Available For Public Review: Crater Trail Environmental Assessment

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Date: October 17, 2017
Contact: Kyle Patterson, Public Affairs Officer, (970) 586-1363
Contact: General Park Information, (970) 586-1206

The National Park Service (NPS) has released for public review and comment an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Crater Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park. The Crater Trail starts near Milner Pass on Trail Ridge Road and extends above tree line to a geologic feature known as “the Crater.” The trail is resulting in harm to park resources, bisects a prehistoric archeological site and is not sustainable from a trail construction and maintenance perspective. It differs from other trails in the park in that it is an informal route that was not designed and constructed, but developed over time. As a result, the trail is steep and severely eroded in sections, impacting the alpine tundra and cultural resources. The trail is typically closed annually from May to August 15 during the bighorn lambing season. For the past three years, the Crater Trail has been closed year-round pending the outcome of the EA process.

Rocky Mountain National Park is proposing to permanently close the Crater Trail to protect natural and cultural resources in the park. The abandoned trail would be closed to public access and revegetated. The EA also evaluates three other alternatives: no action, reconstructing the trail within the existing alignment, and rerouting the trail to a more sustainable alignment.

Public Comment

Park staff encourage public participation throughout the planning process. The park will host a public meeting on Tuesday, October 24, 2017, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Grand Lake Fire Protection District Station located at 201 W. Portal Road in Grand Lake. There will be a short presentation at 6:15 p.m., and park staff will be available to answer questions until 7:30 p.m. The public is invited to visit at any point during the scheduled time to review materials and provide written comments.

The EA will be on public review for a minimum of 30 days, with comments accepted through November 22, 2017. The document is available electronically for review and comment online by visiting http://parkplanning.nps.gov/romo, the website for the NPS’s Planning Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) system. Look for “Crater Trail.” Comments also may be mailed to the address below:


Rocky Mountain National Park

Estes Park, CO 80517

Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. Although you can ask in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee we will be able to do so.

If you have questions about the project or would like more information about Rocky Mountain National Park, please call the park’s Information Office at (970) 586-1206.


Last updated: October 17, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1000 US Hwy 36
Estes Park, CO 80517


(970) 586-1206
Through winter, the Information Office is open 8:00 am–4:30 pm Mon–Fri. Recorded Trail Ridge Road status: (970) 586-1222.

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