For information on road and trail status, visit Current Conditions.
In order to protect the park's resources, the Superintendent may close certain areas of the park throughout the year. Some areas may be closed for weeks or months and some areas in the park are closed year round. This is not an all-inclusive list of closures in Rocky Mountain National Park. Closure notices are posted throughout the park. Visit a park visitor center to receive updated closure information.
Entering closed areas is a violation of 36 CFR 1.5. Violators are subject to a fine of $5,000 and/or 6 months imprisonment.
Elk Rut Closures
September 1 through October 31
To prevent disturbance and harassment of elk during the fall mating period and to enhance visitor elk-viewing opportunities, areas in Horseshoe Park, Moraine Park, Upper Beaver Meadows, Harbison Meadow, and Holzwarth Meadow are closed to the following acts from 5 p.m. to 10 a.m. daily:
Tundra Closures are designated to restrict use and protect fragile alpine tundra from damage caused by heavy, concentrated foot travel. Off-trail hiking is prohibited within 100 yards of the trails and parking lots in these areas unless otherwise designated.
March 1 through July 31
Each year, from approximately March 1 through July 31, Rocky Mountain National Park initiates temporary closures in certain areas of the park to ensure birds of prey (raptors) will be undisturbed during their breeding and nesting seasons.
Closure notices will also be posted at key access points in the park. As breeding and nesting data are collected, additional closures may be necessary, or closures may be lifted.
The following areas are CLOSED beginning March 1, 2020:
When closed, the closures include the named rock formations and the areas surrounding the base of the formation. This includes all climbing routes, outcroppings, cliffs, faces, ascent and descent routes, and climber's access trails to the formation.
Areas not listed are presumed to be open. These closures will be lifted or extended as conditions dictate.
Bald Eagle Closure
Colorado River—Closed mid-November through mid-March. Closures will be lifted or extended as necessary.
The Colorado River and a zone 300 yards wide on both sides of the river are closed to human entry from mid-November through mid-March. Hiking on Ranger Meadows Loop trail, outside the closure, is permitted.
This closure is needed to protect bald eagles and their habitat. Approximately 12-15 bald eagles come here each winter to live and hunt for fish along these open sections of the Colorado River. Bald eagles are a protected species. When food is scarce and temperatures are cold, bald eagles waste vital energy fleeing from human disturbance.
For a map of the area, click here.
Your cooperation in obeying this closure is appreciated and required by federal regulations. Violators will be fined and prosecuted.
Bighorn Sheep Closures
Seasonal: April 15–August 31
Each year from April 15-August 31, Horseshoe Park and the West Alluvial Fan areas are closed to:
The purpose of this closure is to prevent disturbance and harassment of wildlife, particularly bighorn sheep, while enroute to/from, or while using the natural mineral lick at Sheep Lakes, and to enhance visitor wildlife viewing opportunities.
"The Crater" and surrounding open tundra slopes on Specimen and Shipler Mountains are closed year-round to all travel for the protection of bighorn sheep. View a map of the closure.
Last updated: December 4, 2020