Interesting facts about Rocky Mountain National Park

rocky mountain national park

Rocky Mountain National Park is a national park located in the north-central region of the U.S. state of Colorado.

Rocky Mountain National Park was established in 1915.

Rocky Mountain National Park’s 1,075.50 square kilometers (415.25 square miles) encompass and protect spectacular mountain environments.

Elevations inside Rocky Mountain National Park range from 2,330 meters (7,630 feet) in the valleys to 4346 meters (14,259 feet) at the top of Longs Peak (the highest point in the park).

The park is dominated by Longs Peak, which is visible from many vantage points.Each year thousands of people attempt to scale it.

longs peak

Roughly 570 kilometers (355 miles) of trails are maintained for hiking within Rocky Mountain National Park.

There are 433 kilometers (260 miles) of trails for horseback riding in the park.

There are still some small glaciers in the park. Giant glaciers throughout history have left their marks in the park.

rocky mountain national park glacier

In fact one of the major features of Rocky Mountain National Park are the landscapes created by glaciers.

There are at least 60 different species of mammals within the park, including moose, elk, deer, bighorn sheep, puma, fox, bear, bobcat, marmot, beaver, porcupine, and badger, among others.

Before 1978, there were very few moose in Rocky Mountain National Park. In 1978 and 1979, 24 moose were relocated from Wyoming, and by 1994, the herd had grown to 700 moose.

rocky mountain national park moose

3,000 elk reside in Rocky Mountain National Park during the summer.

rocky mountain national park elk

Some 280 species of birds have been reported to inhabit or visit the area since the designation of Rocky Mountain National Park in 1915.

rocky mountain national park bird

Several species of fish, including 4 different species of trout, inhabit the park’s lakes and streams.

The park contains 766 kilometers (476 miles) of streams and creeks, including, most notably, the headwaters of the Colorado River.

Rocky Mountain National Park has 156 lakes. Only 48 of the 156 lakes contain trout populations, as cold water temperatures and lack of spawning habitat prevent populations from sustaining in many of the higher elevation lakes.

rocky mountain national park lake

Bear Lake, in the heart of the park, is a popular destination and trailhead. The lake lies below Hallett Peak and the Continental Divide. Several trails start from the lake, ranging from easy strolls to strenuous hikes.

bear lake

There are over 900 different plants.

mount rainier national park flowers

There are 600 buildings inside Rocky Mountain National Park, 150 of which are historic structures.

The lowest recorded temperature in the park was –39°C (-39ºF) in 1951.

The highest recorded temperature in the park was 35°C (96ºF) in 1989.

In 1976 the park was designated a UNESCO International Biosphere Reserve.


The Continental Divide (a demarcation of the flow of water between the Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean) runs through the park.

There are rocks 1.7 billion years old in the park, and they are also some of the oldest in the National Parks System.

Rocky Mountain National Park is connected from end to end by a stretch of U.S. Highway 34 known as Trail Ridge Road.

Rocky Mountain’s Trail Ridge Road is the highest continual highway in the country. Its maximum height is 3,713 kilometers (12,183 feet).

trail ridge road

In all seasons, there are ample things to do in Rocky Mountain National Park, including: wildlife viewing (elk, bighorn sheep, moose, deer, bears, coyotes…), scenic drives, hiking, fishing, camping, biking, horseback riding, bird watching, photography, picnics, climbing, mountaineering, ranger programs, tours of the visitor centers, snowshoeing, cross country skiing.

Inside Rocky Mountain National Park, there are 5 campgrounds, with 585 campsites.

Rocky Mountain National Park, in Colorado, is one of the most popular national parks in the United States, attracting more than 3 million visitors per year.

Grand Lake, Colorado is one of the most charming towns in all of Colorado, and possibly the western United States. Located at the western entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Lake was established in 1881.

grand lake colorado

The Grand Lake Cemetery opened in 1892, before Rocky Mountain National Park was established. Because the cemetery was opened before the park, the cemetery bears the distinction of being the only active community cemetery within a U.S. national park.

People have been visiting the area of Rocky Mountain National Park for at least 11,000 years. Paleo-Indians left traces in the form of stone tools. Their influence in the region was limited, however, and their visits often transitory.

Native Americans came in their turn. The Ute Tribe visited the west side of the park, particularly around Grand Lake. The Arapaho visited and hunted in the Estes Park region.

The area of the park was Ute territory, used for camping and hunting, until the late 1700s. Then they were driven over the Continental Divide by the Arapaho, who came from the east, continued to enjoy the area until colonists of European descent arrived.