Rocky Mountain National Park, the tenth national park, was established in 1915. Rocky is the fifth most visited park in the United States. These breathtaking 415 square miles of mountain scenery have 60 mountains that top 12,000ft or more, 250 types of birds including eagles and hawks, 60 species of animals such as bighorn sheep, black bears, coyotes, elk, mule deer, and moose. Entrance Fees Entrance fees may be increasing in spring 2015. Please contact the park for further information. Fees and passes can be paid in US currency by major credit or debit card, cash, or check. Rocky Mountain National Park spans 265,795 acres of pristine Rocky Mountain National Park wilderness making it one of the largest national parks in the United States. Trail Ridge Road, which connects Grand Lake and Estes Park, opened in July 1932. Trail Ridge Road climbs to an elevation of 12,183ft, and approximately 12 miles of the drive are above timberline, making it the highest continuous road in the United States. The top of Trail Ridge Road is one of the most spectacular places in the world to star gaze. Go into Rocky Mountain National Park at night (the park is open 24/7), drive to a high point, and settle in for some spectacular celestial viewing! Trail Ridge Road has a relatively gentle grade, never exceeding 7%, and typically less than 5%. It is closed at the Colorado River trailhead, about ten miles from the entrance station, from approximately mid-October to mid-May, weather depending. For overnight stays, park visitors must be in a designated campground site or a backcountry campsite reserved by a valid permit. The only place to purchase food and beverages in the park is at Trail Ridge 8 2 0 1 5 G R A N D L A K E G U E S T G U I D E ® Store, located adjacent to Alpine Visitor Center at the top of Trail Ridge Road. Kawuneeche Visitor Center (kah-wu- NEE-chee, Arapaho for “valley of the coyote”) is one mile north of the village of Grand Lake on US Hwy 34 at the entrance to the park. Open daily year-round. Summer 8am-6pm. Winter 8am-4:30pm. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. List of all ranger talks and walks available at the center. Activities range from hiking an ancient Ute trail to walking the Colorado River in the summer, ranger-led, cross country ski tours, and beginner and intermediate snowshoe walks in the winter. Check at the visitor center. Handicap-accessible restrooms. Holzwarth Historic Site Along Trail Ridge Road, about seven miles north of Kawuneeche Visitor Center. This is a preserved, 1920s-era dude ranch nestled in the forest. (John Holzwarth erected the ranch buildings after Prohibition shut down his Denver saloon.) The lodge buildings are reached by a half-mile walkway from the parking lot.
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