Established on January 26, 1915, Rocky Mountain National Park is a living showcase of the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains. With elevations ranging from 8,000 feet in the wet, grassy valleys to 14,259 feet at the weather-ravaged top of Longs Peak, a visitor to the park has opportunities for countless breathtaking experiences and adventures. Elk, mule deer, moose, bighorn sheep, black bears, coyotes, cougars, eagles, hawks and scores of smaller animals delight wildlife-watchers of all ages. Wildflower lovers are never disappointed in June and July when the meadows and hillsides are splashed with botanical color. Autumn visitors can relax among the golden aspens or enjoy the rowdier antics of the elk rut (mating season). 359 miles of trail offer endless opportunities to hikers, backpackers and horseback riders.
In 1976, this park was designated as part of the UNESCO - MAB (Man and the Biosphere Programme) Biosphere Reserve Directory. UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Information - Rocky Mountain
Rocky Mountain NP is recognized internationally as one of the world's most outstanding natural treasures. As a national park and wilderness, the Park's meadows, forests, alpine peaks and tundra, and everything associated with them, must be protected in perpetuity.
Cultural resources in the park include historic structures (such as roads and bridges, cultural landscapes, prehistoric and historic archaeological sites, museum artifacts, and historic buildings and trails. The park also works with Native American groups to understand and protect those resources in the park that are important to native cultures.When Congress passed the Rocky Mountain NP Act in 1915, the legislators focused on Rocky's scenic and natural wonders.
On your knees in a sea of tiny, fragrant flowers, at an elevation of 12,000'. You're experiencing the alpine tundra in bloom - a spectacular life zone covering more than one quarter of the park. Here a four-inch pincushion plant might be fifty years old; a tiny spring beauty can have a root which reaches three feet below ground!
In 1997 the route through Rocky Mountain was adjusted and now consists of approximately 30 miles of spectacular scenery. In the park, the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail route does not entirely travel the actual Divide, however the most breathtaking section is above treeline, consisting of high peaks and fragile alpine tundra. Travel is through the montane and sub-alpine life systems at elevations of 8,000 (2,438 m) to 11,500 feet (3,505 m).
The park contains some of the most spectacular scenery in the United States. Viewing scenery is one of the primary activities for park visitors, and the popular Trail Ridge Road provides numerous high elevation vantage points.
Mountains, Valleys, Elk, Bighorn Sheep, Glaciers, Continental Divide, Vistas, Subalpine Ecosystem, Trail Ridge Road, Wilderness, Montane Ecosystem, Mummy Range
Fly fishers, bird-watchers and photographers discover the splendor that they traveled so far to find. During the winter, snowshoers and cross-country skiers revel in the white-blanketed tranquility of meadows and forests. 60 peaks rising above 12,000 feet challenge intrepid hikers and climbers. Anyone visiting between Memorial Day and late autumn can see many of these peaks eye-to-eye by driving over Trail Ridge Road. Topping out at 12,183 feet, this is the highest, continuous, paved road in the United States. Front-country and backcountry campers have hundreds of campsites to choose from. Civilization and its amenities are available in the towns of Estes Park and Grand Lake which flank the park on the east and west sides respectively. Ranger-led activities are an entertaining way to learn more about your surroundings. Plan some time to acclimate to the high altitude and come find your adventure in the Rocky Mountains.
The grand scenery of this park is the product of a complex geologic history spanning almost 2 billion years.The area occupied by the Park has been repeatedly uplifted and eroded. Although many of its mountaintops have been flattened by ancient erosion, recent glaciation has left steep scars, U-shaped valleys, lakes, and moraine deposits. The Park's oldest rocks were produced when plate movements subjected sea sediments to intense pressure and heat. The resulting metamorphic rocks (schist and gneiss) are estimated to be 1.8 billion years old. Later, large intrusions of hot magma finally cooled about 1.4 million years ago to form a core of crystalline igneous rock (mostly granite). More
Approximately 1913 miles - This road trip takes you through some of the best that the Rockies has to offer. From Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks on over to Badlands and Wind Caves National Parks. This is one of our longer trips but well worth it!