Spanning the Continental Divide and encompassing the protected mountains, forests and alpine tundra of northern Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park is a United States National Park in north-central Colorado. Situated between the towns of Grand Lake to the west and Estes Park to the east, Rocky Mountain National Park is bisected by the Continental Divide and features spectacular natural scenery of wooded forests and alpine lakes, rugged snow-capped mountains and rocky tundra, and an abundance of fauna and flora. The park is surrounded by National Forest Lands, including the Roosevelt National Forest, the Routt National Forest, the Arapaho National Forest, and the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Famous attractions in the Park include the Trail Ridge Road and the Old Fall River Road, the Keyhole Route, Longs Peak, and Bear Lake and the Park have five visitor centers, including the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center where the park headquarters are situated. The Rocky Mountain National Park was designated a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve in 1976 and received over four million visitors a year
There are five regions, or geographical zones, within the Rocky Mountain National Park.
Located on the west side or the Grand Lake of the Continental Divide, the first region of the park is known as Moose and Big Meadows and features 30 miles of the Continental Divide Scenic Trail, which passes through spectacular alpine tundra, grasses, and wildflowers. Other scenic areas include Long Meadows and the Kawuneeche Valley, Thunder Pass, Shadow Mountain Lookout, Paradise Park, Skeleton Gulch, Adams Falls, Cascade Falls, Granite Falls, North Inlet Falls, Lone Pine Lake, and Lake of the Clouds.
The second region of the park is the alpine region of the park and known for its spectacular vistas. Panoramic attractions in this area include Mount Ida, Specimen Mountain, Forest Canyon Pass, the Chapin Pass Trail, the Tundra Communities Trail, Tombstone Ridge and Ute Trails, Upper Beaver Meadows, and Poudre Lake.
Located in the northern part of the park, the third region of the park is the Wilderness and is accessed from the Estes Park area. Attractions in this area of the park include the Mummy Mountain Range, Ypsilon Mountain, Bridal Veil Falls, the Cow Creek trailhead, West Creek Falls and Chasm Falls, the Alluvial Fan trail, Lumpy Ridge Trail, Gem Lake, Black Canyon Trail, the old McGregor Ranch valley, and the Dark Mountain trail. Other interesting sites include the Beaver Mountain Loop, Deer Mountain Trail, Lake Estes the Big Thompson River and Fish Creek, Lawn Lake and Crystal Lake.
The Heart of the Lake is the fourth region of the park and features a variety of access roads and trails, great views, and lake hikes. The center of the area is home to Bear Lake, a high-elevation lake at the base of Hallett Peak and Flattop Mountain, while other scenic attractions include Bierstadt Moraine, Hollowell Park, Glacial Basin, Emerald Lake, and Sprague Lake.
The fifth region of the Park is the waterfalls and backcountry and features Longs Peak, the park's iconic ‘fourteener’ the Wild Basin area, Estes Cone, Lily Mountain, Boulder-Grand Pass, Twin Sisters, and Granite Pass. Sites and trails include Wild Basin Trail, Boulder Field, and the Homer Rouse Memorial Trail.
The Rocky Mountain National Park offers an array of outdoor and recreational activities, including 355 miles of hiking trails, scenic drives, mountain biking, camping, backpacking, horseback riding, mountaineering, climbing, fishing in over 50 lakes and streams, and birding. Winter offers snow sports such as cross-country skiing, snowboarding, and skiing, and snowshoeing and there are plenty of wildlife watching and photography opportunities. The park has picnic areas and five visitor centers where visitors can enjoy laid-back lunches, and find further information on the park, and educational activities include ranger-led programs and guided tours.
The Rocky Mountain National Park offers a variety of educational and community outreach programs for visitors of all ages, including adult’s classes, activities for children and families, Junior Ranger Programs, Junior-Ranger guided tours of the park, nature walks, and night programs. The Park has five visitor centers, including the Alpine Visitor Center, the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center, the Fall River Visitor Center, Kawuneeche Visitor Center, and the Moraine Park Discovery Center.
Rocky Mountain National Park located in northern Colorado and is open to the public 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.