Due to excessive erosion and damage to sensitive natural and cultural resources, the Crater Trail, a short trail located on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park, will remain closed to use for the remainder of this year. The Crater Trail is a one-mile long, dead end trail that is normally open to visitor use after mid-August each year following the bighorn sheep lambing season. The trail leads to the top of the Continental Divide and provides an overview of "The Crater" located on the west side of Specimen Mountain.
While park staff considered relocating the Crater Trail to a more sustainable location, doing so would adversely impact natural and cultural resources, and would have run counter to the purposes for the Specimen Mountain RNA. The Mount Ida Trail, located across the valley from the Crater Trail, offers a similar visitor experience without the impacts and encumbrances of the Crater Trail.
Park staff welcome comments on the proposal to permanently close the Crater Trail. Please provide your written comments no later than September 30, 2014. The preferred method for providing comments is to use the National Park Service Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website. From the home page click on the "Crater Trail Project."
For further information on Rocky Mountain National Park please contact the park's Information Office at (970) 586-1206.