Colorado Need To Know March 20, 2023
by Annie Parts Of Rocky Mountain National Park Are Now Closed: Here’s What To Do In The Meantime
One of the most popular places in all of the Centennial State is Rocky Mountain National Park, as this 265,807-acre oasis encompasses nearly all the best parts of Colorado. Rocky Mountain National Park is open year-round and home to epic hiking, skiing, sledding, scenic drives, fishing, and plentiful wildlife sightings, making it a can’t-miss destination. Things may be looking a little different this year, however, as there are Rocky Mountain National Park closures in 2023 to protect vulnerable wildlife:
Beginning February 15, 2023, several sections of Rocky Mountain National Park are closed to give raptors ample space to breed and nest.
Also known as birds of prey (think hawks, Falcons, owls, and eagles), raptors tend to stick to certain areas of the park, which the National Park Service monitors in an effort to protect these large fowl.
During this time, the Loch Vale area will be closed, including the Cathedral Wall and any off-trail travel along the Loch Vale-Sky Pond Trail.
Nicknamed "The Loch," the Loch Vale area is known for its dazzling lakes, hiking, and climbing opportunities, the latter of which is where many raptors make their nests.
In addition to the closure of Loch Vale is the temporary closure of the Lumpy Ridge area and Checkerboard Rock, Lightning Rock, Batman Rock, Batman Pinnacle, Sundance, Thunder Buttress, The Parish, Bookmark Pinnacle, The Left Book, Bookmark, Twin Owls, Rock One and the Needle.
All popular places for climbing and hiking, Lumpy Ridge, like Loch Vale, is a mecca for mating and nesting.
If you are looking for alternate places to hike while Loch Vale and Lumpy Ridge are closed, there are plenty of stellar alternatives, like the accessible .6-mile round-trip Bear Lake Trail, the jaw-dropping 1.7-mile Alberta Falls Trail, and - for the advanced hiker - the 7.4-mile Twin Sisters Trail (pictured).
Since these spots are also iconic for climbing, we have a handful of other places to climb while you await the re-opening of these places, including the Flying Buttress at Mt. Meeker, Culp-Bossier along Hallet Peak, the Casual Route on the Diamond of Longs Peak, and the Love Route at Hallet Peak.
If you are visiting and see people in these areas disturbing wildlife, you are asked to report the sighting and its location to ROMO_Information@nps.gov.
To learn more about all there is to see and do around Rocky Mountain National Park - including entrance fees, current conditions, and the closure status -
please visit the National Park Service's website.
The Loch Vale area and Lumpy Ridge are slated to re-open around July 31, 2023.
Did you know about the Rocky Mountain National Park closures in 2023? Tell us in the comments! For even more to do around Rocky Mountain National Park, check out
Rocky Mountain National Park Named One Of The Best National Parks In The Country.
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Address: Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, USA