Rocky Mountain National Park's largest historic preservation project was complete in the fall of 2003. Since 1999, Rocky Mountain National Park had been rehabilitating the McGraw Ranch for use as a research facility. The park partnered with the Rocky Mountain National Park Associates and the National Trust for Historic Preservation to accomplish the $2 million project. Your gate fee contributed $1.2 million for the project. Another $350,000 came from Colorado's State Historical Fund. Private individuals donated money and time to the project as well.
The ranch has overnight accommodations, a small lab, kitchen facilities, and work space for researchers. It is the goal of the park managers to bring science to the park so that they can make better decisions to protect the park's resources. Rocky's research program is the fifth largest in the National Park Service. Current research projects include elk studies, a butterfly inventory, rare plant studies, fire history, and glacier monitoring.
The buildings at McGraw Ranch are not open to the public.