Recreate Safely and Responsibly in Rocky Mountain National Park

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The grandeur of Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park has beckoned millions of visitors over the years – 4.6 million in 2019. Its scenic meadows and aspen groves, swift-flowing rivers, alpine forests reaching more than 11,500 feet (3,505 m) in elevation, abundant wildlife, and hundreds of miles of trail offer a little something for everyone.  

While this level of visitation means that new and larger audiences are learning about and experiencing this incredible place, in order to adhere to CDC and local public health guidelines in response to COVID-19, park operations and services will look much different this year.

Now more than ever, visiting Rocky Mountain National Park requires careful planning and preparation

Rocky Mountain National Park will offer a new way to enter the park using a timed entry reservation system in order to reopen the park and meet the CDC, state and local guidance related to COVID-19.

Each private vehicle or motorcycle entering the park will need a reservation, which can be made on Recreation.gov. Whether you plan to enter for one day or multiple days, a reservation is required for entry each day you wish to be in the park. The person making the reservation needs to be in the vehicle at the time of entry, and identification may be required.

Rocky Mountain National Park Timed Entry vehicle permit reservations will become available for advanced reservation on May 28th at 8 a.m. MT/10 a.m. ET, for entry into the park starting June 4th. Those reservations will be for June 4 through July 31. The next release will be on July 1, for the month of August and any remaining days that have not been booked for July. On August 1, reservations will be available for the month of September and any remaining days that have not been booked for August. On September 1, reservations will be available for the month of October and any remaining days in September that have not been booked.

There will also be permit reservations made available two days in advance at 8 a.m. MT on a rolling daily window. For example, on June 4, permit reservations will be available for June 6.

The reservation includes the standard entrance fees into the park ($25), and the reservation ticket fee ($2).

If you have an annual or lifetime pass at the time of your reservation, those are accepted as your entrance fee.  When you make your online reservation, you will be prompted to enter your pass number in order to apply that pass to your reservation. You’ll be required to pay the $2 reservation ticket fee, but entrance fees will not apply. Valid entrance passes accepted are:

Keep in mind, all timed entry reservations must be made in advance on Recreation.gov. There are no same day sales at the park or through park offices.

An elk bugles while standing in a meadow.

Rocky Mountain National Park (Carl Pearson, Share the Experience)

As you make your plans to visit Rocky Mountain National Park, we hope you are excited for all that awaits – solace in the backcountry, a day trip to watch wildlife and picnic, or perhaps camping and s’mores around the campfire.

With over 350 miles of hiking trails that range from flat lakeside strolls to steep mountain peak climbs, visitors enjoy the park's various lake trails (Bear Lake, Cub Lake, Mills Lake), waterfall trails (Adams Falls, Alberta Falls, Ouzel Falls) and summit trails (Deer Mountain, Twin Sisters Peaks, Flattop Mountain). 

The park also offers some unforgettable scenic driving routes, including Trail Ridge Road and Old Fall River Road. Trail Ridge Road reaches 12,183' above sea level and is America's highest continuous paved highway. Trail Ridge Road will be open to Rainbow Curve on the east side and the Colorado River Trailhead on the west side. Park snowplow operators continue to plow snow along the roadways and parking lots of Trail Ridge Road, and the full roadway will open as soon as that is completed, weather conditions permitting. For road conditions, call (970) 586-1222 for a recorded status of Trail Ridge Road.

Driving along the historic Old Fall River Road is like motoring through an earlier era. Constructed in 1920, this steep, one-way, uphill, gravel road punctuated by switchbacks quietly leads travelers from Horseshoe Park through the park's wilderness to Fall River Pass, 11,796' above sea level. Old Fall River Road normally opens to vehicles in early July and is currently open to pedestrians and bicycles.

While much of the park will be accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased, and services will be limited. Park visitors’ actions will help determine if areas remain open.

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