Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Purchase An Annual Park Pass Before It Increases - Great Holiday Gift That Gives In Many Ways

Looking for a unique gift idea for the holidays? A Rocky Mountain National Park Annual Pass is a great gift for that person who enjoys visiting the park or would like to visit more often.

A Rocky Mountain National Park Annual Pass is a gift that gives in many ways. Your recipient will be able to enjoy all the beauty and adventure the park has to offer during all seasons and Rocky Mountain National Park benefits greatly from the purchase as well. From enjoying breathtaking scenery to hiking, viewing wildlife and wildflowers to snowshoeing, the park has something to offer everyone, depending on their interests and what season they visit.

In the past 20 years, over $68 million from fees has supported a wide range of projects at Rocky that improve visitor experiences, including renovating all campground restroom facilities, rehabilitating and maintaining approximately 100 of the park’s 350 miles of trails, replacing trailhead signs, replacing picnic tables throughout the park, mitigating hazard trees in or near park facilities such as campgrounds, parking lots, road corridors and visitor centers, and operating the park’s visitor shuttle bus system.

The annual park pass will increase from $50 to $60 on January 1, 2017. It can be purchased at any Rocky Mountain National Park entrance station, or online up until December 30 at:


Monday, December 5, 2016

Rocky Mountain To Host Job Information Session

Rocky Mountain National Park will be hosting a Job Information Session on Tuesday, December 13, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center. Come learn about the job application process for Rocky Mountain National Park and how to apply online for specific jobs at the park. Information will also be available regarding park volunteer opportunities as well as fellowship positions with Rocky Mountain Conservancy.

Beginning December 13, through December 19, the park is accepting online applications for work in campgrounds and entrance stations for this summer. In the upcoming months, online applications will be accepted for custodial worker, park guides, and general maintenance workers. All job announcements for Rocky Mountain National Park are posted on


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Canyon Lakes Winter 2016-2017 Pile Burning Plans

Firefighters from the Canyon Lakes Ranger District of the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland plans to take advantage of changing weather conditions to burn slash piles left from multiple fuels reductions and hazardous tree removal projects.

These piles are only ignited under certain conditions, including favorable smoke dispersal and adequate snow cover. The areas are monitored after burning is completed. Firefighters will spend the upcoming months burning piles in two primary locations. When and where burning occurs depends on the conditions listed above. Public and firefighter safety is always the number one priority in burning operations.

Last year, more than 13,000 slash piles were burned on the Canyon Lakes Ranger District with over 200 of these being larger machine piles. After such a successful burning season last year, there are an estimated 5,000 combined hand and machine piles reading to burn on the district. Typically crews are allowed to burn as many as 250 to 1,000 smaller hand piles a day at each location if conditions are met, which includes a minimum of three inches of snow cover. Typically, one to 40 larger machine piles could be burned at each location a day with a minimum of six inches of snow cover.

Area on the Canyon Lakes Ranger District with hand piles ready for burning are:

* Magic Sky (located southeast of Red Feather Lakes between County Roads 74E and 98C)

Areas with machine piles ready for burning are:

* Magic Sky (located southeast of Red Feather Lakes between County Roads 74E and 98C)
* Crown Point (located south of Rustic on Forest Road 139 near Salt Cabin Park)


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Brand New CMC Book: Colorado 14er Disasters

The Colorado Mountain Club has recently published a new book detailing some of the climbing disasters that have taken place along some of the 14K foot peaks in Colorado. The following is a summary review from the Amazon page (I must confess that I haven't read this yet, but it's at the top of my Christmas wish list!):

"The drive to summit all of the 14,000-foot peaks in the state of Colorado rages on like a growing wildfire. Summiting a Colorado 14er is an incredibly popular activity, but the ominous potential of a mountaineering accident casts its dark shadow on what is otherwise a positive experience for hikers and mountaineers. This book explores the disturbingly easy ways that hikers become stranded, severely injured, or killed on the 14ers. When those accidents happen, the victim is far from help and in an environment where rescue is difficult at best. Colorado 14er Disasters, 2nd Edition is an unflinching exploration of these hair-raising events and rescue attempts, and describes mountaineering accidents as no book has ever done previously. This in turn gives any mountaineer helpful information for avoiding such disasters."

The new book is available at


Monday, November 21, 2016

Colorado State Parks are Free on Black Friday for Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s #FreshAirFriday

Entry to all 42 Colorado state parks is free on Nov. 25 for a new Colorado Parks and Wildlife tradition called #FreshAirFriday. Colorado Parks and Wildlife offers this opportunity to those who have signed the pledge to head outside on the day after Thanksgiving. More than 50 retailers in Colorado and nationwide are closing their doors on Black Friday and multiple states are urging people to go outside instead of joining the rush inside to shop this year.

“It is a long-time Colorado tradition to get outside,” said CPW Director Bob Broscheid. “This Black Friday we invite you to start a new family tradition of enjoying the Colorado state parks together for free if you aren’t shopping.”

Great Outdoors Colorado is covering all costs for access to the state parks on Friday.

“On behalf of the GOCO board, I’m pleased to announce GOCO will fund CPW’s #FreshAirFriday for a second year. We happily join our partners at CPW, and many other forward-thinking organizations, in this movement to change how we all spend our time on Black Friday,” said Jason Brinkley, chairman of the GOCO board of trustees. “We hope droves of Colorado kids and their families take advantage of this opportunity to make visiting our incredible state parks part of their holiday traditions. We’ll see you out there!”

CPW offers family-friendly activities, fun-filled adventures and opportunities to learn and try new things at state parks. ​​Check out the Park Finder ​​map or the events calendar on the CPW website. Plus, ideas for ice fishing, skiing and snowshoeing, sledding and skating, snowmobiling, hiking, lodging and wildlife viewing can all be found on CPW’s winter activities ​page. Please note that activity fees may apply.

Learn more about #FreshAirFriday and watch the video here.


Friday, November 18, 2016

Trail Ridge Road Closed To Through Travel For The Season

Today, Friday, November 18, 2016, Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park officially closed for the season to through travel. The most popular destinations for this time of year including Bear Lake Road, Moraine Park, Horseshoe Park and the section of Trail Ridge Road along the Kawuneeche Valley are all open. These are all great areas for hiking and wildlife watching.

Trail Ridge Road, one of the most impressive alpine highways in the United States, is the highest continuous paved road in America and reaches an elevation of 12,183 feet. The road connects the park’s communities of Estes Park on the east and Grand Lake on the west. Trail Ridge Road is not designed to be an all season road with 11 miles above 11,500 feet and few guard rails and no shoulder. There are winter conditions of drifting snow, high winds and below freezing temperatures above 10,000 feet. The road is currently closed at Colorado River Trailhead on the west side and Many Parks Curve on the east side.

According to superintendent Darla Sidles, “The mild weather this fall has given us a rare opportunity to enjoy Trail Ridge Road this late in the season. During this most recent storm we have received an accumulation of snow accompanied by high winds and freezing temperatures. Driving conditions are extremely hazardous at higher elevations. With the extended forecast of winds and below freezing temperatures, snow clearing operations become futile above 10,000 feet. During the winter season, weather permitting, we will keep Trail Ridge Road open to Many Parks Curve on the east side of the park and to the Colorado River Trailhead on the west side of the park.”

The latest Trail Ridge Road has closed was on December 2, 1933. The average winter closure dates for Trail Ridge Road have been October 23. Although often times the road closes earlier and does not reopen, the previous ten year’s official closure dates are: October 29, 2015, November 4, 2014, October 22, 2013, October 17, 2012, October 27, 2011, October 29, 2010, October 21, 2009, November 6, 2008, October 22, 2007, October 23, 2006. The central portion of Trail Ridge Road normally opens the last week in May, weather permitting. This year Trail Ridge Road opened on May 28.

Old Fall River Road closed for the season on October 3. Trail Ridge Road and Old Fall River Road will remain open to bicycles and leashed pets until December 1, re-opening on April 1, except during road maintenance operations and emergency closures as posted. Cyclists and pet owners may utilize the road at their own risk. On December 1, both of these roads will revert to "winter trail status" which means that bicycles and leashed pets are not permitted beyond the closed gates.

For current road conditions and other park information, please visit or call the park’s Information Office at (970) 586-1206.


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Funding the Future of Colorado’s State Parks​​​​

With more people visiting and moving to the state each year, Colorado Parks and Wildlife has seen a significant increase in visitation to all 42 state parks, a trend expected to continue into the future. To provide the public with information about the challenges and discuss options for addressing them, CPW will hold a public meeting at The Lake House at Cherry Creek State Park, Monday, Nov. 28, 6 to 8 p.m.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife relies on park entrance fees, camping fees, lottery and GOCO to support 42 state parks. Over 12 million people visit the parks each year, contributing $1 billion to Colorado’s outdoor recreation economy.

"Because our parks are an important part of the state's economy and we anticipate a significant increase in visitation coming in the years to come, we need to begin a discussion now," said Northeast Deputy Regional Manager Windi Padia. "We have an excellent product to offer and we welcome more visitation, but with more people enjoying our parks comes additional strain to this resource. We invite the public to provide input and help us find effective solutions."

Among the needs CPW says will become necessary to meet public demands include: road improvements, infrastructure, additional facilities and possibly more staffing.

"When you consider the demands of a modern camper, including heating, cooling and electronics, it places a significant demand on our aging infrastructure systems," adds Padia. "We've seen utility bills go up 70 percent in the last 10 years at some parks. We all need to be ready for a busy future at our state parks."

Who: Colorado Parks and Wildlife

What: Public discussion about the challenges of increasing park visitation

When: Monday, Nov. 28, 6 to 8 p.m.

Where: The Lake House at Cherry Creek State Park, 4800 S. Dayton St., Englewood