NPS Photo by Marino
Horses have been part of Rocky Mountain Park's tradition since its designation in 1915. Recreational pack animal use is balanced with other recreational uses such as hiking. Packing is managed to maintain the natural resources and unique ecosystems in the park. Horses, mules, ponies, llamas, and burros are allowed on park trails. No goats are allowed on park trails.
Closed Trails Due to Flood Damage
Some trails normally open to stock use, are currently CLOSED due to flood damage. Please see map.
Rules of the Trail
Approximately 95% of Rocky Mountain National Park is designated Wilderness. It is a rare opportunity to experience the wonders and challenges of being in the wilderness. Wilderness does, however, have numerous hazards. Following is an outline of the most likely hazards one might encounter.
Be prepared for sudden changes in the weather. Dismount immediately if lightning and thunderstorms seem imminent. Try to stay below treeline and avoid high rocky areas.
Carry first aid supplies for yourself and the stock.
Carry, boil or filter water obtained from park waters before drinking. All park waters may contain Giardia, an organism that can cause serious flu-like symptoms in humans.
Resource Protection & Ethics
Where no hitchracks exist, tie a "highline," (a rope between two trees) away from the trail and hitch the stock to it. The rope should be padded. This avoids damage to trees and their root system.
Tie up at least 200 ft. (70 adult steps) from lakes and streams.
Maintain a distance of 1/4 mile (or 15 minutes) between pack groups.
Use only well-broken, properly shod, gentle stock in good physical condition.
When approaching others, make your presence known, alerting them to clear the trail.
Areas Closed to Stock Use