out the park's great children's programs. Programs in the park are a great way to go a little deeper in experiencing Rocky!      

To learn more about current trail conditions, park programs, shuttle schedules, campground availability and more, please visit the park's official website at www.nps.gov/romo or call the park's Information Office at (970) 586-1206.  

Did You Know?

a photo of aspens glowing with autumn gold,a photo of aspens glowing with autumn gold

In 1915, Congress created Rocky Mountain, the nation's 10th national park. Congress created the National Park Service in 1916.