Rules and Regulations
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(In effect March 1, 1920.)

The following rules and regulations for the government of the Rocky Mountain National Park are hereby established and made public, pursuant to authority conferred by the acts of Congress approved January 26, 1915 (38 Stat., 798), August 25, 1916 (39 Stat., 535), and February 14, 1917 (39 Stat., 916):

1. Preservation of natural features and curiosities.—The destruction, injury, defacement, or disturbance in any way of the public buildings, signs, equipment, or other property, or the trees, flowers, vegetation, rocks, minerals, animal or bird or other life, or other natural conditions and curiosities in the park is prohibited.

2. Camping.—No camp shall be made along roads except at designated localities. Blankets, clothing, hammocks, or any other article likely to frighten teams, shall not be hung near the road.

Many successive parties camp on the same sites during the season; therefore camp grounds shall be thoroughly cleaned before they are abandoned. Tin cans, bottles, cast-off clothing, and all other débris shall be placed in garbage cans or pits provided for the purpose. When camps are made in unfrequented localities, where pits or cans may not be provided, all refuse shall be burned or hidden where it will not be offensive to the eye.

Campers may use dead or fallen timber only, for fuel.

3. Fires.—Fires constitute one of the greatest perils to the park; they shall not be kindled near trees, dead wood, moss, dry leaves, forest mold, or other vegetable refuse, but in some open space on rocks or earth. Should camp be made in a locality where no such open space exists or is provided, the dead wood, moss, dry leaves, etc., shall be scraped away to the rock or earth over an area considerably larger than that required for the fire.

Fires shall be lighted only when necessary, and when no longer needed shall be completely extinguished, and all embers and bed smothered with earth or water so that there remains no possibility of reignition.

Especial care shall be taken that no lighted match, cigar, or cigarette is dropped in any grass, twigs, leaves, or tree mold.

4. Hunting.—The park is a sanctuary for wild life of every sort, and hunting, killing, wounding, capturing, or frightening any bird or wild animal in the park, except dangerous animals when it is necessary to prevent them from destroying life or inflicting injury, is prohibited.

The outfits, including guns, traps, teams, horses, or means of transportation used by persons engaged in hunting, killing, trapping, ensnaring, or capturing birds or wild animals, or in possession of game killed on the park lands under circumstances other than prescribed above, shall be taken up by the superintendent and held subject to the order of the Director of the National Park Service, except in cases where it is shown by satisfactory evidence that the outfit is not the property of the person or persons violating this regulation, and the actual owner was not a party to such violation. Firearms are prohibited in the park except on written permission of the superintendent. Visitors entering or traveling through the park to places beyond shall, at entrance, report and surrender all firearms, traps, nets, seines, or explosives in their possession to the first park officer, and in proper cases may obtain his written leave to carry them through the park sealed. The Government assumes no responsibilities for loss or damage to any firearms, traps, nets, seines, or other property so surrendered to any park officer nor are park officers authorized to accept the responsibility of custody of any property for the convenience of visitors.

5. Fishing.—Fishing with nets, seines, traps, or by the use of drugs or explosives, or in any other way than with hook and line, or for merchandise or profit, is prohibited. Fishing in particular water may be suspended; or the number of fish that may be taken by one person in any one day from the various streams or lakes may be regulated by the superintendent. All fish hooked less than 6 inches long shall be carefully handled with moist hands and returned at once to the water if not seriously injured. Fish retained shall be killed. Thirty fish shall constitute the limit for a day's catch.

6. Private operations.—No person, firm, or corporation shall reside permanently, engage in any business, operate a moving-picture camera, or erect buildings upon the Government lands in the park without permission in writing from the Director of the National Park Service, Washington, D. C. Applications for such permission may be addressed to the Director or to the superintendent of the park.

7. Gambling.—Gambling in any form, or the operation of gambling devices, whether for merchandise or otherwise, is prohibited.

8. Advertisements.—Private notices or advertisements shall not be posted or displayed within the park, excepting such as the park superintendent deems necessary for the convenience and guidance of the public.

9. Mining claims.—The location of ruining claims is prohibited on Government lands within the park.

10. Patented lands.—Owners of patented lands within the park limits are entitled to the full use and enjoyment thereof; the boundaries of such lands, however, shall be determined, and marked and defined, so that they may be readily distinguished from the park lands. While no limitations or conditions are imposed upon the use of private lands so long as such use does not interfere with or injure the park, private owners shall provide against trespass by their live stock, upon the park lands, and all trespasses committed will be punished to the full extent of the law. Stock may be taken over the park lands to patented private lands with the written permission and under the supervision of the superintendent, but such permission and supervision are not required when access to such private lands is had wholly over roads or lands not owned or controlled by the United States.

11. Grazing.—The running at large, herding, or grazing of live stock of any kind on the Government lands in the park, as well as the driving of live stock over same, is prohibited except where authority theref or has been granted by the superintendent. Live stock found improperly on the park lands may be impounded and held until claimed by the owner and the trespass adjusted.

12. Authorized operators.—All persons, firms, or corporations holding franchises in the park shall keep the grounds used by them properly policed and shall maintain the premises in a sanitary condition to the satisfaction of the superintendent. No operator shall retain in his employment a person whose presence in the park may be deemed by the superintendent subversive of good order and management of the park.

All operators shall require each of their employees to wear a metal badge with a number thereon, or other mark of indentification, the name and the number corresponding therewith or the identification mark being registered in the superintendents office. These badges must be worn in plain sight on the hat or cap.

13. Dogs and cats.—Cats are not permitted on the Government lands in the park and dogs only to those persons passing through the park to the territory beyond, in which instances they shall be kept tied while crossing the park.

14. Dead animals.—All domestic or grazed animals that may die on the Government lands in the park, at any tourist camp, or along any of the public thoroughfares, shall be buried immediately by the owner or person having charge of such animals, at least 2 feet be neath the ground and in no case less than one-fourth mile from any camp or thoroughfare.

15. Travel on trails.—Pedestrians on trails, when saddle or pack animals are passing them, shall remain quiet until the animals have passed.

Persons traveling on the trails of the park, either on foot or saddle animals, shall not make short cuts, but shall confine themselves to the main trails.

16. Travel.—General.—(a) Saddle horses, pack trains, and horse-drawn vehicles have right of way over motor-propelled vehicles at times.

(b) On sidehill grades throughout the park motor-driven vehicles shall take the outer side of the road when meeting or passing vehicles of any kind drawn by animals; likewise, freight, baggage, and heavy camping outfits shall take the outer side of the road on sidehill grades when meeting or passing passenger vehicles drawn by animals.

(c) Wagons used in hauling heavy freight over the park roads shall have tires not less than 4 inches in width.

(d) All vehicles shall be equipped with lights for night travel. At least one light shall be carried on the left front side of horse-drawn vehicles in a position such as to be visible from both front and rear.

17. Miscellaneous.—(a) Campers and others shall not wash clothing or cooking utensils in the waters of the park or in any way pollute them; or bathe in any of the streams near the regularly traveled thoroughfares in the park without suitable bathing clothes.

(b) Stock shall not be tied so as to permit their entering any of the streams of the park. All animals shall be kept a sufficient distance from camping grounds not to litter the ground and make unfit for use the area which may be used later as tent sites.

(c) Campers and all others, save those holding licenses from the Director of the National Park Service, are prohibited from hiring their horses, trappings, or vehicles to tourists or visitors in the park. No pack trains will be allowed in the park unless in charge of a duly registered guide.

(d) All complaints by tourists and others as to service, etc., rendered in the park should be made to the superintendent in writing before the complainant leaves the park. Oral complaints will be heard daily during office hours.

18. Fines and penalties.—Persons who render themselves obnoxious by disorderly conduct or bad behavior shall be subjected to the punishment hereinafter prescribed for violation of the foregoing regulations, or they may be summarily removed from the park by the superintendent and not allowed to return without permission in writing from the Director of the National Park Service or the superintendent of the park.

Any person who violates any of the foregoing regulations shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall he fined not more than $500 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.


Pursuant to authority conferred by the acts of Congress approved January 26, 1915 (38 Stat., 798), and August 25, 1916 (39 Stat., 535), the following regulations governing the admission of automobiles and motorcycles into the Rocky Mountain National Park are hereby established and made public:

1. Entrances.—Automobiles and motorcycles may enter and leave the park by any of the entrances, viz, eastern or Estes Park entrance, southeastern or Longs Peak entrance, and the western or Grand Lake entrance.

2. Automobiles.—The park is open to automobiles operated for pleasure, but not to those carrying passengers who are paying, either directly or indirectly, for the use of machines. (Excepting, however, automobiles used by transportation lines operating under Government franchise.)

Careful driving is demanded of all persons using the roads. The Government is in no way responsible for any kind of accident.

3. Motorcycles.—Motorcycles are admitted to the park under the same conditions as automobiles and are subject to the same regulations, as far as they are applicable. Automobiles and horse-drawn vehicles shall have the right of way over motorcycles.

4. Intoxication.—No person who is under the influence of intoxicating liquor and no person who is addicted to the use of narcotic drugs shall operate or drive a motor vehicle of any kind on the park roads.

5. Permits.—Until further notice no automobile or motorcycle permits will be required.

6. Fees.—No fee is demanded for the operation of automobiles or motorcycles operated for pleasure.

7. Distance apart; gears and brakes.—Automobiles while in motion shall be not less than 50 yards apart, except for the purpose of passing, which is permissible only a comparatively level stretches of roads or on slight grades. All automobiles, except while shifting gears, shall retain their gears constantly enmeshed. The driver of each automobile may be required to satisfy park officers that all parts of his machine, particularly the brakes and tires, are in first-class working order and capable of making the trip; and that there is sufficient gasoline in the tank to reach the next place where it may be obtained. The automobile shall carry at least one extra tire. Motor cycles not equipped with brakes in good working order are not permitted to enter the park.

8. Speeds.—Speed is limited to 12 miles per hour on grades and when rounding sharp curves. On straight open stretches when no team is nearer than 200 yards the speed may be increased to 20 miles per hour.

9. Horns.—The horn shall be sounded on approaching curves or stretches of road concealed for any considerable distance by slopes, overhanging trees, or other obstacles, and before meeting or passing other automobiles, motorcycles, riding or driving animals, or pedestrians.

10. Lights.—All automobiles shall be equipped with head and tail lights, the headlights to be of sufficient brilliancy to insure safety in driving at night, and all lights shall be kept lighted after sunset when automobile is on the roads. Headlights shall be dimmed when meeting other automobiles, motorcycles, riding or driving animals, or pedestrians.

11. Muffler cut-outs.—Muffler cut-outs shall be kept closed while approaching or passing riding horses, horse-drawn vehicles, hotels, camps, or checking stations.

12. Teams.—When teams, saddle horses, or pack trains approach, automobiles shall take the outer edge of the roadway, regardless of the direction in which they may be going, taking care that sufficient room is left on the inside for the passage of vehicles and animals. Teams have the right of way, and automobiles shall be backed or otherwise handled as may be necessary so as to enable teams to pass with safety. In no case shall automobiles pass animals on the road at a speed greater than 8 miles per hour.

13. Overtaking vehicles.—Any vehicle traveling slowly upon any of the park roads shall, when overtaken by a faster moving motor vehicle and upon suitable signal from such overtaking vehicle, give way to the right, in case of horse-drawn vehicles, allowing the overtaking vehicle reasonably free passage, provided the overtaking vehicle does not exceed the speed limits specified for the road question.

When automobiles going in opposite directions meet on a grade, the ascending machine has right of way, and the descending machine shall be backed or otherwise handled as may be necessary to enable the ascending machine to pass with safety.

14. Accidents, stop-overs.—If, because of accident or stop for any reason, automobiles are unable to keep going, they shall be immediately parked off the road, or, where this is impossible, on the outer edge of the road.

15. Fines and penalties.—Violation of any of the foregoing regulations shall be punishable by immediate ejectment from the park, or by a fine of not to exceed $500, or both. Persons ejected from the park will not be permitted to return without prior sanction in writing from the Director of the National Park Service or the superintendent of the park.

16. Reduced engine power, gasoline, etc.—Due to the high altitude of the park roads, ranging as high as 10,000 feet, the power of all automobiles is much reduced, so that a leaner mixture and about 50 per cent more gasoline is required than for the same distance at lower altitude. Likewise, one gear lower will generally have to be used on grades than would have to be used in other places. A further effect that must be watched is the heating of the engine on long grades, which may become serious unless care is used.

17. Garages—Repairs—Supplies. Gasoline oils, and accessories are available for purchase at stations in the village of Estes Park. Repair shops and garages are maintained at this point by dealers not under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service.

18. The foregoing regulations do not apply to motor traffic in the section of the Allen's Park-Estes Park road that lies within the boundary of the park.

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Last Updated: 16-Feb-2010