Home to the western slope of Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand County, Colorado is a summer favorite for families preferring to experience this adventure wonderland in less-crowded destinations. To help visitors grasp the big picture, the park offers complimentary ranger-led programs throughout the season.
From daytime hiking past meadows and rivers along the Continental Divide Trail, to roasting marshmallows with a wrangler around a campfire, all ages can celebrate the great outdoors. Regardless of the day or evening you visit, there’s something on the calendar.
Here’s a look at the programs being offered on the park’s West Side throughout the summer:
Walks & Hikes
* Hike Through History – Discover hidden remnants of mining and dude ranch history along the Colorado River on a gentle three-mile hike.
* Beyond The Falls – Take an easy one-mile stroll to Adams Falls and soak in the spectacular view beyond.
* Mountain Wildflowers – A ranger leads the way to current blooms and explains what makes them so special. Ends 8/13.
* Rocky Mountain Heritage Walk – Learn Kawuneeche Valley history while exploring a historic guest ranch. Starts 6/22.
* Wilderness Connections – This moderate two-mile hike along a new section of the Continental Divide Trail features a meadow and river.
Children’s Programs (End Mid-August)
* Junior Ranger Program – Earn a Junior Ranger badge with a one-hour program and activities.
* Web Walkers – Explore a section of the Colorado River (6 -12 years).
* Come Bug A Ranger – Learn fun facts about insects. Includes puppets, stories and activities (4 - 10 years)
* Walk Backwards – Step back in time and experience life on a 1920s dude ranch with chores, games and period costumes (6 - 12 years).
Talks & Activities
* Holzwarth Historic Site – Tour a 1920s-era dude ranch for a taste of early homesteading and tourism.
* Skins And Things – Examine the skins, skulls, antlers, teeth and bones of park mammals.
* Ranger’s Flyfishing School – Learn about the park’s fish management program, stream ecology and flycasting. Bring your flyfishing gear or borrow the ranger’s. Runs 6/24 - 8/12
* Behind The Scenes – See short videos documenting how the park addresses challenges like elk management, pine beetles and bear safety. Starts 6/22
* Sisters Of Courage – Learn about the pioneer experience through the story of the remarkable Harbison sisters and their family. Includes a half-mile walk to homestead sites. Starts 7/1
* Exploring With A Camera – Focus on composition, light and basic tips to improve your photos during this photography walk. Ends 8/2
* Timber Creek Evening Program – Presentations are available nightly at Timber Creek.
* Saturday Night In The Park – Enjoy an evening program in the Kawuneeche Visitor Center auditorium.
* Walk Into Twilight – Take a leisurely stroll as darkness, night sounds and wildlife fill the valley. Bring warm clothes, good hiking shoes and a flashlight. Ends 8/11
* Old Ranch Campfire – Roasting marshmallows (bring ’em), hearing tall tales (the old wrangler will tell ’em) and crooning campfire songs bring back the old days. Dress warmly. Ends 8/9
Night Sky Programs
* Celestial Wilderness – Use a telescope to explore night sky astronomy. Ends 8/10.
Unless otherwise noted, all programs are free and open to the public. All children must be accompanied by an adult. For more information about Rocky Mountain National Park, call 970-586-1206.
For details on dates, times and locations, please click here.
For overnight accommodations in the Grand Lake area, please click here.