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Contact: Kyle Patterson, 970-586-1363
Timber Creek Campground, on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park, will be temporarily closed until early July for hazard tree removal. Most trees in Timber Creek Campground have been killed by the mountain pine beetle epidemic. The removal reduces risk associated with falling trees. After trees have been removed, park staff will begin to replant vegetation in the campground.
Timber Creek Campground sits in a lodgepole forest above the Colorado River and the Kawuneeche Valley, 10 miles north of the Town of Grand Lake. The Never Summer Mountains rise to the west of the campground. There are 98 sites and they are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Rocky Mountain National Park has five front country campgrounds.
There will be other temporary closures in the park this year pertaining to hazard tree removal and mitigation work for pine beetle. Some backcountry campsites, trailhead parking areas and picnic areas may be temporarily closed for additional hazard tree removal. Permits are required to camp in the backcountry of Rocky Mountain National Park and there are 267 back country campsites in the park. Updates on the current status of specific backcountry campsites are available through the park’s backcountry office.
Bark beetles are impacting forests from Canada to Mexico and can be found at elevations from sea level to 11,000 feet. The park is just one small area where beetles are killing trees. Beetle outbreaks have occurred in the past, but since the park was established in 1915, there has never been an outbreak as large as the one currently occurring. In the park’s backcountry, which comprises about 95% of the park, bark beetle populations are allowed to fluctuate under natural processes with some limited mitigation work occurring around some designated backcountry campsites. In addition, there is no effective means of controlling a large beetle outbreak in such a vast area. Visitors are always cautioned to be aware of their surroundings and manage risk, particularly during times of high wind.
For more information about Rocky Mountain National Park please call the park’s information office at (970) 586-1206.