Saturday, September 16, 2017

Sprague Lake Dam Repair In Rocky Mountain National Park Section Of Trail Around Lake Will Be Closed

Repair to the Sprague Lake Dam in Rocky Mountain National Park will begin next week. Sections of the Dam were damaged when large trees were uprooted during a major wind storm in 2011. Much of the area will still be accessible however a one third section of the trail on the northeast portion of Sprague Lake will be closed through the duration of the project. This aspect of the project is expected to be completed in late October.

Glacier Creek Stables has closed for the season. The road leading to the stables will be closed for the repair work. The park shuttle bus stop, located near the stables, will be temporarily relocated to the Sprague Lake picnic area throughout the remainder of the shuttle bus season, which ends October 9.

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


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

National Public Lands Days Volunteer Project in RMNP

Rocky Mountain Conservancy and Rocky Mountain National Park will celebrate National Public Lands Day by hosting a volunteer project in Rocky.

National Public Lands Day occurs on the last Saturday of September every year and helps us celebrate the protection of our beautiful public lands throughout the country. As part of the celebration, public lands agencies (including the National Park Service) provide free entry!

Help celebrate our public lands alongside the Conservancy and National Park Service staff by participating in a litter clean-up in RMNP. In the afternoon, you will be able to enjoy the fall colors and the elk rut in Rocky Mountain National Park.

After a busy summer, areas in Rocky are littered with trash and need your help!

Who: People of all ages welcome!*Must be able to walk short distances on uneven terrain.

What: Volunteer litter clean-up

Where: Beaver Point, Rocky Mountain National Park – Meet at the west-end of the parking lot at the Country Market, 900 Moraine Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517

When: Saturday, September 30th at 9:00AM – 11:00AM

Why: Celebrate National Public Lands Day in Rocky Mountain National Park

For more information contact Geoff Elliot at or (970)586-3262.


Friday, September 8, 2017

Upcoming September Saturday Evening Programs At Rocky Mountain National Park

September is a great time to enjoy Rocky Mountain National Park and experience the fall season. Join a ranger on Saturday nights in September for a special series of evening programs held in the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center Auditorium. These 45 minute programs start at 7 p.m.

Saturday, September 9 The Captivating Kingdom of Fungi
This program focuses on human uses of mushrooms, some of the most common edible and non-edible mushrooms in Rocky, and the ways that fungal diversity mirrors overall diversity in the park.

Saturday, September 16 Predators of Rocky
This program highlights the rare and common predators that live in the Rocky Mountains. Discover their power and the role they play in a healthy ecosystem.

Saturday, September 23 Rocky Rocks! 
The story of Rocky’s rocks is the foundation on which all the wonders we see are built - the mountain peaks, valleys, lakes, ecosystems, wildlife, and the weather. Join us for a journey through time to explore what helped sculpt this landscape.

These programs are free and open to the public. For more information about Rocky Mountain National Park please visit or call the park’s Information Office at (970) 586-1206.


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Numerous Incidents Recorded Last Month in Rocky Mountain National Park

On Sunday afternoon, August 20, at 2:45 p.m. park rangers received an emergency call from climbers on the Petit Grepon in Rocky Mountain National Park. One of the climbers, a 28 year old male from Kennesaw, Georgia, sustained a 15 foot fall onto a ledge while climbing. He was approximately 700 feet up the climbing route at an elevation of approximately 12,200 feet in elevation. The man sustained numerous injuries from the blunt force of his fall. He was part of a group of three climbers. Shortly thereafter, the man was assisted by five climbers who were not affiliated with his group. They lowered him approximately 600 feet, which greatly assisted with rescue efforts. At 5 p.m. Rocky Mountain National Park’s Search and Rescue team members arrived on scene and assisted the man down to a ledge approximately 20 feet above the talus slope. The man received advanced medical care from a park paramedic. The man and park search and rescue team members spent the night at that location. On Monday, August 21, at 6:30 a.m. Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue team members, assisted by Rocky Mountain Rescue, conducted an approximate 1000 foot technical rope lower over the steep talus slope between the base of the Petit Grepon and Sky Pond. At approximately 10:15 a.m. the man was flown from Sky Pond (10,950 feet) by Flight For Life Air Ambulance to Boulder Community Hospital.

On August 22, park rangers located a vehicle at the North Inlet Trailhead parking area that was connected to an advisory regarding a welfare check. The woman’s body was found near Tonahutu Creek close to the trailhead. The woman has been identified as Teresa Sajsa, 59, of Englewood, Colorado. The cause of death will be determined by Grand County Coroner’s office. No further information will be released at this time.

On August 23, park rangers were notified via cell phone that a 73 year old male had taken a tumbling fall while descending Mount Lady Washington in Rocky Mountain National Park above Chasm Lake. Bystanders who witnessed the fall aided the man by performing Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). Rangers were nearby in the Chasm Shelter area and reached the man in 15 minutes. Rangers also performed CPR. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

On Friday morning, August 25, park rangers were notified by a ranger on a backcountry patrol that a 54 year old male hiker (hometown unknown) had suffered a leg injury above Black Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. Additional rangers were sent to assist. Team members, in addition to five bystanders, helped move the man to a nearby alpine meadow where the man was flown at 3:45 p.m. by St. Anthony Flight for Life to Boulder Community Hospital.

On Saturday, August 26, rangers were notified of a deceased man a few yards from the Harbison Picnic Area on the west side of the park. The man has been identified as Michael McQuay, 71, of Estes Park, Colorado, and Laurel, Maryland. The investigation is ongoing, however the death is believed to be from natural causes.

On Sunday, August 27, rangers responded to a 22 year old male from Denver, Colorado, who fell approximately 15 feet below the viewing area at Adams Falls. The man suffered numerous serious injuries. Bystanders in the area assisted the man and notified park rangers at 5:45 p.m. A number of agencies assisted Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue Team members with this extensive rescue effort including Grand County Search and Rescue, Grand County Sheriff’s Department, Grand Lake Fire and Grand County Mountain Medic Response Team. The man was evacuated via a wheeled litter. Teams reached the East Inlet Trailhead at 8:20 p.m. where he was flown by Northern Colorado Med Evac to Denver Medical Health Center.

On Monday, August 28, park rangers were notified around 5 p.m. regarding a 62 year old female from Mineral Point, Wisconsin, who fell from a horse near Granite Falls. She was roughly 6 miles from the Green Mountain Trailhead. Rocky Mountain Search and Rescue Team members reached the group of horseback riders at approximately 8:30 p.m. Grand County Mountain Medic Response Team also assisted on this incident. Due to the time of day and nature of injury, Search and Rescue Team members stayed with the group, including their horses, overnight. The woman was flown from a nearby meadow the next morning, Tuesday, August 29, by Northern Colorado Med Evac to Medical Center of the Rockies. Search and Rescue Team members reached the trailhead the following day at 1:00 p.m.


Friday, September 1, 2017

Volunteers receive national grant funds for trail projects

Volunteers for the Clear Creek Ranger District of the Arapaho National Forest applied for and were selected to receive grant funds of $19,000 earlier this summer from the national competition, Go The Extra Mile. In August more than 85 volunteers gathered, camped at the Loveland ski area and completed several important projects on the Herman Gulch trail, which is part of the Continental Divide trail.

Basia Trout, Acting Clear Creek District Ranger said, “We are so fortunate to have such a great group of volunteers on our District! Not only did they complete the application, compete nationally and win this grant competition, they rolled up their shirtsleeves and implemented the project. The result makes tremendous improvements to the heavily used Herman Gulch trail that all our visitors will appreciate and enjoy today and far into the future.”

Ralph Bradt, Recreation, Wilderness and Trails specialist for the District said that collectively this ambitious group installed or repaired 37 drainage structures and five rock steps; placed 28 straw wattles to stabilize erosion on a steep slope; closed 100 feet of social trails and completed 2,300 feet of trail maintenance.

Go The Extra Mile is a national competition sponsored by Michelob ULTRA in partnership with the American Hiking Society. The group selected only twelve participating trails throughout the United States to share funding of $140,000. Once selected the projects competed against each other based on votes, to distribute the total winnings per entry from the ULTRA website. Herman Gulch is also the only winning trail selected from Colorado this year.


Monday, August 28, 2017

National Park Service Ends Effort to Eliminate Sale of Disposable Water Bottles

In its commitment to providing a safe and world-class visitor experience, the National Park Service is discontinuing Policy Memorandum 11-03, commonly referred to as the “Water Bottle Ban.”

The 2011 policy, which encouraged national parks to eliminate the sale of disposable water bottles, has been rescinded to expand hydration options for recreationalists, hikers, and other visitors to national parks. The ban removed the healthiest beverage choice at a variety of parks while still allowing sales of bottled sweetened drinks. The change in policy comes after a review of the policy’s aims and impact in close consultation with Department of the Interior leadership.

“While we will continue to encourage the use of free water bottle filling stations as appropriate, ultimately it should be up to our visitors to decide how best to keep themselves and their families hydrated during a visit to a national park, particularly during hot summer visitation periods,” said Acting National Park Service Director Michael T. Reynolds.

Currently only 23 of the 417 National Park Service sites have implemented the policy. The revocation of the memorandum, which was put in place on December 14, 2011, is effective immediately. Parks will continue to promote the recycling of disposable plastic water bottles and many parks have already worked with partners to provide free potable water in bottle filling stations located at visitor centers and near trailheads.


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Free Entrance to Mesa Verde National Park on August 25, September 30, and November 11-12

Mesa Verde National Park will offer free admittance on Friday, August 25, 2017 in celebration of the 101st birthday of the National Park Service. The park service is moving into its second century and we invite you find your park and discover Parks 101, an opportunity to discover the unexpected stories of the national park system.

The park will also waive admission fees on Saturday, September 30 for Public Lands Day. The annual event encourages everyone to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. September 30 also celebrates the second annual Bike your Park Day.

National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands. Seven federal agencies, as well as nonprofit organizations and state, regional, and local governments participate in the annual day of improving the health of public lands and encouraging shared stewardship through volunteer service. Other federal agencies waiving fees on September 30 include the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Forest Service.

Wetherill Mesa offers the perfect place to bicycle in the park, with easy rides on the 5-mile Long House Loop paved trail. Due to safety concern’s bicycle riding is not allowed on the road to Wetherill Mesa. Bicyclists should visit the park’s website to ensure they are familiar with the bicycle regulations at

The final fee free days for 2017 are November 11 and 12 in commemoration of Veterans Day weekend. November is a great time to discover or reacquaint yourself with the self-guided aspects of Mesa Verde, including the driving loops, hiking trails and the Far View Sites.