October Centennial Events

Year-round Activities

RMNP Centennial Ranger Programs
These FREE talks, walks, and evening programs with a ranger are offered throughout the year. Please consult our park newspaper when you arrive for ranger programs being offered during your visit.

Celebrate our Centennial with the Colorado Mountain Club (Starting September 2014)
The Colorado Mountain Club was instrumental in the formation of Rocky Mountain National Park 100 years ago. Original members participated in a 1914 pack trip organized to give Arapaho names to area peaks and features in an effort to help persuade Congree to establish Rocky Mountain National Park. James Grafton Rodgers, who began lobbying for designation as a national park in 1907, became the first president of the Colorado Mountain Club in 1912. Cut and paste this web address into your browser for details: http://www.cmc.org/About/YearoftheMountaineer/RMNPCentennial.aspx

  • Climbs, Hikes, and Snowshoes of 100 of the 125 Named Peaks in the Park
  • 100 Mile Hike Combo
  • Wildflower Hikes led by Colorado Native Plant Masters

YMCA of the Rockies Centennial Hikes (Starting September 2014)
YMCA of the Rockies has been leading educational excursions into Rocky Mountain National Park since the park's creation in 1915. Come enjoy the beauty and backcountry of the park with one of their talented hike-leaders. Fees: Free for YMCA guests, $20 day pass required for non-YMCA guests. Cut and paste this web address into your browser for details: http://www.y-hikes.com/index.html.

Climb On! - an exhibit (September 26, 2014 - October 4, 2015)
Join us at the Estes Park Museum (200 Fourth Street, Estes Park) and experience the vertical side of Estes Park, home to some of the nation's most spectacular rock climbing. Granite boulders, sub-alpine crags, and high mountain walls make the Estes valley and surrounding high peaks a world class training ground for elite and amateur climbers alike. Learn about ascending rocky terrain and how individuals pioneered local routes that pushed the limits of gravity. 10am - 5pm daily. Free admission.

Grand Lake Chamber and Visitor Center 100th Anniversary Activities (Starting September 2014)
Starting in September 2014 and continuing through September 2015, the Grand Lake Chamber and Visitor Center will be offering activities for all ages.

  • 100th Anniversary Children's Coloring Map (with Crayon Pack): Young visitors will enjoy this way to explore the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park and learn unique details of the park's history.
  • Grand Lake "Then and Now" Walking Tour: This self-guided walking tour starts at the Grand Lake Chamber and Visitor Center and highlights many of the locations that RMNP visitors have enjoyed throughout the years. Visitors will find, in store fronts, photographic examples of Grand Lake's tourist destinations - then and now.
  • Grand Lake Geo-cache Adventure: Come experience this FREE Family Fun GPS treasure hunt using the Grand Lake Geocaching Challenge Passport that is available at the Grand Lake Visitors Center. Caches are located throughout the Grand Lake area and highlight many of the historical sights and attractions which have existed during the past 100 years of the park. Complete the Challenge and receive a Commemorative Coin (Wooden Nickel). Additionally, more than 35 Earth and Virtual Caches located in Rocky Mountain National Park are listed in the Passport.

Centennial and RMNP Information at The Old Gallery (starting September 2014)
Visitors traveling into the RMNP area of the Peak to Peak Highway (Rt. 7) can stop at The Old Gallery (14862 Peak to Peak Highway, Allenspark, CO) for park information and promotional materials.

October 2014
September 1 - November 30

One Book, One Valley - The Big Burn
Location: Estes Valley Library
Details: The Estes Valley Library hosts this annual event to celebrate reading and civic dialogue through the shared community experience of a single book - the Big Burn by Timothy Egan. The year's event is designed to tie-in with Rocky's 100th Anniversary. The Big Burn builds its narrative around the dramatic events of a ferocious wildfire battering through the forests in Washington, Idaho, and Montana in August of 1910. This book's larger story encompasses the backdrop of the burgeoning American conservation movement. As you read this book, reflect on its story of conservation and how it relates to subsequent events in the creation of Rocky Mountain National Park. What was the mood of the nation in the 1910s? How was someone like Enos Mills different from Gifford Pinchot - and how was he similar? Would RMNP have come about without these earlier events? From September 1 through November 30, the Library will host discussions, lectures, storytelling, films, and more - all inspired by the Big Burn and its connection to the 100th anniversary of RMNP. Please visit www.estesvalleylibrary.org for details.

October 4, 2014

The Playground Trail: The National Park-to-Park Highway
Location: Estes Park Museum, 200 Fourth Steet, Estes Park, CO
Details: Admission $3 for Museum Friends members or children, $5 for non-museum members.
Following WWI, Americans were ready to "See America First." This slogan was used by the newly-created NPS to promote automobile travel to the National Parks of the West. The National Park-to-Park Highway Association promoted a 5,500 mile long "auto trail" to and through 12 national parks. A dedication tour along the highway was held in 1920. Sponsored by the NPS and AAA, the media event spotlighted the beauty of the parks plus the pleasures and pitfalls of driving an automobile to and through the nation's "playgrounds". This fully illustrated program will transport the audience along the National Park-to-Park Highway as it was experienced during the 1920 tour.

October 4-5, 2014 Elk Fest
Time: Saturday: 9am-5pm Sunday: 9am-4pm
Location: Bond Park
Details: An annual two-day event that provides a unique educational experience on the wildlife of RMNP. Activities include, Native American dancing, Mountain Man camps, educational seminars, and a children's area. Both days, bus tours will offer a visitors and up-close look at the elk rut.
October 9, 2014 The Geology of Estes Park Rock Climbing: a Thrill More Than One Million Years in the Making
Time: 7-8pm
Location: Estes Park Museum, 200 Fourth Street, Estes Park, CO

Details: Free Admission. The soaring granite walls of Lumpy Ridge and the area's alpine peaks are a rock climber's paradise. The Diamond Face of Longs Peak is a world famous crucible for alpine rock climbing. Visitors from across the country and around the world converge on Estes Park to enjoy the classic climbing routes on Hallett Peak, Petit Grepon, Twin Owls, The Book, and many other peaks and walls. So why is Estes Park a rock climbing mecca? It all comes down to the area's geology. Join us for a journey through Estes Park's geological history, during which we will explore questions such as "Why is there so much granite here?", "How did that rock come to form such soaring walls?", and "How does our climbing impact the environment?"
October 10, 2014

Centennial Speaker Series: Robert Stanton
Location: Beaver Meadows Visitor Center Auditorium, RMNP
Details: Robert Stanton served as Director of the National Park Service from 1997-2001 and has served as a Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior. His bipartisan and inclusive approach to problem solving and cooperative resource stewardship earned him tremendous respect and admiration, enabling him to build effective relations with the U.S. Congress, Federal, tribal, state, and local agencies, diverse organizations, leaders, and citizens. Mr. Stanton brings his experience and his unique perspective on the National Park Service to this discussion about the 100 year anniversary of Rocky Mountain National Park and the National Park Service Centennial in 2016. This is a presentation not to be missed!

October 10, 2014 One Book, One Valley Opening Reception: The Big Burn
Location: Estes Valley Library, Estes Park, CO
Details: The Estes Valley Library welcomes you to a festive kick-off celebration including wine and cheese for their One Book, One Valley event surrounding the book, The Big Burn; an upstairs exhibit featuring Park-themes postcards and children's nature photography; a visit from Smokey Bear; and at 6:30pm, a "Reader's Theater" performance with special focus on Theodore Roosevelt and his lively daughter, Alice. Come as you are or join in the fun of the Rocky Mountain National Park 100th birthday theme: ranger style uniforms or hats - bring your own - and we'll have a few on hand!
October 21, 2014 Fire Rangers of Rocky
Location: Estes Valley Library
Details: This fun program for "Junior Rangers" will enlighted kids about the role that fire plays in the management and future of Rocky Mountain National Park.
October 22, 2014 Readings from Enos Mills
Location: Estes Valley LIbrary, Hondius Room
Details: Enos Mills' eloquent writings were a major factor in the creation of Rocky Mountain National Park. Robert Burkhardt reads selections from Mills' adventurous and spirited writings, with observations on wildlife, preservation, and nature's nurturing of our soul.
October 28, 2014 Enos Mills: Rocky Mountain Naturalist
Location: Estes Valley Library Hondius Room, Estes Park, CO
Details: Enos Mills (1870-1922) was a driving force behind the creation of Rocky Mountain National Park. Storyteller John Stansfield brings Mills to life in this one-man performance re-enacting key moments from a brilliant and inspiring career.
October 31, 2014

Wilderness, Wildlife, and Wonder Halloween - DATE CHANGED FROM 10/25
Location: Grand Lake Community House
Details: Come celebrate with a children's costume contest and community trick or treat! Prizes will be awarded for the best park, animal, and history themed costumes! For information contact the Grand Lake Chamber of Commerce at 970-627-3402.

Last updated: October 20, 2014

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.

Contact Us