Rocky is modifying visitor services to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Check locally for current information and continue to follow CDC guidelines. As circumstances continue to change and we modify our operations as necessary, we thank you for your patience and cooperation.
When recreating, park visitors should follow local area health orders and avoid crowding and high-risk outdoor activities. Please don’t visit if you are sick or were recently exposed to COVID-19. Park staff will continue to monitor all park functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19 and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health.
Keep your distance. Give others plenty of room whether you are on a trail or in a parking lot.
Keep it with you. If you brought it, take it with you. Trash pickup and restroom facilities will continue to be limited in many park areas. Follow Leave No Trace principles.
Know your limits. Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the busiest search and rescue parks in the country. Many of these incidents could be avoided with visitors planning and making responsible decisions. Winter-like conditions exist in high elevation areas of the park. Bear Lake currently has 14 inches of snow. During the ongoing health crisis, it is critical to make wise choices to keep our national park rangers and first responders out of harm’s way.
Protect wildlife. Obey speed limits and be aware of wildlife.
Be Aware of Elevation and Weather
Altitude sickness affects many visitors every year. Symptoms include headache, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, vomiting, and even unconsciousness. Altitude can also aggravate pre-existing conditions like heart and lung disease. Take your time, drink water, eat, and rest. The only cure for altitude sickness is to go down to a lower altitude.
A bright, sunny day can turn windy and wet within a matter of minutes with high winds and driving rain or snow. Be prepared for changing conditions and carry these essentials:
Map and compass (and know how to use them)
Flashlight or headlamp
Sunglasses and sunscreen
Extra food and water
Extra layers of clothing
First aid kit
Snow and Ice Fields
Stay back from steep snow slopes and cornices. Snow avalanche danger is often high. Ask a ranger about current avalanche potential. Know how to recognize dangerous snow conditions.
At Rocky, all four seasons can happen in a single day. Don’t let cold, wet weather ruin your trip. Bringing a few extra clothing items will keep you more comfortable and safe. Hypothermia can happen any time of year. Watch for sleepiness, impaired judgment, lots of shivering, and slurred speech.