Friday, April 28, 2017

Recent Search And Rescue Incident Reminder Of Wintry Conditions At Rocky Mountain National Park

At 10:30 p.m. on Monday night, April 24, a man called for assistance near Bierstadt Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park via a very poor cell phone connection. He and his brother had become lost due to snow packed trails and darkness. Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue team members reached the pair at 1:00 a.m. It was snowing, the men were cold and wet and were unprepared to spend the night. This incident could have ended differently, if the two out of state visitors had not been fortunate to have cell phone coverage and a charged battery.

This incident serves as an important reminder that although it may be spring in other parts of the country and at lower elevations in Colorado, above 9,000 feet in Rocky Mountain National Park there is still considerable snow on trails and cold temperatures. Lakes are beginning to thaw and visitors may encounter weakened snow bridges over streams and bridges. The upcoming forecast calls for snow and freezing temperatures.

Carry the essentials when recreating in the wilderness in Rocky Mountain National Park no matter what season. These essentials include layers of clothing including storm gear, hat, gloves, lots of water and high-energy food, sturdy footwear and extra socks, topographic map and compass/GPS, flashlight or headlamp, waterproof matches, pocket knife, whistle, sunglasses with UV protection and sunscreen. Tell a friend where you are going and when you expect to be back. Cell phone coverage in Rocky Mountain National Park is limited and often batteries die in cold temperatures.

The park also reminds visitors to research trail conditions and the current weather forecast before you go into the backcountry.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Moraine Park Campground Closing For Most Of May For Water System Repairs -- Aspenglen Campground To Open Early

Moraine Park Campground in Rocky Mountain National Park will be closed at noon on Tuesday, May 2, and will reopen by Thursday, May 25, for a major water line system improvement project. Aspenglen Campground, which normally opens in late May, will open early, beginning May 1, to provide camping opportunities on the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park.

The water line project is part of a larger phased project to improve and rehabilitate park potable water supply and distribution systems that were installed more than fifty years ago. The first segment of buried pipe to be replaced during this phase is the section within the campground. The improvements will cover the water system from the Moraine Park Campground to the intersection of Bear Lake and Moraine Park Roads, where last year's water line project ended. This overall project will include replacing thousands of feet of pipe, rehabilitating valves, improving its condition to greatly enhance its service life, insure greater reliability, reduce water loss, enhance fire protection and reduce operational maintenance costs.

Park visitors may experience minor traffic delays from May through October on the Moraine Park Road between the intersection with Bear Lake Road and Moraine Park Campground entrance area, as well as the intersection with Fern Lake Road. Work will take place Monday through Friday, from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Traffic delays should be less than fifteen minutes.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Volunteers Needed for Forest Visitor Center in Fort Collins

The U.S. Forest Service is seeking volunteers who are interested in natural resources and recreation to provide information to visitors at the Canyon Lakes Ranger District Office in Fort Collins.

Volunteers will answer phones and talk with people who visit the office interested in camping, hiking, hunting, four-wheel driving, ATVing, rafting and more. Volunteers will learn from seasoned employees and other volunteers who are dedicated to “caring for the land and serving people” throughout the Roosevelt National Forest.

The office needs volunteers to serve four to eight hours a week. If you would like more information or you would like to sign up, please contact Mary Bollinger at or call 970-295-6702.

Volunteers provide a great service to the Canyon Lakes Ranger District and these positions help enhance the overall visitor experience, while also helping instill appreciation for our wonderful public lands.


Saturday, April 15, 2017

First Day of Summer in Grand Teton National Park

I realize that we're still a few weeks away from the first day of summer. I'm just reusing the title that Finley Holiday Films used for their outstanding short film highlighting Grand Teton National Park. This excellent short video shows what this beautiful park looks like in June as the snow melts, and the wildflowers and wildlife begin to emerge from a long winter:

With more than 240 miles of trails meandering throughout the park, hiking is the absolute best way to see Grand Teton National Park. Fortunately the park offers a wide variety of outstanding day hikes. If you do plan to visit Grand Teton this year, please note that our hiking website also offers a variety of accommodation listings and other things to do to help with all your vacation planning.


Saturday, April 8, 2017

Colorado National Monument Annouces Repairs to Rim Rock Drive

Colorado National Monument is partnering with the Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration to repair a section of Rim Rock Drive south of the Grand View Overlook. The project was awarded to GCS, LLC, a local Grand Junction company. The work includes repairs and stabilization to a bedrock culvert and the rock face below the roadway. Work will start at some point after April 3 and is expected to take about a month.

To create a safe and effective working environment for the employees, one lane of Rim Rock Drive will be closed Monday through Friday from 7am – 6pm during construction. Travelers can expect up to a 15 minute delay as flaggers move traffic through the area.

Grand View Overlook will be used to stage construction equipment and therefore closed to the public.

Spring hours are now in effect at Colorado National Monument. The visitor center is open from 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily.

For additional information please visit or call 970-858-3617, ext. 360. If you're looking for a great hike while in the area, check out the Monument Canyon Trail.