Happy Birthday, Rocky Mountain National Park!

100 years.

On January 26, 1915, President Woodrow Wilson signed some paperwork that allowed a chunk of land in Northern Colorado to become Rocky Mountain National Park. With that, the 265,000+ acres became a piece of Colorado history that has continued to expand throughout the years.

To be sure, the park has seen it all. In June, 2010, a lightning strike cause a wildfire that burned over 1,500 acres. And in September, 2013, both the park and nearby Estes Park suffered from serious flooding caused by the crazy 500-year floods. The park closed for seven days but many of the roads, along with parts of Estes Park, were closed for weeks. Some wondered how the area could even recover.

 

But while Mother Nature is a fickle beast, Rocky Mountain National Park is not. Having grown up on the northern side of Denver, RMNP has always been a mere hour drive from my house. We spent weekends at the YMCA camp in Estes Park and used the national park as our playground. My parents took us on picnics in the park and mom dragged us on nature hikes, teaching us about every.single.wildflower dotting the hillside. {I swear, I appreciate those learning experiences more as an adult!}

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Now that I’m an adult, I find myself wandering back to the park, rediscovering the adventure that I once found as a kid. Two years ago, Will and I took our Avy 1 course in RMNP, digging snow pits and conducting beacon searches above Bear Lake. We spent Independence Day, 2014, hiking our skis up to Tyndall Glacier via the Flattop Mountain Trail. And why wouldn’t we? Skiing in July is awesome and earning your turns while wearing capris just can’t be beat!

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I sometimes forget how fortunate I am to have such a beautiful national park located just down the road, but I’m determined to capitalize on it this year. After all, I may only have ten 14ers left on my list, but Longs Peak is one of them!

Happy birthday, RMNP. Here’s to another 100 years!

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3 Comments

  • Reply Elle at

    Beautiful! You ARE lucky.

  • Reply Kovas - Midwest Multisport Life at

    What an awesome resource!

  • Reply Andy at

    Yay! I Love RMNP. Sometimes I take it for granted but damn it’s an awesome place to explore.

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