Established in 1915, Rocky Mountain
National Park is one of the highest national
parks in the United States, with elevations
ranging from 7,860 feet to 14,259 feet. The
415-square-mile park is home to 60 mountain
peaks over 12.000 feet high, which provides
The park supports a wide range of ecological
zones similar to the landscape changes seen
on a drive from Denver to northern Alaska.
The park includes alpine tundra, alpine lakes,
forested valleys, wetlands and evergreen forests.
Visitors to Rocky Mountain National Park
see craggy peaks, bugling elk, fierce electrical
storms, and a profusion of wildflowers. Rocky
Mountain National Park has 355 miles of
hiking trails, ranging from flat lakeside strolls
to steep mountain peak climbs. Notable
hiking destinations include the Kawuneeche
Valley, home to the headwaters of the Colorado River; Bear Lake Area, one of the most
popular hikes on the east side of the park; and
Lily Lake, which features stunning views of
Sixty-seven mammal species are native to the
area, including moose, which are commonly
seen in the park especially along Highway 34
in the Kawuneeche Valley. Bighorn Sheep,
which are a symbol of the park, live high in
the mountains but descend during spring and
summer to graze on nutrient-rich foods and
can be observed in some areas of the park.
Elk, coyotes, mountain lions and chipmunks
are also found in the park along with more
than 270 species of birds. In 2000, Rocky
Mountain National Park was designated a
Global Important Bird Area recognizing its
vital role as a diverse habitat for a wide variety
of bird species.
Rocky Mountain National Park has five
established campgrounds, four of which are
open to tent or vehicle camping and one that
is only open to tents. Camping is also allowed
in the park’s wilderness. Some campgrounds
provide seasonal amenities, including potable
water, dump stations, firewood for sale, food
storage lockers, trash/recycling storage,
toilets and showers.
In addition to the established campgrounds in
the park, there are a wide range of wilderness
camping experiences available. Permits are
• Reservations for summer camping can be
made up to six months in advance.
• Food, cooking equipment, garbage and
other scented items are required to be kept
in a carry-in/carry-out bear resistant food
storage canister in backcountry camp sites.
• Campers are permitted to stay a total of
seven nights in the park during the summer
season and an additional 14 nights between
September 30 and June 1.
• Campfires are allowed in established campgrounds in metal fire grates only. Fires must
be completely extinguished before leaving
the campsite or going to bed. Gathering firewood or fire-starting materials is prohibited.
• Pets are allowed in campgrounds but must
be kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet.
Pets are prohibited on all trails, tundra and
• The Continental Divide, which marks the
line that separates rain and water flow either
west to the Pacific Ocean or east to the
Atlantic Ocean, runs north to south through
the park. Trail Ridge Road crosses the Continental Divide within the park at Milner Pass.
• Several areas are available for picnicking that
include tables and sometimes restrooms and
Rocky Mountain National Park is in north-central Colorado in the Front Range
of the Rocky Mountains just 66 miles from Denver. The park has two gateway
communities: the town of Estes Park on the east and the town of Grand Lake
on the west.
Rocky Mountain 1
LEISURE AND RECREATION