• 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 »

Visit Rocky!

Welcome to Rocky Mountain National Park’s blog from the park’s visitor Information Office. New blog entries will appear periodically.

The Information Office is a hub of information for the park. Our phone number is 970-586-1206 and you can e-mail us by clicking here. We take over 35,000 phone calls, about 3,000 emails and 3,000 snail mails a year! The Information Office is open seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. mountain time. Staffed with knowledgeable staff and volunteers, if you call you can speak with a live person!

Because we are a source of information for both park visitors and staff, I thought it would be fun – and hopefully helpful – to share some of the tidbits we glean with you. Enjoy!

Katy Sykes, Manager
Information Office
Rocky Mountain National Park

 

Monday, August 9, 2010

Visit Rocky! Last Blog
Thanks for visiting Rocky Mountain National Park through this blog. We're now on Twitter! So please look there for tweets on what's going on in the park. Our Twitter site is updated often with lots of good information. Our Twitter address is RMNPOfficial. Here's a link http://twitter.com/RMNPOfficial.


 

Tuesday, October 21

The scoop on bicycle riding and dog walking on park roads in winter...
So just what is the scoop? Can I ride my bike or walk my dog on Old Fall River Road this fall?

Sorry, but no. Old Fall River Road is closed to bicycles and pets on leashes from the day the road is closed for the season in autumn (which was October 8 this year) until the first Saturday in April (which is April 3 in 2010). It will be open to bicycles as posted during spring maintenance operations. Starting about June 1 each year, Old Fall River Road is closed all day Tuesdays through Fridays for maintenance. Closures will be until the road opens in early July. Closed means just that – no access for anyone Tuesdays through Fridays (hikers, bicyclists, etc.). Old Fall River Road will be open to bicycles and pets on Saturdays-Sundays-Mondays during that time.

In the summer when the road is open to motor vehicles, bicycles can ride on Old Fall River Road. However, at that time, it is a one-way road uphill, so if you ride your bike you must commit to going all the way up to the Alpine Visitor Center and junction with Trail Ridge Road/U. S. Highway 34.

Roads with Winter Road Status
Bicycles are permitted on some roads during that period of the year when the roads are closed to motor vehicles and convert to winter road status. Bicycles and pets on leashes are not permitted on roads that convert to winter trail status. Roads that convert to winter road status and are open to bicycles and pets on leashes beyond winter gates or road closures:

  • Upper Beaver Meadows Road
  • Moraine Park Campground (closed loops)
  • Endovalley Road
  • Aspenglen Campground
  • High Drive

Roads with Winter Trail Status
Roads that convert to winter trail status and are closed to bicycles and pets on leashes beyond winter gates or road closures:

  • Wild Basin Road
  • Glacier Basin Campground
  • Fern Lake Road
  • Twin Sisters Trailhead Access Road
  • Trail Ridge Road

Trail Ridge Road is closed to bicycles and pets on leashes from the day the road is closed for the season in autumn until the first Saturday in April. Trail Ridge Road is open to bicycles and pets as posted during the April/May spring plowing period, prior to vehicle access; and open each month thereafter until the autumn seasonal road closure.

During spring opening operations, ‘No Travel Past Here’ signs will be posted for safety while plowing operations are ongoing. Plowing starts mid-April.

An FYI, leashes may be no longer than six feet in length.

Enjoy your visit to Rocky Mountain National Park!

Your comments are welcome and may be posted on this website. To submit your comment by email, please click here.

 
Photo Cyclists enjoying Old Fall River Road
Spring bicycling on Old Fall River Road is a lot of fun!
NPS Photo
 

Tuesday, October 8

Welcome Fall...
It’s October! The park is quickly moving into winter mode. Many changes have recently taken place, including:

  • The Alpine Visitor Center and Trail Ridge Store – and the restroom outside – are closed for the season. The status of Trail Ridge Road will now be determined on a day-to-day basis until we receive The Big Storm that closes it for the season. You never know when that will be. Trail Ridge Road has closed as early as September 11 in 1951, and as late as December 2 in 1933. The average winter closure date of Trail Ridge Road has been October 23. Please call our new Trail Ridge Road Status Line at 970-586-1222. This line is updated as soon as there is any change in the road’s status, so you can rely on it to be accurate. Don’t let old dates/times on the recording fool you – we promise to update it (really really) when there are changes. If it’s old, it’s still correct if it’s there.
  • Two campgrounds are open for the winter, Moraine Park and Longs Peak. Moraine Park Campground Loops ‘B’ (77 sites) and ‘E’ (the group loop) are now first-come, first-serve and self registration for the winter; all other loops are closed and reservations have ended for the season. The water is off in both Moraine Park and Longs Peak Campgrounds, so the camping fee is $14.00 per-site, per-night. Aspenglen, Glacier Basin and Timber Creek Campgrounds are closed for the season. The firewood vendors have also stopped operations for the season.
  • Starting October 1, an additional 14 nights of camping - in campgrounds and the backcountry - are allowed in the park. This is in addition to the stay limit of 7 nights parkwide between June 1 – September 30.
  • The Backcountry Office is now open 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Reservations are accepted by phone (in addition to in-person and by mail, which are always accepted) from October 1 – December 31 and March 1 – May 15.
  • Visitor Centers are changing to winter schedules. The Kawuneeche Visitor Center near Grand Lake is on its winter schedule, and open daily (except Christmas day) from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Moraine Park Visitor Center on the Bear Lake Road closes after October 12, Columbus Day. Fall River Visitor Center west of Estes Park on U. S. Highway 34 will change to weekends only on October 25, when they will be open 9-4 on Saturdays and Sundays. And the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center on U. S. Highway 36 west of Estes Park will change to winter hours on October 25, and be open 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. daily (except Christmas day).
  • Shuttle buses have ended operations for the season. So have the two stables located inside the park – Glacier Creek Stables near Sprague Lake and Moraine Park Stables.
 
Photo willows in full fall golden color.

Some willows still have golden fall colors

NPS Photo

Fall Colors
Folks are wondering how the fall colors are here in the park. Actually, they are pretty much done for the season. Trees at higher elevations start turning mid-September, and normally, throughout the next month, the colors progress down the mountainside to lower elevations. Trees in the park have lost their leaves. Around Estes Park and Grand Lake, the leaves that didn’t blow off got zapped by cold weather and snow, and lost their pizzazz and color. There are some willows and other splashes of gold, but not much.
 
Photo bull elk

Bull elk can be feisty in fall. Please keep your distance.

NPS Photo

Elk
Yes, the bull elk are still bugling and trying to interest the cows in the rut. The groups of elk are growing in size as this happens. The best time to see and hear the spectacle is early and late, dawn and late afternoon into evening, in park meadows. You never know where the elk will be (they are wild animals), but you can ask the ranger at the entrance station if they know where the elk might be. Always remember that these wild animals are strong and powerful and have mating season on their minds, so you need to give them a lot of room. Never approach elk, and give them wide berth if you come upon them. Park meadows (Horseshoe Park, Moraine Park, Upper Beaver Meadows, Harbison Meadow and Holzwarth Meadow) are closed through October 31 to foot travel off established roadways and designated trails, and fishing in the sections of Fall River, Thompson River and the Colorado River through the meadows, from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. to prevent disturbance and harassment of elk during the fall mating period and to enhance visitor elk-viewing opportunities.

English poet A.H. Clough wrote, Bright October was come, the misty-bright October. It is just that in Rocky Mountain National Park. Days can be crystalline, and days can be stormy and snowy. Enjoy it all!

Your comments are welcome and may be posted on this website. To submit your comment by email, please click here.





 
a photo of an autumn currant

Wax currant leaves are starting to turn fall colors

NPS Photo

Tuesday, August 25

Harbingers of Fall
The American Heritage Dictionary defines “harbinger” as “one that indicates or foreshadows what is to come; a forerunner.” Fall is coming quickly to Rocky Mountain National Park, and there are many signs….

 

Road construction is nearing its end! In the mountains, road construction can really only take place in the summer when it’s warm. This summer a 10-mile stretch of Trail Ridge Road was repaved through the Kawuneeche Valley north of Grand Lake. The paving part is done now, and shoulder work and some construction activities are being completed during the remainder of August. Rock wall repairs are done. Crews are pulverizing and paving two short sections above the first switchback, and that work should be done by early September.

Campgrounds are slowing down! This week, for the first time since June, none of the campgrounds have filled on some weekdays. Weekends, as you would imagine, are still really busy, and will stay busy through September.

 
a photo of autumn tundra

Autumn colors  the tundra with golds and maroons

NPS Photo

There are hints of fall color! I saw my first gold aspen leaf of the season, and other plants are also turning gold, bronze, and red. Although there is still some green up top, the tundra flowers are pretty much gone and sweeping tundra vistas are burnt orange and maroon.

 
a photo of an elk rubbing the velvet from his antlers

Thrashing his antlers against a bush, this elk is rubbing off velvet.

NPS Photo

I heard an elk bugle a couple of mornings ago! This morning I saw a big bull, and his antlers had no more velvet – they looked dry and hard and polished, and ready to spar with other bulls as they vie for mates.
 

Robins are flocking! According to birding experts, robins do that here this time of year. It’s like they’re gathering up to migrate.

Remember, as seasons change, weather can be changeable too. Longs Peak and Mount Meeker have already had dustings of snow (and ice), and more is surely (hopefully) on the way. Thunderstorms can still occur in the fall. Be aware of your surroundings and don’t hesitate to turn around if storms approach. Take appropriate clothing, including rain gear, layers (polar fleece will keep you warmer and drier than cotton), hats, and gloves.

 
a photo of Antelope Canyon in Glen Canyon NP

Antelope Canyon at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is beautiful

NPS Photo

On August 25th, the National Park Service celebrated its 93rd birthday. Currently there are 391 National Park Service units in 49 states plus most territories. These units include not just national parks, but also national monuments, lakeshores, seashores, rivers, trails, historic sites, battlefields, parkways, recreation areas, and more. Did you know the National Park Service administers Lake Powell? That’s Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Did you know the National Park Service administers the Appalachian Trail? That’s the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. And Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas was originally established as Hot Springs Reservation by Congress in 1832, way before the National Park Service was established. It was one of the very first places to be protected. Think about the vastness of this magnificent country of ours, and think about the protection of so many special places by the National Park Service. You, as visitors, are integral to the protection of these special places! Author Robert Cahn wrote, “…I became aware of a rare attitude in the visitors. These were their parks, a part of their heritage, and they felt fiercely protective of them. I found that to harm or threaten a national park is to touch a sensitive nerve in the American public. Many visitors as well as park employees seemed to live by a set of values rarely seen elsewhere, and that they themselves might not live by outside the park. They appreciated the natural beauty around them - the land, the plants, the birds, the animals. And what's more, they showed a regard for other people’s chance to share the park experience. They seemed to feel they were part of a whole natural system, and most of them behaved as if they did not want to leave that system any worse than they found it, so that others and even future generations could enjoy and share it.” Well said. Thank YOU for your help as stewards of our great parks!
 
a photo of a visitor at a lake
Anytime is a good time to sit beside a crystal mountain lake and dream
Photo credit: John Marino
 

 
a photo of fringed gentian

Fringed Gentian

Wednesday, August 12

Summer is Waning…
As much as we love summer here in Rocky Mountain National Park, we love autumn, winter and spring too. Pretty soon we’ll start to see signs of the new season. Soon the gorgeous deep blue Fringed Gentian will bloom in sunny, wet subalpine areas. Soon the first gold leaves will shimmer on aspen trees. Soon the first elk will bugle. Can’t wait!

But now it’s still summer, and so beautiful in the park. Staff are busy as can be, trying to get projects done while our seasonal staff are here and the weather is warm. Some things currently going on in the park….

 
a photo of a child looking at flowers

Little Explorer

Photo compliments of John Marino

Timber Creek Campground is temporarily closed until noon on Friday, August 21, for paving. We had intended to do this project in September after the campground closed for the season, but this is the only time the equipment is available (it’s a ‘now or never’ thing). The campground loops and campsite driveways are being paved. As alternatives, there are a bunch of US Forest Service Campgrounds and a couple of commercial campgrounds in the Grand Lake area. Reservations for the US Forest Service campgrounds in this area are handled through the same folks that handle our park campground reservations, www.recreation.gov or 1-877-444-6777. The Grand Lake Chamber of Commerce can be contacted at www.grandlakechamber.com or 1-800-531-1019.

Road construction on the west side of Trail Ridge Road is ongoing, and is scheduled to continue until about mid-September. The first ten miles of road, from the west boundary north of Grand Lake up to the Timber Creek Trailhead, are being repaved, so expect some delays. Also, the rock wall repair project continues in the switchbacks, with a traffic signal on weekdays and flaggers on weekends for traffic control.

Herbicide application to control invasive exotic plants continues in the park's east side through mid-October, Mondays through Thursdays. Currently, the exotic plant crew is using a utility vehicle (UTV) with mounted herbicide sprayer in the park’s east side montane meadows to control Canada thistle, an invasive exotic plant. UTV treatment using Milestone herbicide (selective for Canada thistle) began August 11 and will continue for several weeks in Hondius Park, Beaver Meadows, Horseshoe Park, and Moraine Park. A list of all park locations targeted for invasive exotic plant control is available on the park's public webpage: http://www.nps.gov/romo/parkmgmt/upload/2009_rmnp_herbicide_application_locations_exotics.pdf. Signs will be posted at least two weeks prior to the herbicide application date, and will remain in place three months following application. Signs will contain application date, herbicide name, restricted travel period, targeted plant, and contact information. Additional locations for herbicide application may be identified during the season due to exotic plant movement across the park’s elevation range. Longs Peak Campground has been reserved as a herbicide-free campground this season.

 
a photo of a junior ranger

A New Junior Ranger

Attention all kiddos, no matter what your age! Rocky Mountain National Park has beautiful new Junior Ranger Activities Booklets. The newest one, for ages 5 and under, is hot off the press, plus we have booklets for ages 6-8 and 9-12. Filled with colorful drawings and fun activities, kids are really enjoying connecting to their park through these delightful booklets. Get booklets at any park visitor center. Completion of a booklet earns a Rocky Mountain National Park Junior Ranger badge!

Enjoy the last golden days of summer!

Your comments are welcome and may be posted on this website. To submit your comment by email, please click here.

 

Friday, July 24

Happenings...
Well, now it’s after mid-July, and things in Rocky Mountain National Park are in full swing. As of Monday, July 20, the Keyhole Route on Longs Peak is non-technical. If you climb Longs Peak it is important to be aware of your surroundings and be safe. Any time of the year – even summer – conditions can change quickly on Longs Peak, and anywhere in the mountains. Situational Awareness is what we call it in the park, and it’s critical when you are in the wild backcountry of Rocky Mountain National Park.

Situational Awareness is the ability to identify, process, and comprehend the critical elements of information about what is happening around you. Keep clear about what is reality and what is perception. When situational awareness is lost, the potential for human error increases.

The loss of situational awareness usually occurs over a period of time and will leave a trail of clues. Factors that reduce situational awareness can include:

Complacency
Confusion or gut feeling (listen to your inner voice!)
Lack of attention to surroundings
Failure to follow plans
Preoccupation
Fatigue or stress
Insufficient communication within your group
Group mindset
“Press on regardless” philosophy
Degrading conditions, such as weather

Pay attention to current and changing conditions. What is your physical and mental status? Are you properly clothed and equipped for your trip? Observe your surroundings. Watch your footing. Evaluate current and changing weather. Good situational awareness requires constant attention and processing of all the information that surrounds you. Situational awareness is essential to managing risk.

Years ago my mom read that The Mountains Don’t Care. It’s true. The mountains are beautiful, but they can be harsh and full of potential dangers. It’s okay to turn back. It’s okay to stay with your group and put your companions first above your desire to summit a peak. It’s okay to decide the mountain is bigger than you are. Remember – safety is your responsibility!

 

There are some areas of road work in the park.

  • Beginning in June, approximately 10 miles of the road surface between the west park boundary and Timber Lake Trailhead was pulverized. The first lift of paving should be done this week, and the second lift should be completed early- to mid-August. The project will continue through mid-September. Expect 20 to 30 minute delays through the construction areas on Trail Ridge Road. There may be 2-3 areas of construction occurring concurrently, and in that case the combined delay time will not exceed 60 minutes. Due to temperature requirements, resurfacing can only be done during the day. Construction is generally between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Work is being done on the rock wall at the switchbacks heading north from the Colorado River Trailhead. Only one lane is accessible, and therefore traffic lights are in place for controlling traffic. On weekends flaggers aid traffic control.
  • On Monday, July 27, weather permitting, a chip seal project will begin on Bear Lake Road begins. The project will cover about 5 miles between the Bear Lake Road Junction with Highway 36 (Trail Ridge Road) and the Park & Ride. The project should last through Friday, August 7. All facilities and trailheads along Bear Lake Road will be open during the project. Work will not take place during the weekends. During this project, traffic will be reduced to one lane, and 10-15 minute delays should be expected. However, on Wednesday, July 29, and Thursday, July 30, there will be 30 minute delays between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. from Hollowell Park to Park & Ride. Cyclists and motorcyclists should be prepared for rough road conditions. Park shuttle buses will continue operating during the chip seal project, but scheduled stop times may be delayed because of the road work. The Hiker Shuttle remains a good option for park visitors who want to leave their car behind at Beaver Meadows Visitor Center or the Town of Estes Park Visitors Center and take a bus through the chip seal road work.
 
Photo mariposa lily

To me, looking inside a Mariposa Lily is magical, quite like looking in a geode. Notice that everything is in 3s and 6s (the petals, sepals, stamens). That's a sure sign of a lily.

Otherwise in the park, the wildflowers are awesome this summer! Delicate white Mariposa Lilies, happy yellow Black-eyed Susans, and vibrant pink Common Fireweed are starting to bloom, a sure sign of mid-summer. With all the wetness we experienced this spring, we seem to also have a bumper crop of mosquitoes. Repellent is advised!

Enjoy your national park!

Your comments are welcome and may be posted on this website. To submit your comment by email, please click here.

 
Photos left fireweed wildflowers, right black-eyed susans wildflowers
Left: In Alaska there is a legend that says when the last blossoms at the top of the fireweed spike bloom, you'd better have your wood pile ready, as it is six weeks to winter. Hmmm. Don't know about that here, but it's a nice thought! Common Fireweed generally grows in disturbed or burned areas.

Right: Black-eyed Susans are so happy-looking! You can't help but smile when you see one.
 
Photo view of Longs Peak with U.S. Flag flying in foreground

The beauty and grandeur of Rocky Mountain National Park inspire patriotism on the 4th of July - and every day


Friday, June 26

Summer has arrived at Rocky Mountain National Park, and things are beautiful and busy!

There are several traffic interruptions along the west side of Trail Ridge Road. Crews have been mitigating a significant number of hazardous trees along the road corridor in the Colorado River valley, which is causing some traffic stops. Pulverization has begun as part of the overlay project on Trail Ridge Road. This project starts at the boundary near Grand Lake and progresses north about 10 miles. The road will be gravel base for the next several weeks until paving begins. Pilot cars guide vehicles through the construction zone. Also, repairs are being made to a rock wall on the switchbacks, with one lane of traffic available at that spot for vehicles. A traffic light is in place so folks can get through this area at any time, day or night.

Trails are melting out! The snowline is now about 10,500 to 11,000 feet now, depending on exposure, so lots more areas are available to hike to without too much snow. A couple of tricky places are the ridge above Dream Lake to Lake Haiyaha, and the trail from Lake Helene to Odessa Lake. Trail reports are posted on the park website, and there is a quick link on the homepage. If you are out hiking, the Information Office would truly appreciate a trail condition report from you – you can email, call, or stop by a visitor center to fill out a report. Thanks!

 
Photo shooting star flower.

This delicate flower looks like a blazing, shooting star. Look for it in wet areas and beside streams.

The days have been warmer, and with that warmer weather and melting snow, the park streams and rivers (well, what we call rivers – actually larger streams) are roaring now. Awesome to experience – the roar, the spray, the sight, the sound. But be careful! These streams and rivers are very powerful and can sweep you away. Literally. It is easy for anyone to slip off a rock and be endangered by rocks and swift currents. Hang onto children, who are attracted to the water. Enjoy this powerful spectacle but step back and away from the banks.

Park campgrounds are starting to fill. Aspenglen and Moraine Park Campgrounds take reservations, and you can either go to the website www.recreation.gov or call 1-877-444-6777 to make those reservations. Three park campgrounds are first-come, first-serve: Glacier Basin (A & B Loops are open this summer), Timber Creek (A Loop only), and Longs Peak (tents only). This summer there are fewer sites available at Glacier Basin and Timber Creek. Many lodgepole pine trees in those campgrounds have been killed by mountain pine beetles, and because of hazard trees and slash, some loops are closed. If you’ve been to either of these campgrounds before, they will not look the same. The sites at Glacier Basin that are open this summer do have beautiful green trees. Timber Creek has been cut, but there are shrubs and some other vegetation in the A Loop.

 
Photo sunset

Fireworks may not be allowed in Rocky Mountain National Park, but the sky here can be spectacular!

With the 4th of July coming up, a reminder that fireworks are NOT allowed in Rocky Mountain National Park. Instead you can enjoy a sky full of stars at night and beautiful Shooting Star flowers during the day!

Your comments are welcome and may be posted on this website. To submit your comment by email, please click here.


 

Tuesday, June 16

Summer programs are now in full swing!
The summer park newspaper has pages and pages of free summer ranger-led programs. The paper is available on the park website under news/park newspaper. Also, you will receive a newspaper, along with a park map, from the entrance station when you come into the park.

Visitor Center hours expanded this week. On the east side, Beaver Meadows Visitor Center on U. S. Highway 36 is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. this summer, with programs every evening at 7:30 (you can call the Information Office to ask about topics). Fall River Visitor Center on U. S. Highway 34 is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Moraine Park Visitor Center on the Bear Lake Road is open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily. Atop Trail Ridge Road, the Alpine Visitor Center is open (weather permitting) 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily. On the west side of the park, Kawuneeche Visitor Center is open 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily. Every visitor center offers something unique!

Start your visit in the park by viewing the spectacular park film at Beaver Meadows Visitor Center or Kawuneeche Visitor Center. About 20 minutes long, it is well worth your time. Fall River Visitor Center has beautiful wildlife displays and a discovery room for kids. The Alpine Visitor Center showcases interesting displays on the world of the alpine tundra.

You never know when and where you’ll see wildlife. If you happen to see an elk or mule deer, consider it a great day. Bighorn sheep are even less common to see. One good place to look for them is at Sheep Lakes in Horseshoe Park. An information station there is open daily from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. and staffed with rangers and volunteers who know a lot about bighorn sheep.

Trail conditions are changing quickly. There is still a lot of snow in the high country, with the snow level at about 10,000 feet. As temperatures warm the snow melts, and some places are also sloppy from snowmelt. Be prepared with sturdy, waterproof hiking boots and hiking poles. Check the park website under Road/Trail Conditions and Closures or call the Information Office at (970)586-1206 for trail conditions. However, we only know conditions when visitors or rangers report them. You can help the park and its visitors by telling us about trail conditions when you’re out hiking! Give the Information Office a call, send us an email, or stop by a visitor center. We – and your fellow hikers – appreciate it!

Your comments are welcome and may be posted on this website. To submit your comment by email, please click here.


 
Photo wild iris, golden banner and alpine forget-me-not flowers in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Top left: wild iris, top right: golden banner, bottom: alpine forget-me-nots. Spring wildflowers abound in Rocky Mountain National Park. They may be small, requiring you to get on your hands and knees to see them, but they're worth the effort.

NPS Photos

Monday, June 15

Springtime at Rocky
Welcome to our newest blog – Visit Rocky! I’m really excited to present this to you. I hope to provide up-to-date, pertinent information to you for your visit to this great park, whether it’s virtual or in person. This is intended to compliment our park website, which is chockfull of great information.

It’s mid-June now, which here is still springtime. It can still snow on the mountain peaks, and in fact, Trail Ridge Road has been closed several times in the last couple of weeks. The park website has road status, which we update throughout the day. However, it can’t be updated during the night. For the most up-to-date road status of Trail Ridge Road you can visit the Colorado Department of Transportation Road Conditions website at www.cotrip.org or call 1-877-315-7623. They can update information 24/7.

Old Fall River Road status: the road is closed all day Tuesdays through Fridays for maintenance. Closures are just that – the road is closed to all uses, including hiking, bicycling and walking pets. Those uses are allowed on Saturdays-Sundays-Mondays until the road opens to vehicles around the 4th of July.

The flowers are starting to bloom! It is a gradual progression up the hillsides, and a sure sign of spring. Around the Estes Park area huge patches of brilliant yellow Golden Banner, which is in the pea family, are giving way to bright yellow Western Wallflowers, which are in the mustard family. Wild Iris are blooming in wet areas, and on the tundra, tiny fragrant Alpine Forget-me-nots are blooming. Get down on your hands and knees to get a whiff of these miniscule flowers – it’s worth it!

Your comments are welcome and may be posted on this website. To submit your comment by email, please click here.


Did You Know?

a photo of a vault toilet (aka bathroom)

Your entrance fees make improvement projects at Rocky possible. The park has built vault toilets, hired shuttle buses, and built trails with this money. More...