Day Use Visitor Access Strategy

Visitors on Tundra Communities Trail
Tundra Communities Trail in summer

NPS Photo

Long-Range Day Use Visitor Access Planning In Rocky Mountain National Park

This plan is needed to provide day use visitor access in a way that protects resources while creating opportunities for high-quality visitor experiences.

Rocky Mountain National Park experienced a 44 percent increase in visitation from 2012 to 2019. In 2021, the park received 4.4 million visits. Even with a timed entry system in place the park received some of the highest visitation in its history. The park's top five visitation years are as follows: 2019, 4.67 million; 2018, 4.59 million; 2016, 4.51 million; 2017, 4.437 million; 2021, 4.434 million.

Rapid growth in day use visitation and changing use patterns in the park have degraded natural and cultural resources, diminished quality of the visitor experience, increased visitor and staff safety concerns, and created a heavy strain on the park’s facilities and ability to perform daily operations. The goal of the plan is to identify strategies that will help protect park resources, offer varied opportunities for high quality visitor experiences, and enhance visitor and staff safety.

Between 2016 and 2023, the park piloted several day-use visitor management strategies to address crowding, congestion, and impacts on park resources. The park also asked the public for their participation in envisioning the future of day use visitor access at Rocky Mountain National Park during the summer of 2021 and the winter of 2022-2023. Based on public feedback and information gathered during the pilots, the preferred alternative described in the EA would establish two timed entry reservation systems, one for the Bear Lake Road Corridor and one for the rest of the park, similar to the 2021, 2022, and 2023 pilots.

For more information on Rocky Mountain National Park's Day Use Visitor Access Plan and Environmental Assessment, please view the StoryMap below:

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1 hour, 33 minutes, 21 seconds

This is a recording from Rocky Mountain National Park's November 8th Virtual Public Meeting. At this meeting, NPS staff shared a presentation and answered questions focused on the park's Long-Range Day Use Visitor Access Plan and Environmental Assessment (EA).

GL Public Open House_Nov 14

NPS Photo

The Park Recently Hosted Two Open House Events:

Rocky Mountain National Park recently hosted two public open house events, one in Grand Lake on November 14 and one in Estes Park on November 27.

Park visitors met with park staff and learned more about the EA and the proposed alternatives.


Have questions about Rocky's Timed Entry Permit System?

Have questions about Rocky Mountain National Park's Timed Entry Permit System? Click here to see a list of questions and answers.

Thank you for your continued interest and involvement in this process!

Two Bighorn sheep rams are laying down on tundra


Last updated: December 27, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1000 US Hwy 36
Estes Park, CO 80517


970 586-1206
The Information Office is open year-round: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. daily in summer; 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Mondays - Fridays and 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Saturdays - Sundays in winter. Recorded Trail Ridge Road status: (970) 586-1222.

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