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Rocky Mountains National Park

Rocky Mountains National Park







Description of Rocky Mountains National Park

Location: Boulder, Grand, Larimer Counties, CO  Map

Area: 265,761 acres (107,550 ha)


Rocky Mountain National Park is a national park in the center-north of the state of Colorado in the United States. The park is located northwest of the city of Boulder in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. It is crossed by the Colorado River. It was established in 1915 and in 2007 it received 2,991,528 visitors. It is managed by the National Park Service. Rocky Mountain National Park covers an area of 1,076 km². It is divided by the continental divide that gives the eastern and western parts of the mountain range, which gives a different character to both halves of the park. The eastern part tends to be drier with peaks covered with glaciers and glacial cirques. The western part is more humid with deep forests that dominate the landscape. The park contains some 150 lakes and 60 summits of more than 3,700 meters. A quarter of the Rocky Mountain National Park is above the arboreal limit. The highest point is the Longs Peak that reaches the 4,346 meters above sea level.


The lower parts are occupied by forests and mountain meadows. Pinus ponderosa, which prefers the drier areas, dominates to the highest areas where Douglas fir replaces the ponderosa. Starting at 2,700 meters, the subalpine forest begins, where the Engelmann spruce and the alpine spruce are common. Above the arboreal limit at about 3,500 meters the trees disappear and the alpine meadow appears in these areas.

July and August are the hottest months in the park with temperatures that exceed 27 ° C but it is possible to fall below 0⁰ at night. There are often storms in the afternoon. Thunder is particular dangerous at the area above tree line. Snowfall occurs from mid-October to the end of May.




Fees and permits

Entrance fees are $20 per private vehicle or $10 for individuals on foot or on bicycle, valid for seven days. There is a $40 pass available that allows entry into Rocky Mountain National Park for one year.

There are several passes for groups traveling together in a private vehicle or individuals on foot or on bike. These passes provide free entry at national parks and national wildlife refuges, and also cover standard amenity fees at national forests and grasslands, and at lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation. These passes are valid at all national parks including Rocky Mountain National Park:

The $80 Annual Pass (valid for twelve months from date of issue) can be purchased by anyone. Military personnel can obtain a free annual pass in person at a federal recreation site by showing a Common Access Card (CAC) or Military ID.
U.S. citizens or permanent residents age 62 or over can obtain a Senior Pass (valid for the life of the holder) in person at a federal recreation site for $80, or through the mail for $90; applicants must provide documentation of citizenship and age. This pass also provides a fifty percent discount on some park amenities. Seniors can also obtain a $20 annual pass.
U.S. citizens or permanent residents with permanent disabilities can obtain an Access Pass (valid for the life of the holder) in person at a federal recreation site at no charge, or through the mail for $10; applicants must provide documentation of citizenship and permanent disability. This pass also provides a fifty percent discount on some park amenities.
Individuals who have volunteered 250 or more hours with federal agencies that participate in the Interagency Pass Program can receive a free Volunteer Pass.
4th graders can receive an Annual 4th Grade Pass that allows free entry for the duration of the 4th grade school year (September-August) to the bearer and any accompanying passengers in a private non-commercial vehicle. Registration at the Every Kid in a Rocky Mountains Park website is required.
In 2018 the National Park Service will offer four days on which entry is free for all national parks: January 15 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), April 21 (1st Day of NPS Week), September 22 (National Public Lands Day), and November 11 (Veterans Day weekend).

If you drive in early in the morning or late at night the fee booth will probably be unmanned. It is rumored that local Larimer County and Grand County residents can pass through the park without paying a fee if they mention that intention to the entrance guards.




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