by Alex Gugel , all rights reserved

Rocky Mountain

National Park - Colorado

Rocky Mountain National Park in northern Colorado spans the Continental Divide and encompasses protected mountains, forests and alpine tundra. It's known for the Trail Ridge Road and the Old Fall River Road, drives that pass aspen trees and rivers. The Keyhole Route, a climb crossing vertical rock faces, leads up Longs Peak, the park’s tallest mountain. A trail surrounding Bear Lake offers views of the peaks.

location

maps

Official visitor map of Rocky Mountain National Park (NP) in Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Rocky Mountain - Visitor Map

Official visitor map of Rocky Mountain National Park (NP) in Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units and Regions

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Heritage Areas

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the Summer Designated Bike Route System in White River National Forest (NF) in Colorado. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).,White River - Summer Bike Routes

Map of the Summer Designated Bike Route System in White River National Forest (NF) in Colorado. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).,

brochures

Brochure of Rocky Mountain National Park (NP) in Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Rocky Mountain - Brochure

Brochure of Rocky Mountain National Park (NP) in Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Visitor Guide to Rocky Mountain National Park (NP) in Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Visitor Guides - Summer/Fall 2021

Visitor Guide to Rocky Mountain National Park (NP) in Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Visitor Guide to Rocky Mountain National Park (NP) in Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Visitor Guides - Winter/Spring 2020/2021 - Pocket Ranger Insert

Visitor Guide to Rocky Mountain National Park (NP) in Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Visitor Guide to Rocky Mountain National Park (NP) in Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Visitor Guides - Winter/Spring 2020/2021

Visitor Guide to Rocky Mountain National Park (NP) in Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Visitor Guide to Rocky Mountain National Park (NP) in Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Visitor Guides - Spring 2019

Visitor Guide to Rocky Mountain National Park (NP) in Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Bear Lake Summer Trail Guide for Rocky Mountain National Park (NP) in Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Visitor Guides - Bear Lake Summer Trail Guide

Bear Lake Summer Trail Guide for Rocky Mountain National Park (NP) in Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Bear Lake Winter Trail Guide for Rocky Mountain National Park (NP) in Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Trail Guides - Bear Lake Winter Trail Guide

Bear Lake Winter Trail Guide for Rocky Mountain National Park (NP) in Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Fall River Trail Guide for Rocky Mountain National Park (NP) in Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Trail Guides - Fall River Trail Guide

Fall River Trail Guide for Rocky Mountain National Park (NP) in Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Kawuneeche Valley Trail Guide for Rocky Mountain National Park (NP) in Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Trail Guides - Kawuneeche Valley Trail Guide

Kawuneeche Valley Trail Guide for Rocky Mountain National Park (NP) in Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Longs Peak - Keyhole Route Trail Guide for Rocky Mountain National Park (NP) in Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Trail Guides - Longs Peak - Keyhole Route

Longs Peak - Keyhole Route Trail Guide for Rocky Mountain National Park (NP) in Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Longs Peak - Keyhole Route FAQ Guide for Rocky Mountain National Park (NP) in Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Trail Guides - Longs Peak - Keyhole Route FAQ

Longs Peak - Keyhole Route FAQ Guide for Rocky Mountain National Park (NP) in Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Longs Peak Trail Guide for Rocky Mountain National Park (NP) in Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Trail Guides - Longs Peak Trail Guide

Longs Peak Trail Guide for Rocky Mountain National Park (NP) in Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Lumpy Ridge Trail Guide for Rocky Mountain National Park (NP) in Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Trail Guides - Lumpy Ridge Trail Guide

Lumpy Ridge Trail Guide for Rocky Mountain National Park (NP) in Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Summer Wild Basin Trail Guide for Rocky Mountain National Park (NP) in Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Trail Guides - Wild Basin Trail Guide - Summer

Summer Wild Basin Trail Guide for Rocky Mountain National Park (NP) in Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Winter Wild Basin Trail Guide for Rocky Mountain National Park (NP) in Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Trail Guides - Wild Basin Trail Guide - Winter

Winter Wild Basin Trail Guide for Rocky Mountain National Park (NP) in Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Wilderness Campsite Map for Rocky Mountain National Park (NP) in Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Trail Guides - Wilderness Campsite Map

Wilderness Campsite Map for Rocky Mountain National Park (NP) in Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

https://www.nps.gov/romo https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocky_Mountain_National_Park Rocky Mountain National Park in northern Colorado spans the Continental Divide and encompasses protected mountains, forests and alpine tundra. It's known for the Trail Ridge Road and the Old Fall River Road, drives that pass aspen trees and rivers. The Keyhole Route, a climb crossing vertical rock faces, leads up Longs Peak, the park’s tallest mountain. A trail surrounding Bear Lake offers views of the peaks. Rocky Mountain National Park's 415 square miles (265,807 acres) encompasses a spectacular range of mountain environments. From meadows found in the montane life zone to the glistening lakes in the subalpine zone and to the mountain peaks located in the alpine zone, there is something for everyone to discover. Along the way explore over 300 miles of hiking trails and incredible wildlife viewing. Driving from the east: from I-25, take US Hwy 34 or 36. Driving from the west: from I-70, take US Hwy 40 to Granby to US Hwy 34 to Grand Lake. From mid-October until late May, Trail Ridge Road between Estes Park and Grand Lake is closed to vehicles, so driving between the two takes ~4 hours. The closest airport is Denver International (DIA). There is no public transportation between nearby cities and the park. Alpine Visitor Center Located along Trail Ridge Road, this is the highest elevation visitor center in the National Park System at 11,796'. Typically open late-May through mid-October. Fall River Pass at the junction of Trail Ridge and Old Fall River roads. Check the status of Trail Ridge Road by calling 970-586-1222. Beaver Meadows Visitor Center Beaver Meadows Visitor Center is located west of Estes Park on U.S. Highway 36. The Rocky Mountain Conservancy Nature Store is located inside the visitor center building. When entering the park through the main entrance on US Hwy 36, Beaver Meadows Visitor Center will be on your left. Fall River Visitor Center The Fall River Visitor Center is located west of Estes Park on U.S. Highway 34. U.S. Highway 34, five miles west of the town of Estes Park. Shares building with Gateway Store. Holzwarth Historic Site Tour a 1920's-era dude ranch for a taste of early homesteading and tourism. Visitors may view the exteriors of the buildings and the grounds. On the west side of Trail Ridge Road/US Highway 34, about seven miles north of the Grand Lake Entrance Station. The lodge buildings are reached by a half mile walkway from the parking lot. A walking path connects the various buildings. Kawuneeche Visitor Center The Kawuneeche Visitor Center is located north of Grand Lake on U.S. Highway 34. Information and The Rocky Mountain Conservancy Nature Store are available Wednesday - Sunday 9-4:30 (closed Mon-Tues). One mile north of the town of Grand Lake on the east side of Trail Ridge Road/ US Highway 34 at the entrance to the park Moraine Park Discovery Center Located in Moraine Park, this historic building is only open in the summer and fall. On Bear Lake Road, 1.5 miles from the Beaver Meadows Entrance. Sheep Lakes Information Station Good wildlife viewing, especially for bighorn sheep. In Horseshoe Park on US Hwy 34 west of Estes Park. Aspenglen Campground Near the Fall River Entrance. Douglas fir, lodgepole pine, ponderosa pine and the occasional Engelmann spruce forests the campground, offering equal amounts of sun and shade. Grasses, shrubs and seasonal wildflowers fill the open meadows. Aspenglen contains several drive-to family sites for tents and RVs. A few sites are more secluded, walk-to tent sites. Camping Fee 30.00 Per site per night Aspenglen Campground Road through pines with tent sites Aspenglen Campground is nestled in a pine forest near Fall River Campsite with popup camper and comfort station Popup camper at campsite with picnic table and comfort station A typical campsite at Aspenglen Campground. Aspenglen Comfort Station Comfort station set in trees A comfort station (restroom) at Aspenglen Campground. Food Storage Locker A visitor places food in a food storage locker Use food storage lockers to protect food from bears and other wildlife. Glacier Basin Campground A pleasant mix of Douglas fir, Lodgepole pine, Ponderosa pine, and the occasional Engelmann spruce forests the campground, offering equal amounts of sun and shade. Grasses, shrubs and seasonal wildflowers fill the open meadows. Camping Fee 30.00 Per site per night Camping Fee (Small Group) 40.00 Per site per night for groups of 9–15 people Camping Fee (Medium Group) 50.00 Per site per night for groups of 16–25 people Camping Fee (Large Group) 60.00 Per site per night for groups of 26–40 people Glacier Basin Campsite Tents in the foreground with snowy peaks behind Tents at Glacier Basin Campground Night Sky Program at Glacier Basin Stars shine in the night sky above Glacier Basin Glacier Basin is a great place to view the stars! Longs Peak Campground Longs Peak Campground is located about 20 minutes south of Estes Park on Hwy 7. This small, tents-only campground is forested and at a fairly high elevation of 9500 feet (3000 m). Camping Fee 30.00 Per site per night Longs Peak Campground Paved road with sign in background Longs Peak Campground has paved roads. Longs Peak Campground Large Site Two tents site in a large wooded campsite Longs Peak has a variety of campsite sizes. Longs Peak Campground Small Site Tent in the foreground with mountains behind Longs Peak Campground has beautiful small tent sites. Moraine Park Campground OPEN for Summer Season through the night of October 10. OPENS for Winter Season night of October 11. Availability is on a First Come/First Served basis in Loop B only. Potable water is available. The Dump Station is Closed. Moraine Park Campground (8,160 feet) is located in Colorado's awe-inspiring Rocky Mountain National Park, near the Beaver Meadows Entrance on Highway 36. It is situated on the north side of Moraine Park, offering beautiful views of the vast park and the surrounding mountains. Camping Fee 30.00 Per site per night Camping Fee (Winter) 20.00 Per site per night. Winter services are limited due to cold temperatures. Moraine Park Campground Site Dirt campsite shaded by pine trees An individual site at Moraine Park Campground. Moraine Park Campground Group Site A group site with multiple tents and extra space A group site at Moraine Park Campground. Moraine Park Campground Amphitheater Large amphitheater in foreground with snowy mountains behind Moraine Park has a beautiful amphitheater hosting ranger programs every summer evening. Moraine Park Campground Solar Showers Two stalls set up for solar showers Have a solar shower? Moraine Park has facilities to help you use it. Timber Creek Campground Timber Creek Campground is the only campground on the west side of the park. Located at 8900 feet (3000 m) along the Colorado River about eight miles north of the Grand Lake entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. A mountain pine beetle infestation caused most of the trees to be removed, so there is no shade at campsites. Camping Fee 30.00 Per site per night Timber Creek Campground Overview A large campground with mountains behind Timber Creek Campground. Timber Creek Campground Sites Bare campsites with mountain behind Example sites at Timber Creek. Timber Creek Campground Water A stream flows with a meadow with mountains behind Timber Creek has great access to the Colorado River. Snow Covered Continental Divide from Storm Pass Snow Covered Mountain Peaks from Storm Pass Snow covered Mountains Elk in Moraine Park A herd of elk stand in a meadow. In the fall, Rocky's elk gather together in groups for the mating season. Summer on the Tundra Yellow flowers bloom on tundra slopes with mountains in the background. Old Man of the Mountain bloom on Rocky's alpine tundra. Trail Ridge Road Road sweeps across open tundra with mountains in background. Trail Ridge Road, the highest continuous paved road in the United States, let's visitors experience Rocky's alpine tundra. Longs Peak Longs Peak, covered in snow, against dark moody clouds. Longs Peak towers above Rocky Mountain National Park. Fuels Project at Rocky Mountain National Park Helps Protect Park and Local Community from Future Fires Piles created from the Wind-E-Portal Fuels Reduction Project Piles created from the Wind-E-Portal Fuels Reduction Project Planning for the Future of the Dragonfly Mercury Project Article on the 2019 Dragonfly Mercury Project steering committee meeting at Rocky Mountain National Park. People searching a pond with nets. Fern Lake Fire Offers Challenges and Opportunities in Rocky Mountain NP The Fern Lake fire in Rocky Mountain NP began in steep terrain with beetle-killed timber. Direct attack would put firefighters at unnecessary risk, so managers indirectly attacked the fire when the time was right, where success was likely. They scouted existing firelines away from beetle-killed trees and established action points that would trigger pre-evacuation. By mid-December, the Fern Lake fire was 3,498 acres. The fire destroyed one private cabin in the park. Factors Affecting the Wilderness Experience What sights and sounds influence a wilderness experience for backcountry visitors in Rocky Mountain National Park? Volunteers distributed a survey, camera, and journal to hikers at trailheads. Wildland Fire: Fuels Projects Help on Fern Lake Fire The Fern Lake fire in Rocky Mountain National Park (ROMO) quickly doubled in size on December 1, 2012, prompting the evacuation of more than 600 residents of Estes Park. The fire engulfed a cabin in the Kaley Cottage housing area, which started multiple spot fires. Firefighters were successful in saving the rest of the structures largely due to several years of hazard fuels and bark beetle mitigation projects. The fuels work helped create a fire-adapted community. Wildland Fire: Flexible Management Leads to Ecological Benefits Lightning ignited the Big Meadows fire in Rocky Mountain National Park in June 2013 and spread rapidly to 400 acres. The fire was managed with protection-based objectives, and managers leveraged strategies and tactics to maximize ecological benefits. The fire was stopped from moving south or west, towards values at risk, but was allowed to move to north and east into tundra, effectively containing the fire while benefitting the ecosystem. Students, Alpine Hotshots Form Bond through Rocky Mountain Fire Training Program The “Fire!” program links students from Eagle Rock School with Alpine Interagency Hotshot Crew members and ecologists from Rocky Mountain National Park and the NPS Continental Divide Research Learning Center. The course is based on experiential learning through a hands-on approach, including physical training standards. Students learn about succession and fire’s effects on ecosystems and work out scenarios to apply what they learned about fire suppression. NPS Structural Fire Program Highlights 2014 Intern Accomplishments NPS Geodiversity Atlas—Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado Each park-specific page in the NPS Geodiversity Atlas provides basic information on the significant geologic features and processes occurring in the park. Links to products from Baseline Geologic and Soil Resources Inventories provide access to maps and reports. [Site Under Development] alpine landscape Cleaner Snow Reveals Cleaner Air in Rocky Mountain Network Parks Few things look more pristine than a fresh blanket of snow, yet each snowflake naturally carries small particles from the atmosphere. When snowflakes build around these particles, the resulting snowfall can bring pollutants from far away into our national parks. Long-term snow chemistry monitoring is showing some improvements in air quality at Glacier and Rocky Mountain National Parks, and Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. Snowpack Sampling at Apgar Lookout in Glacier National Park Fire Effects Monitoring Rocky Mountain National Park's Fire Effects crew is busy all summer long monitoring plots and responding to fire. Learn more about a day in the life of a Fire Effects Monitor. Fire effect crew identify vegetation along a transect line Aspen Age Distribution How do recent patterns of aspen establishment in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) compare to long-term trends? Elk browsing on aspen in Horseshoebend Park, 1931. Effects of Beaver Dams on Riparian Areas What is the role of beaver dams on hydrological processes in montane riparian areas? Beaver swimming Plant Response to Ozone Are high concentrations of ambient ozone damaging plant leaves in Rocky Mountain National Park? Dr. Kohut teaches park staff to recognize ozone injury. Wind Research What are the wind patterns in Rocky Mountain National Park? Bighorn Sheep Population What is the abundance and distribution of bighorn sheep in Rocky Mountain National Park? What are the survival rates of bighorn lambs? Bighorn ram Population Genetics of Bighorn Sheep Is the Mummy Range bighorn sheep population subject to negative effects from inbreeding after a recent pneumonia-induced population die-off ? A ram stands on a rock Moose Summer Diet What do moose eat during the summer in the park? Moose browsing on woody plant Fire History and Climate Change Using cores taken from the sediments of Bear Lake, scientists compared the fire and vegetative history of the area with radiocarbon dates of the various strata. Raise Awareness about Wildland Fires Raise your awareness about wildfires so you can be prepared! Wildfire season rotates around the country, but a wildfire could happen at any time if the conditions are right. Fire is a natural part of our world. People can take steps to help reduce their properties’ exposure to wildfire. Crystal Clear: Occurrence, Sources, and Potential for Biodegradation of Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals in Surface Water . A multi-year project was started to provide information to park managers about the ecological risks posed by endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDC) introduced to park waters primarily through air transport (deposition). Previous studies have demonstrated that EDC deposition, accumulation within fish and other animals, and endocrine disruption (hormonal changes) are significant in remote surface-water ecosystems of the park. an otter on a snowy bank Park Air Profiles - Rocky Mountain National Park Air quality profile for Rocky Mountain National Park. Gives park-specific information about air quality and air pollution impacts for Rocky Mountain NP as well as the studies and monitoring conducted for Rocky Mountain NP. Bighorn sheep in Rocky Mountain National Park Rocky Mountain National Park Wildland Fire Crew Honors Fallen Firefighters The wildland fire crew at Rocky Mountain National Park culminated “A Week to Remember” by completing the arduous “Hotshot 19” workout. The wildland fire community designated the week June 30–July 6, 2014, to mark the anniversaries of two tragic fire seasons, 1994 and 2013, and to pay respects to all wildland firefighters who have fallen in the line of duty. Firefighters also discussed lessons learned from these incidents in hopes of avoiding future tragedies. Local Relationships Limit Woodland Heights Fire Damage Rocky Mountain National Park’s excellent relationship with the Estes Park Fire Department allowed for rapid response, and collaboration limited damage during the Woodland Heights fire. One exact drop from a helitanker stopped a run up a saddle that had a high potential to continue into downtown Estes Park. NPS employees saved numerous homes by building direct line and extinguishing hot spots with the engine. The fire destroyed 22 homes and two outbuildings. Fire Communication and Education Grants Enhance Fire Interpretation and Outreach in the National Parks in 2015 and Beyond The 2015 National Park Service Fire Communication and Education Grant Program provided funding for projects, programs, or tasks in twelve parks around the country. A woman studies a small coniferous tree while a younger woman looks on. Wildland Fire: Pile Burning at Rocky Mountain NP During winter 2011-2012, crews in Rocky Mountain National Park burned 5,681 large debris piles containing hazardous fuels cleared from 497 acres of high-risk areas when conditions were wet and adequate smoke dispersal was expected. There were no lost-time injuries during this complex fuel reduction project. The highly experienced crew came up with new and additional methods, procedures, and mitigations to reduce the possibility of injuries occurring. Piles of wood and woody material stacked in tipi shapes in wilderness Glacial Meltwater Controls the Distribution of Benthic Invertebrate Communities in Alpine Lakes Is the meltwater emanating from glacial retreat changing the insect communities that live on the sediment bottom of high elevation lakes? How will this affect paleoclimatic studies that use these insects to reconstruct temperatures over millennial time scales? Post-fire Vegetation Response at Chickaree Lake Barrie Chileen, a recent graduate of Kansas State University, studied lake cores from Chickaree Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park to determine vegetation response following fire events. Chickaree Lake Surrounded by lodgepole pine forest Reducing Congestion in Rocky Mountain National Park's Bear Lake Corridor Learn about the use of dynamic message board signs by Rocky Mountain National Park and their local and federal partners to reduce congestion. dynamic message board sign along road, mountain in distance Nitrogen Deposition Correlated with Changes in Lake Organisms Is atmospheric deposition of nitrogen to park lakes changing algae communities? View of Sky Pond, one of the lakes in the study. Effects of Browsing and Fire on Shrublands What are the combined effects of ungulate browsing and prescribed fire on montane shrubland communitites? Firefighters and fire across the montane shrublands. Elk and Moose Exclusion Fence Can fences be designed that will exclude elk and moose from willow rehabilitation areas but allow passage of smaller mammals? Photo from a motion camera of a deer inside the fence. Black Bear Population and Stability Scientists work to discover population size and stability of black bears in Rocky Mountain National Park. Close-up of a black bear Climbing the Longs Peak Keyhole Route How many visitors hike on the East Longs Peak Trail and how many visitors summit via the Keyhole Route? View of Longs Peak Simulated Beaver Structures In September 2019, simulated beaver structures were constructed along two streams in Rocky Mountain National Park. This Frequently Asked Questions highlights the project, why it is being done, and how it came about. Water cascades over wooden structure across a small stream Student Citizen Scientists Explore Phenology Student citizen scientists from Eagle Rock School collected data on plant and animal activities and documented their observations during a 5-week course based around the Lily Lake Phenology walk at Rocky Mountain National Park. Students, wearing safety vests, gather around a shrub at the base of a tree. Uncovering Civilian Conservation Corps Camps in Rocky Mountain National Park Following the Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt created the Civilian Conservation Corps as a way to employ thousands of young men across the country. Many of these men worked on projects within national parks. Archeologists uncovered remains of six CCC camps in and around Rocky Mountain National Park. Camp NP-3-C Pikas in Peril The National Park Service stewards pika populations in more than a dozen parks and seeks to understand the vulnerability of pikas and other mountain species to climate change. Pikas in Peril, funded in 2010, was a collaborative research program directed by scientists from the National Park Service, Oregon State University, University of Idaho, and University of Colorado-Boulder. Profile of a pika on rough, dark red lava rock. © Michael Durham Preparing for What We Have Never Seen Before Aiming to learn from the Chimney Tops 2 fire, a workshop was organized of emergency responders from in and around the Estes Park area. The overarching objective was to understand how local, county, state, and federal agencies would work together during a catastrophic wildfire scenario. Emergency Responder Workshop Recipe for Mountain Lake Conservation After a long hike through the mountains, nothing compares to the inspiring beauty of a healthy, colorful mountain lake. But airborne nitrogen pollution threatens the health and function of these alpine oases. man sits by mountain lake Cleaning Up the Eugenia Mine Should the remains of the Eugenia Mine on the slopes of Longs Peak be cleaned up to reduce the runoff of heavy metals? A sign that remains on the miners cabin near Eugenia Mine Effects of the Grand Ditch What are the ecological effects of the Grand Ditch water diversion on riparian areas in the Kawuneeche Valley? View of the Grand Ditch alongside road with mountains in the background Effects of Elk Herbivory How is the large population of elk affecting the park’s vegetation and soils? Elk bugling Elk Body Condition Have elk reached ecological carrying capacity in Rocky? Is population growth limited by food availability? Dr. Willard’s Alpine Tundra Research Plots Dr. Beatrice Willard (1925-2003) was a beloved and respected tundra ecologist. In 1959 she established research plots in Rocky Mountain National Park. At these plots Dr. Willard examined the "complexity of dynamic processes set in motion by visitor impact" for approximately 40 years. Dr. Willard’s work at the plots and the subsequent influence she had over national environmental policy is of great importance to our Nation’s history. Bettie Willard and fellow CEQ members provide Richard Nixon with an annual environmental report. Checking Rocky's Vital Signs In 2007, the Rocky Mountain Inventory and Monitoring Network—a small team of NPS scientists—began monitoring natural resources, called “vital signs,” in Rocky and nearby parks. Vital signs indicate park health and serve as red flags if conditions deteriorate. Results from monitoring these vital signs support park managers’ efforts to make science-based management decisions. Learn about the NPS Inventory and Monitoring Program and its work in Rocky Mountain National Park. two people in life jackets stand in a small, forested stream holding a measuring tape Subalpine Forest Fires and Climatic Variation How does fire occurrence relate to climate variability? Smoke from wildfire The Formation of the Never Summer Range What is the chemical composition of young volcanic rocks in the Never Summer Range? Diagram of volcanic rocks on Specimen Mountain Rock Glacier Response to Climate Change How will a change in temperature affect permafrost distribution? Scientist uses radar to measure permafrost. Prehistoric Human Migration What were prehistoric human migratory patterns within the park? Backcountry Users: Who? Why? What? Who is using the backcountry in Rocky Mountain National Park? Why are they here and what do they want? A large group hiking on a trail. Little Willows at Great Heights here are 17 documented species of willow in Rocky Mountain National Park, and four of them make a living on the alpine tundra. Willow plants provide habitat and food for a variety of species including the white-tailed ptarmigan, but research shows a decrease in their overall cover and size. Who might be to blame? Short willow with white seed fluff grow on the tundra amid wildflowers. McGraw Ranch Cultural Landscape The McGraw Ranch, located on the eastern side of Rocky Mountain National Park to the northeast of Estes Park, Colorado, was originally settled as a working cattle ranch. The McGraw family purchased the property in 1908, and in 1936 they transformed it into a guest ranch. Several of the buildings were transformed and guest cabins were added to accommodate visitors. The landscape helps preserve the history of cattle and dude ranching in the vicinity of Estes Park. A wooden fence frames the landscape, including grass, a row of buildings, a tree-covered hills. Moraine Park Museum and Amphitheater Cultural Landscape The Moraine Park Museum and Amphitheater sits in the northeast corner of Moraine Park, at the base of Eagle Cliff Mountain. In 1936, the CCC converted the Moraine Lodge's Assembly Hall into a National Park Service museum. Built in the same year, the amphitheater's naturalistic design reflected the conservation efforts of the National Park Service during the 1930s when hand labor was readily available from the CCC. Moraine Park Amphitheater, 2010 (C. Mardorf, NPS) Wildland Fire in Ponderosa Pine: Western United States This forest community generally exists in areas with annual rainfall of 25 inches or less. Extensive pure stands of this forest type are found in the southwestern U.S., central Washington and Oregon, southern Idaho and the Black Hills of South Dakota. Recently burned ponderosa pine forest. A tale of two sides of the mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park In 1997 a group of scientists led by Dr. Jill Baron, an ecologist at the US Geological Survey (USGS), designed a study in Rocky Mountain National Park, in Colorado. Baron and her colleagues wanted to understand how mountain ecosystems respond to air pollution. A mountain view with trees and a small alpine lake Butterfly Survey at Lava Cliffs Each summer, Stephanie Mason, a Senior Naturalist with the Audubon Naturalist Society, spends six weeks in Rocky Mountain National Park documenting butterfly species along 20 transects as part of the Rocky Mountain Butterfly Project. In August 2019, Science Communication Intern Vishva Nalamalapu joined Stephanie to experience a typical day of butterfly surveys. Grey butterfly siting wings open on grey and brown rocks. Honoring the past and celebrating the present: 100 years of research at Rocky Mountain National Park First in a series of five articles celebrating the Rocky Mountain National Park centennial that reviews aspects of science applied to park stewardship since the park’s founding in 1915. Portion of cyclic adaptive management framework illustration Pollinators - Hummingbirds Hummingbirds (family Trochilidae) are amazingly adapted pollinators, and they play an important role in pollination. A flying hummingbird hovers next to a red flower Parks, pikas, and physiological stress: Implications for long-term monitoring of an NPS climate-sensitive sentinel species Baseline values of physiological stress can be incorporated into monitoring plans for pikas, providing park managers with additional information related to the vulnerability of this climate-sensitive model species that occurs within a large number of western parks. American pika (Copyright Dick Orleans) Pollinators - Bumble bee Get the buzz on bumblebees! There are approximately 46 species of bumble bees (genus Bombus) native to North America and 250 species worldwide—all dependent on flowering plants. A bumblebee lands on a white flower Inspiring the future: The next 100 years of research and learning at Rocky Mountain National Park Fifth in a series of five articles celebrating the Rocky Mountain National Park centennial that reviews aspects of science applied to park stewardship since the park’s founding in 1915. The role of science through a century of elk and habitat management at Rocky Mountain National Park Second in a series of five articles celebrating the Rocky Mountain National Park centennial that reviews aspects of science applied to park stewardship since the park’s founding in 1915. Scientists collect biological samples and affix a radio-collar on an anesthetized elk Nature, history, and environmental history at Rocky Mountain National Park Fourth in a series of five articles celebrating the Rocky Mountain National Park centennial that reviews aspects of science applied to park stewardship since the park’s founding in 1915. Workshop participants gather in Moraine Park in 2014, Rocky Mountain National Park A Vast Moving Caravan: Roads and Tourism How have roads and road building shaped the history and landscape of the park? Advertisement from 1913 for the Union Pacific depicting roads in the region. National Park Service Commemoration of the 19th Amendment In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment the National Park Service has developed a number of special programs. This includes online content, exhibits, and special events. The National Park Service’s Cultural Resources Geographic Information Systems (CRGIS) announces the release of a story map that highlights some of these programs and provides information for the public to locate and participate. Opening slide of the 19th Amendment NPS Commemoration Story Map High elevations under threat from nitrogen deposition: Air quality monitoring, research, and management at Rocky Mountain National Park Third in a series of five articles celebrating the Rocky Mountain National Park centennial that reviews aspects of science applied to park stewardship since the park’s founding in 1915. Wet deposition monitoring collectors at Loch Vale watershed, Rocky Mountain National Park Planning for Wildfire Response in the Era of COVID-19: Alpine Hotshots, a Case Study The summer of 2020 presented a new set of challenges to firefighters as the global COVID-19 pandemic reshaped how people interact, gather, travel, and work. The National Park Service Alpine Hotshot Crew found innovative ways to mitigate the risk of exposure to firefighters, while continuing to provide their essential public service. Wood sign that says Alpine Hotshots Series: National Park Service Geodiversity Atlas The servicewide Geodiversity Atlas provides information on <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geoheritage-conservation.htm">geoheritage</a> and <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geodiversity.htm">geodiversity</a> resources and values all across the National Park System to support science-based management and education. The <a href="https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1088/index.htm">NPS Geologic Resources Division</a> and many parks work with National and International <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/park-geology.htm">geoconservation</a> communities to ensure that NPS abiotic resources are managed using the highest standards and best practices available. park scene mountains Series: Parks in Science History Parks in Science History is a series of articles and videos made in cooperation with graduate students from various universities. They highlight the roles that national parks have played in the history of science and, therefore, the world's intellectual heritage. A woman looking through binoculars Series: Crystal Clear: A Call to Action In 2016, the nation celebrates the centennial of the National Park Service (NPS) as the steward of special places that represent our natural and cultural heritage. Many national parks were founded on the beauty and value of water. Since the preservation of the Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone National Park in 1872, the National Park System has grown to include significant examples within majestic rivers, the Great Lakes, oceans and coasts, and other spectacular water resources. bright blue lake green islands in between Series: Park Air Profiles Clean air matters for national parks around the country. Photo of clouds above the Grand Canyon, AZ Places of Katharine Lee Bates and “America the Beautiful” The opening lines of “America the Beautiful” first struck Katharine Lee Bates atop Pikes Peak in the Rocky Mountains. During the summer of 1893, she embarked on a journey across the United States. Originally written as a poem, many of the lines in Bates’ ode to the American landscape refer to geographical features she encountered during her travels. black and white portrait of Katharine Lee Bates The Precambrian The Precambrian was the "Age of Early Life." During the Precambrian, continents formed and our modern atmosphere developed, while early life evolved and flourished. Soft-bodied creatures like worms and jellyfish lived in the world's oceans, but the land remained barren. Common Precambrian fossils include stromatolites and similar structures, which are traces of mats of algae-like microorganisms, and microfossils of other microorganisms. fossil stromatolites in a cliff face Wildland Fire in Lodgepole Pine The bark of lodgepoles is thin, which does not protect the trunks from scorching by fire. They die easily when a fire passes through. However, the serotinous cones give lodgepole pine a special advantage for spreading seeds for the next generation. Close-up of the needles of a lodgepole pine. Connie Rudd: Defining a Career Path Connie Rudd's career with the National Park Service began as a seasonal ranger in 1979. Her continual desire to learn propelled her to various sites and positions in interpretation, planning, and management until 2014, when she retired as Park Superintendent. In this Spotlight article, Rudd reflects on her career path, changes in interpretation, and being in upper management as a woman. Part of "Women’s Voices: Women in the National Park Service Oral History Project." Connie Rudd smiles for a portrait in an outdoor setting, wearing a NPS uniform and flathat More Than “Just” A Secretary If you’re only familiar with modern office practices, you may not recognize many of jobs necessary to run an office or national park over much of the past hundred years. Today, typewriters have given way to computers, photocopy machines have replaced typing pools, stenographers are rarely seen outside of courtrooms, and callers are largely expected to pick extensions from digital directories. Women skiing The Women Naturalists Only two early women park rangers made the transition to park naturalists. Having resigned her permanent ranger position after her marriage, Marguerite Lindsley Arnold returned to Yellowstone National Park under the temporary park ranger (naturalist) title from 1929 to 1931. Yosemite rehired Ranger Enid Michael as temporary naturalist each summer from 1928 to 1942. A handful of other parks hired a few new women under the newly created ranger-naturalist designation. Polly Mead, a woman park ranger-naturalist is giving a talk outdoors to a group of visitors. 1931 The Job is His, Not Yours In the early 1950s, park wives continued to function as they had from the 1920s to the 1940s. The NPS still got Two For the Price of One, relying on women to keep monuments in the Southwest running, to give freely of their time and talents, to build and maintain park communities, and to boost morale among park staffs. With the creation of the Mission 66 Program to improve park facilities, the NPS found new ways to put some park wives to (unpaid) work. Man and woman with telescope Substitute Rangers As the 1940s dawned, the United States was still dealing with the economic woes of the Great Depression and trying not to get drawn in WWII. Even as it continued to manage New Deal Program work in national and state parks, the NPS remained understaffed as a government bureau. The emergency relief workers and about 15 percent of NPS staff enlisted or were drafted during the first couple of years of WWII. Winifred Tada, 1940. (Courtesy of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin) Change in Holocene Treeline, Paleoclimate, and High Altitude Hunting Systems in Rocky Mountain NP More than eighty high altitude game drives are known along Colorado’s continental divide, but until recently there has been limited understanding of the interactive effect of cyclical climate and ecosystem change on Holocene alpine tundra hunting systems. UNC researchers produced a reconstruction of game drive use and elevation-specific environmental zone shifts. Series: Curiosity Kit: Curiosity Kits inspire exploration and learning of history through place. These multi-piece resources include articles that explore historic places and provide educational activities for life-long learners. This kit focuses on Katharine Lee Bates, author of what became the song “America the Beautiful.” Learn about some of the places associated with her life and work. You’ll also find activities and discussion questions for learners of all ages. Katharine Lee Bates Series: Curiosity Kit: Katharine Lee Bates Curiosity Kits inspire exploration and learning of history through place. These multi-piece resources include articles that explore historic places and provide educational activities for life-long learners. This kit focuses on Katharine Lee Bates, author of what became the song “America the Beautiful.” Learn about some of the places associated with her life and work. You’ll also find activities and discussion questions for learners of all ages. Katharine Lee Bates “A New Attraction” States licensed women hunting and fishing guides as early as the 1890s, but in national parks the emphasis was on nature study and tours for visitors. It’s commonly thought that Rocky Mountain National Park was the first park to license women guides in 1917, but there was at least one licensed woman guide working at Glacier National Park four years earlier. Collage of newspaper photographs featuring portraits of women Balm of Gilead Trees at McGraw Ranch When John and Irene McGraw moved to Colorado from Pennsylvania in 1909, Irene McGraw planted several Balm of Gilead trees to reminded her of the family garden back east. In addition to the sense of familiarity, the trees provided shade around the main house and adjacent cabins. While two of the original Balm of Gilead trees have fallen down, several trees continue to grow in their original locations on the property, which is now used as a research and learning center. Leafless Balm of Gilead trees stand beside a cabin in a clearing in a rural, mountain landscape. Lessons Learned 2020 Fires: Rocky Mountain National Park Partnerships Lessons Learned 2020 Fires: Rocky Mountain National Park Partnerships Title page: 2020 Fires Lessons Learned Rocky Mountain National Park Partnerships Biofluorescence in Tiger Salamanders Documented in Rocky Mountain National Park for the First Time We documented biofluorescence in tiger salamanders in Rocky Mountain National Park. It was a first for the park. Paedomorphic salamander under biofluorescent conditions. Rocky Mountain National Park, Aug 2021. Rocky Mountain National Park Rallies to Recover in the Aftermath of the East Troublesome Fire The East Troublesome Fire in Rocky Mountain National Park burned approximately 22,668 total acres in the park, including front country areas and designated wilderness. The fire affected park housing, offices, the park entrance station, trails, campsites, privies, bridges, wayfinding signs, the boundary, historic structures and landscapes, archeological resources, fisheries, wildlife, and vegetation. Staff implemented Emergency Stabilization and BAR treatments. Replacing erosion control structures and tread stabilization features along the Sun Valley Trail. Event Recap - The Future of Conservation: Engaging the Next Generation of Public Land Leaders During National Park Week and Earth Day, the National Park Service Youth Programs Division co-hosted a virtual event on April 22, 2021 with The Corps Network (TCN) and National Park Foundation (NPF), discussing “The Future of Conservation: Engaging the Next Generation of Public Land Leaders.” A panel of young leaders shared their passion and personal involvement with the conservation movement, and the impacts and benefits service corps provide to national parks and beyond. The event promotional flyer Changing Patterns of Water Availability May Change Vegetation Composition in US National Parks Across the US, changes in water availability are altering which plants grow where. These changes are evident at a broad scale. But not all areas experience the same climate in the same way, even within the boundaries of a single national park. A new dataset gives park managers a valuable tool for understanding why vegetation has changed and how it might change in the future under different climate-change scenarios. Green, orange, and dead grey junipers in red soil, mountains in background Ranger Roll Call, 1917-1929 Recent research demonstrates that there were more women rangers and ranger-naturalists in early National Park Service (NPS) history than previously thought. However, the number of women in uniformed positions was quite low in any given year. Ranger Frieda Nelson shows of the suspenders used to hold up her uniform breeches. Staff Spotlight: Alexandra Hernandez Meet Alexandra Hernandez, who is the Regional Program Manager for the National Heritage Areas Program! Alex Hernandez at Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area in Fort Collins, Colorado

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