Friday, June 29, 2018

Fire Restrictions on the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests

Stage 1 Fire Restrictions have expanded on the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests to include all National Forest System lands on the Boulder, Canyon Lakes, Clear Creek and Sulphur ranger districts. The Forest Service works closely with counties, monitors conditions as they change and continually evaluates with cooperators the need for restrictions.

Stage 1 fire restrictions limit where and what type of activities and fires visitors may have. The current restrictions remain in place until they are rescinded. Within the fire restriction area on National Forest System land on the Boulder, Canyon Lakes, Clear Creek and Sulphur ranger districts within Boulder, Gilpin, Clear Creek, Grand, Jefferson, Larimer and Park counties forest visitors may not:

* Build or maintain a fire or use charcoal, coal, or wood stoves, except in permanent fire pits or fire grates within a developed recreation site (e.g., campgrounds where fees are charged).

* Smoke, except in an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while in an area at least three feet in diameter cleared of all flammable materials.

* Use any internal or external combustion engine (including chainsaws) without a spark arresting device properly working and a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher and a round point shovel.

* Weld or operate acetylene or other torch with open flame except in cleared areas of at least 10 feet in diameter and in possession of a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher.

* Use explosives, including fireworks.

Additionally the Stage 1 Fire restrictions for National Forest System land on the Boulder, Canyon Lakes and Clear Creek ranger districts within Boulder, Clear Creek and Gilpin counties prohibit the : Discharge of a firearm unless in possession of a valid Colorado hunting license and lawfully involved in hunting and harvesting game.

Violation of Stage 1 fire restrictions could result in a maximum fine of $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for more than six months, or both. If responsible for causing a wildfire, one could be held accountable for suppression costs of that fire.

To view the fire restriction orders and maps, go to They will be listed in the “Alerts and Notices” box on the right. Please note that many counties are also under fire restrictions; information is available at

As July 4, approaches you should also note that fireworks are never allowed on National Forest System lands. Rangers need everyone to be careful as they enjoy the National Forest.


Monday, June 25, 2018 Adds Eight New Hikes

Hey all - I just returned from a late spring hiking trip to Rocky Mountain National Park, and as a result, have added eight new hikes to our website. Here's a quick rundown of the hikes we were able to do during our trip:

West Creek Falls - On our first day we decided to take a fairly easy hike and give ourselves a chance to acclimate to the altitude. West Creek Falls just north of Estes Park was the perfect choice. Though there is a short climb at the beginning of the hike, the trail was very pleasant, much of it passing through a montane forest of ponderosa pine with lots of wildflowers. The falls were very scenic as well.

Lake Verna - On our second day we drove over to Grand Lake to do our longest hike of the trip. Our ultimate destination, 6.9 miles from the trailhead, was Lake Verna. If the thought of trekking that far seems too daunting you could shorten the hike by ending it at Lone Pine Lake, or taking a really short hike and stopping at a low bluff that overlooks East Meadow where you'll have a great opportunity to spot moose and elk. No matter your choice, each destination passes Adams Falls near the trailhead.

Battle Mountain - Battle Mountain was supposed to be the highlight of our trip. Unfortunately haze from wildfires in the region swept through the park that day and blotted out the normally beautiful and expansive views. This "flattop" mountain is located just north of Granite Pass near Longs Peak, the tallest mountain in the park. Normally you can expect spectacular 360-degree views from this lofty perch.

Chasm Falls - If you're looking for an easy hike on your next visit I would definitely recommend Chasm Falls, arguably the most impressive waterfall in Rocky Mountain National Park. The waterfall is located just off the historic Old Fall River Road in the Horseshoe Park area.

Lawn Lake - I've been waiting to do this hike for a long time. The trail was closed for awhile after the September 2013 flood, which washed out a few sections of the trail. Fortunately park crews have repaired those sections over the last two seasons. This hike did not disappoint, and was probably the best day we had in the mountains. It was a quintessential Colorado day, with mild temperatures and bluebird skies. The lake and the surrounding 13K-foot peaks were absolutely spectacular.

Aspenglen Loop - Despite this being a horse trail, meaning lots of horse manure along the path, the Aspenglen Loop near the Fall River Entrance Station is a hidden gem. This short loop offers spectacular views of the Mummy Mountains, a wide variety of wildflowers, and a great opportunity to spot a wide variety of wildlife.


Friday, June 22, 2018

Old Fall River Road In Rocky Mountain National Park Expected To Open Tomorrow

Old Fall River Road in Rocky Mountain National Park is expected to open to vehicles this Saturday, June 23, for the season. Old Fall River Road normally opens by the Fourth of July holiday weekend. This summer, during periods of high vehicle congestion, park staff may restrict vehicle access when needed on Old Fall River Road. The road will close for the season on Monday, October 1, for annual maintenance, and reopen to bicycles and pedestrians from October 6 through November 30. On December 1, the road will revert to trail status.

Old Fall River Road was built between 1913 and 1920. It is an unpaved road which travels from Endovalley Picnic Area to above treeline at Fall River Pass, following the steep slope of Mount Chapin’s south face. Due to the winding, narrow nature of the road, the scenic 9.4-mile route leading to Trail Ridge Road is one-way only. Vehicles over 25 feet and vehicles pulling trailers are prohibited on the road.


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Available for Public Review: Fall River Entrance Improvements Environmental Assessment

The National Park Service (NPS) has released for public review and comment an Environmental Assessment (EA) for Fall River Entrance Improvements in Rocky Mountain National Park. The Fall River Entrance is one of two major entrance stations on the east side of the park and is located on U.S. Highway 34, just inside the park boundary. The entrance station was constructed in the 1960s as part of the NPS Mission 66 Program enhancements and is within the Fall River Entrance Historic District. The main access road, Fall River Road (U.S. Highway 34), contributes to the historic district and is individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Originally designed for summer operations nearly 60 years ago, the facilities at the Fall River Entrance Station no longer meet the safety or operational needs of the park. When the entrance station was designed, the park had approximately one and a half million annual visitors. By 2017, annual visitation had almost tripled, to nearly four and a half million annual visitors. Improvements are needed to improve visitor access and convenience, reduce traffic congestion, and provide a safe and efficient space for park employees. The range of alternatives evaluated in the Environmental Assessment includes a no-action alternative and three action alternatives.

Rocky Mountain National Park is proposing to retain the Fall River Entrance at its current location and replace the existing buildings with new construction. Entrance improvements would update systems and facilities and include the installation of a fourth lane as a “fast pass lane” to ease congestion. In addition, improvements would be made to employee and visitor parking, ventilation systems in the kiosks, and the configuration of the entrance and exit lanes. Buildings and access ways would be designed to meet federal accessibility standards.

Public Comment
Park staff encourage public participation throughout the planning process. The park will host a public meeting on Wednesday, June 27, 2018, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Estes Valley Library in the Hondius Room, 335 E. Elkhorn Avenue, Estes Park, Colorado. There will be a short presentation at 6:15 p.m., and park staff will be available to answer questions until 7:30 p.m. The public is invited to visit at any point during the scheduled time to review materials and provide written comments.

The EA will be on public review through the close of business of Friday, July 20. If you wish to comment on this environmental assessment, you may post comments online at:, the website for the NPS’s Planning Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) system. Look for “Fall River Entrance.” Or you can mail or hand deliver comments to:

Rocky Mountain National Park
1000 U.S. Highway 36
Estes Park, CO 80517.

Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. Although you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Comments will not be accepted by fax, by e-mail, or in any other way than those specified above. Bulk comments in any format (hard copy or electronic) submitted on behalf of others will not be accepted.


Monday, June 18, 2018

Hazardous Fuels Reduction Work Continues In Rocky Mountain National Park Minor Delays Possible On Bear Lake Road

The reduction of hazardous fuels is a significant preventative management tool used in preparation for managing wildfire near structures and communities. As seen with the Fern Lake Fire, previous reduction of hazardous fuels aided firefighters in stopping the fire within the park when it made its more than 3 mile run on the morning of December 1, 2012. Ultimately, these projects are done to protect life and property and enhance the safety of firefighters and their ability to manage fire within the park.

Fire Management staff at Rocky Mountain National Park completed pile burns on 250 acres this past winter and completed over 125 acres of cutting and hauling along Bear Lake Road so far this spring. Upcoming projects for this year include treatment on 124 acres in the Mill Creek and Glacier Creek areas on both sides of Bear Lake Road, 50 acres along Bear Lake Road above the Sprague Lake Junction and road side fuel reduction between Deer Ridge Junction and Fall River Entrance later this fall. The upcoming projects will include some traffic control and park visitors may experience up to ten minute delays while work is taking place.

Work will include removing dead trees, the lower limbs of remaining trees, ladder fuels, dead and down logs, and the removal of selected trees to increase canopy spacing. Resulting woody materials will be piled on site and burned in the following winters or may be used during upcoming years for firewood permits, depending on location.

These projects are not designed as a stand-alone defense against wildfires, nor are they guaranteed to hold wildfire in the worst conditions. Please do your part and complete wildfire mitigation on your property. For more information on Firewise standards visit


Thursday, June 7, 2018

Colorado Parks and Wildlife looking for bear after attack in Red Feather Lakes area

At 11 p.m. on Tue., June 5, Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a bear attack in the Red Feather Lakes area of Northern Larimer County.

Area Wildlife Manager Ty Petersburg said the attack involved a family of four who were tent-camping in a dispersed camping area off County Road 67J (Prairie Divide Road) on U.S. Forest Service property and was likely food-attractant related. The bear trampled the tent and an adult male was transported to the hospital with injuries that are believed to be non-life threatening.

CPW is still trying to locate the bear and has set traps in the area and is actively using all available means to locate and remove the bear immediately.

CPW would like to remind the public to be “Bear Aware” when recreating outdoors this summer.


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

#Hike4Hope to raise awareness and funds to end extreme poverty

Trey and Madison Cason, a young couple embarking on a journey to hike the Appalachian Trail, recently announced their intent to raise $219,000 for work to end extreme poverty through Global Hope Network International. Trey and Madison both gave notice to their employers, transitioning from well-paying professional positions, to become humanitarian aid workers this past month. To launch their career shift, the couple will begin hiking the trail from Maine on June 13th, which is expected to last until late fall 2018.

Madison shared, “Growing up with families who took us to different state parks to hike and camp, cultivated an appreciation for the outdoors and a love for nature. As a couple, we’ve been dreaming about hiking the Appalachian Trail for several years. We want to follow this dream while impacting the lives of those living in South Asia by offering a ‘hand-up’ not a ‘hand-out’.” When asked about personal comforts, Madison confessed, “While I officially get to put my record of not showering for six days to the test and Trey is excited to up his facial hair game from Duck Dynasty to Full Chewbacca!” This couple is serious!

Global Hope Network International ( seeks to bring help and hope to the hidden and hurting through the empowerment of villagers seeking to end their own extreme poverty utilizing local resources and labor. With a small amount of donated funds ($12,000 to $18,000 annually), villages become self-sustaining in just five years. That’s only $60,000 to $90,000 total to bring an average of 1500 people out of extreme poverty!

Getting Involved

While Trey and Madison are excited to begin the journey, traveling with friends along the way and being encouraged along is an added benefit. Individuals can truly track progress and work to meet up with Trey and Madison along the way for short periods, hike locally near their home or even on their treadmill! Wherever you hike, get pictures and video and post them using #Hike4Hope. To join the fun financially, show your support by giving through Hike4Hope.Rocks or email to set up your own Hike4Hope donation page!

However, you participate, follow along the blog to learn how Trey and Madison process along their journey and if they run into any fun challenges! GHNI will be posting regularly at Hike4Hope.Rocks. Finally, you can check out this short message from Trey and Madison:


Monday, June 4, 2018

Rocky Mountain National Park Celebrates International Migratory Bird Day With Two Special Events On June 9

The Year of the Bird is the theme for this year’s International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD), to celebrate 100 years of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. On Saturday, June 9, park staff will offer two great events.

In the morning, go on a bird walk in Rocky Mountain National Park! Join us for an opportunity to learn more about migratory birds while exploring the park with experienced bird watchers. The event will begin at 8 a.m. at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center. After a short introduction, visitors and bird walk leaders will caravan into the park to view birds in a variety of habitats. The activity is free of charge, but park entrance fees will apply. This guided walk will have naturalists and expert birders to help beginners identify birds; all ages and abilities are welcome. Bring warm clothes, water, good walking shoes, binoculars and a snack. The event will end at noon, but visitors are encouraged to continue their birding adventures throughout the day.

The second event will be held at 7 p.m. at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center with a special showing of the award-winning film, “Winged Migration.” Learn about the world’s migratory birds and their truly miraculous journeys in this breathtaking film covering 40 countries and 7 continents. Running time is 1.5 hours; admission is free.

For further information about Rocky Mountain National Park, please visit or call the park’s Information Office at (970) 586-1206.