Area Closures to Protect Plants & Animals
For information on road and trail status, visit our Conditions and Closures page.
In order to protect the park's resources, the Superintendent may close certain areas of the park throughout the year. Some areas may be closed for weeks or months and some areas in the park are closed year round. This is not an all inclusive list of closures in Rocky Mountain National Park. Closure notices are posted throughout the park. Stop in at a park visitor center to receive updated closure information.
Entering closed areas is a violation of 36 CFR 1.5. Violators are subject to a fine of $5,000 and/or 6 months imprisonment.
Elk Rut Closures
To prevent disturbance and harassment of elk during the fall mating period and to enhance visitor elk-viewing opportunities, closures in Horseshoe Park, Moraine Park, Upper Beaver Meadows, Harbison Meadow and Holzwarth Meadow are closed to the following acts:
Tundra Protection Areas
Tundra Protection Areas are designated to restrict use and protect fragile alpine tundra from damage caused by heavy, concentrated foot travel. Off-trail hiking is prohibited within 100 yards of the trails and parking lots in these areas unless otherwise designated. The six designated Tundra Protection Areas are described below:
Lumpy Ridge Raptor Closures
Closure notices will also be posted at key access points in the park. As breeding and nesting data are collected, additional closures may be necessary, or closures may be lifted.
ALL closures have been lifted for 2015.
When closed, the closures include the named rock formations and the areas surrounding the base of the formation. This includes all climbing routes, outcroppings, cliffs, faces, ascent and descent routes and climber's access trails to the formation.
Areas not listed above are presumed to be open. These closures will be lifted or extended as conditions dictate.
Bald Eagle Closure
Colorado River--Closed mid-November through mid-March. Closures will be lifted or extended as necessary.
The Colorado River and a zone 300 yards wide on both sides of the river are closed to human entry from mid-November through mid-March. Hiking on Ranger Meadows Loop trail, outside the closure, is permitted.
This closure is needed to protect bald eagles and their habitat. Approximately 12-15 bald eagles come here each winter to live and hunt for fish along these open sections of the Colorado River. Bald eagles are a protected species. When food is scarce and temperatures are cold, bald eagles waste vital energy fleeing from human disturbance.
For a map of the area, click here.
Your cooperation in obeying this closure is appreciated and required by federal regulations. Violators will be fined and prosecuted.
Bighorn Sheep Closures - Year Round
The Crater Trail from the trailhead on Trail Ridge Road and extending to “The Crater” will remain closed at least until August 15, 2015, most likely longer. The park is considering closing it permanently. To learn more, click here.