Tag Archives: Rocky Mountain National Park

Free mountains, sequoias during National Park Week

Want a free mountain? How about a canyon for nothing?

Well these are your lucky days: National Park Week lasts through April 24–that’s 410 national park units from coast-to-coast (and more) completely free for visitors.

All week I’ve been thinking about the mountains, rivers and wildlife we have in my home state, Colorado. And the dinosaur bones, fossils and dunes. I’ve been playing hooky (at least in my mind); daydreaming about hiking in Rocky Mountain and Great Sand Dunes national parks, and in the spectacular canyons of the Green and Yampa rivers in Dinosaur National Monument. So many reasons to get out there.

Need inspiration? FindYourPark.

Learn more about the NPS and its 100th birthday this year.

Buy the book! Prophets and Moguls, Rangers and Rogues, Bison and Bears: 100 Years of the National Park Service.

Photo of Rocky Mountain NP by Heather Hansen.


It’s certainly possible to spend time in national parks without ever talking to a ranger (except maybe at the entrance gate). But why would you? National Park Service rangers are some of the most dedicated, enthusiastic and knowledgeable people you’ll ever meet. Consider it part of your entrance fee to tap them for their diverse expertise and sheer entertainment value.

Tip #4. Go on a ranger-led activity.

Some of the most fun I had as a kid was at sunset ranger talks on the beach at Cape Cod National Seashore. We’d generally arrive early with that wonderful bone-weary feeling you get after a long day playing in the sand and sea. As Junior Rangers, we’d help collect driftwood for a campfire and then sit back while the ranger filled our heads with pictures of explorers and shipwrecks and stars.

The fun didn’t end then; as an adult I’m just as crazy about ranger-led walks and talks. Most recently at Independence National Historical Park, at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park (Seattle Unit), and in my backyard at Rocky Mountain National Park, my travels have been seriously enhanced by ranger knowledge.

So after using the restroom at the visitor center, in whatever your chosen park, stop by the information desk to ask about the day’s offerings (they are often posted online and in the park as well). You’ll be glad you did!

Buy the book! Prophets and Moguls, Rangers and Rogues, Bison and Bears: 100 Years of the National Park Service.

Photo courtesy, NPS, a ranger and visitors to Joshua Tree National Park.

RMNP: Looking good at 100

Rocky Mountain National Park was established a year prior to the founding of the National Park Service. Throughout this calendar year a century of its places and people are celebrated at various events in the park.

Don’t miss a chance to join in on upcoming centennial events, many of which are listed in the current issue of the park’s newspaper.

Share stories and images from 1915 through 2015 at http://rmnp100.com


Image courtesy NPS.