Rocky Mountain National Park to begin ‘phased reopening’ after Colorado’s safer-at-home expires

PROMO Outdoors - Mountains Trees Rocky Mountain National Park Snow - NPS
Published Wednesday, May 13, 2020
by Derek Draplin | The Center Square

(The Center Square) - Rocky Mountain National Park will begin to reopen on May 27, the day after Colorado's safer-at-home order is set to expire.

The U.S. National Park Service said Tuesday that park officials are in the "planning process to coordinate a phased reopening."

"Park operations and services will be much different this year," an NPS statement added.

Moraine Park and Glacier Basin campgrounds will open half of their campsites starting June 4, while Aspenglen, Timber Creek and Longs Peak campgrounds will stay closed, the agency said.

"The health and safety of park visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners continues to be paramount," the NPS said. "Rocky Mountain National Park staff continue to examine each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance and will be regularly monitored."

Colorado's safer-at-home order, which restricts outdoor recreation to a 10-mile radius of residency, is set to expire on May 26, but could be extended depending on circumstances related to COVID-19. Local and state officials have also discouraged travel to mountain communities.

The park, which is the third most visited national park in the country, closed on March 20 after pressure from local officials.

The U.S. Department of Interior and National Park Service had initially said park entrance fees were suspended in order to help people "embrace nature and implement some social distancing." 

In 2018, visitors to the park spent $306 million in regions surrounding the park, such as Grand Lake and Estes Park. 

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