Area Overview:Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
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Location: Este Park, Colorado
Plane - Denver International Airport
Car - Via U.S. routes 34, 36 from the east through Estes Park, Colorado and from from I-70 and U.S. Rt. 40. to U.S. Rt.34 through Granby and Grand Lake
Activities: Auto Touring, Backpacking, Biking, Bird Watching, Camping, Climbing, Cross Country Skiing, Fishing, Hiking, Horseback Riding, Mountaineering, Snow Skiing, Snowshoeing
Admission: Rincon Mountain District - Entrance $6/private car, $3/individual, $20/7 Days, The optional annual pass is for Saguaro National Park only. It is good for one year from the month of purchase. Tucson Mountain District - Entrance Free!
No entrance fee required, however, National Park passes are available in the Visitor Center.
Hours: Open 24 hours a day, 12 months of the year. Pets are allowed in campgrounds, picnic areas and along road sides, but not on ANY park trails. Pets cannot be left in cars unattended.
Admission and Fees:
Bicycle or Motor Cycle per person - $5, not to exceed $15/ vehicle for 7 Days
Camping: For more information on campgrounds - Phone: 1-800-365-CAMP
Aspenglen- Open for the summer season ; closes September 22, 2003
The campground has 54 sites situated along Fall River just inside the Fall River Entrance on US Rt. 34, 5 miles west of the town of Estes Park. Fee is $18 per site per night.
Glacier Basin - Opens for the summer season May 22 and closes September 8, 2003. The campground opens May 22 and closes for the winter on September 8, 2003. Located 7 miles west of the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center off of the Bear Lake Rd. Most sites are in a lodgepole pine forest. Glacier Creek runs by the campground. Good hiking trails are easily accessed from the campground. The camping fee is $18 per night per site. Group camping is also available. Reservations are strongly recommended for all camp sites.
Longs Peak - Open All Year. Nestled near the trailhead to Longs Peak, the campground's 26 sites are for tents only on a first come/first served basis. The nightly camping fee is $18.00. During July and August, most campers rise early to hike the Longs Peak Trail. There is a three night stay limit during the summer; fourteen nights during the winter.
Moraine Park - Open All Year. Moraine Park Campground is open year 'round. It is located off of the Bear Lake Rd., 2 1/2 miles from the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center. Sites are mostly in a ponderosa pine forest and look out over Moraine Park, a large meadow area with the Big Thompson River flowing through. Reservations are accepted for camping between May 22, and September 22, 2003. Water is on; the fee is $18 per site per night.
Timber Creek - Open All Year. The campground is open throughout the year. The 100 sites are set on high ground looking out over the Kawuneeche Valley and the Colorado River. Fishing and hiking are readily accessible. Moose regularly visit the valley, along with elk and mule deer. The camping is $18 per night per site. Group camping is available during the winter months only.
Four hundred fifteen square miles of rock-ribbed wildness, Rocky Mountain National Park truly is a land of superlatives. At least 60 mountains in Rocky exceed 12,000 feet, topping off at 14,255 feet on the summit of Longs Peak. The great peaks comprise the essence of the "wild, fantastic views" that thrilled noted British visitor Isabella Bird more than a century ago. Today, Rocky Mountain's sky-scraping summits overlook growing Front Range towns with surging populations. But despite the changes around and within, Rocky remains a bastion of preservation. And there's more to this park than the rocky pinnacles of great mountains. There is the alpine tundra, the land above the trees. More than 100 square miles of the park lie above treeline. Trail Ridge Road and Old Fall River Road offer easy summer access to this windswept ecosystem where the views seem to span forever.
There also is the Continental Divide, which runs northwest to southeast through the park on its course from Alaska to Panama. Every drop of snowmelt or rainwater to the west of the Great Divide flows toward the Pacific Ocean; every drop to the east toward the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. There are lakes, about 150 of them. Some occupy pastoral, forested settings. Others are perched on almost inaccessible shelves high in the park's wilderness, remaining frozen almost year round.
Throughout Rocky Mountain National Park, the unforgettable sound of rushing mountain waters breaks the wilderness silence. The high country gives rise to small streams and great rivers, notably the Colorado, the Cache la Poudre and the Big Thompson. Some of the park's more than 450 miles of streams tumble down waterfalls, which bear such names as Ouzel, Timberline and Thunder.
Also preserved within the park boundaries are some of Colorado's more pristine forests. Great stands of ponderosa pine, Douglas-fir, lodgepole pine, aspen, subalpine fir and spruce adorn the mountains below treeline. The forests are interspersed with mountain meadows that fill with colorful wildflowers during the brief high country summer. Roaming these mountains is an amazing array of wildlife. Rocky Mountain ranks as one of America's premier wildlife watching destinations, showcasing herds of majestic elk, sure-footed bighorn sheep, hardy ptarmigan and soaring birds of prey.
In summary, Rocky Mountain National Park provides easy access to classic high elevation southern Rocky Mountain ecosystems. There is no higher national park, nor no higher through-road, in the continguous forty-eight states.