Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) — home to over 400 miles of mountainous terrain that Coloradans enjoy year-round — is implementing a phased reopening beginning on May 27.
The area is known for its hiking and snowshoeing trails, wildlife watching, camping and fishing — but due to COVID-19, park operations and services will be much different this year. However, the staff says it’s continuing to follow guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state and local public health authorities as well as the Colorado Tourism Office — and as a result have decided to partially re-open the park after it closed on March 20, 2020.
Currently, Colorado’s safer-at-home order limits travel to no more than 10 miles from home and is set to expire on May 26. As a result, the park plans to re-open the next day. However, they acknowledge that the safer-at-home rule could be extended past its current date — which would limit how many people are able to visit the park. In their statement, RMNP explained they are still in the process of making final decisions of how the phased re-opening will go.
But there are a few additional dates they’ve confirmed including allowing camping at Moraine Park and Glacier Basin Campgrounds starting June 4 at 50% capacity. Other campgrounds will remain closed until further notice. This includes Aspenglen, which was scheduled to re-open Memorial Day Weekend. Park staff have contacted those campers to cancel those reservations.
For wilderness backcountry camping, permits will be issued beginning May 27 through the fall. RMNP explained they’ve been contacting campers that had May reservations to see if they can reschedule them for the summer.
Additionally, the park staff is allowing their Bear Lake Road corridor shuttle to start at reduced capacity on May 27 but it’s unclear if the Hiker shuttle from the Estes Park Visitor Center will open this summer.
As for the rest, the staff is determining the feasibility of visitor center operations and other services while they confirm that Rocky Mountain National Park reopening is beneficial to the health and safety of visitors, employees, volunteers and partners.
For more information on the latest COVID-19 updates from Rocky Mountain National Park, check out their website.