In honor of National Park Day, we wanted to highlight our own Rocky Mountain National Park by sharing some fun facts you may not know about this beautiful part of Colorado.
1. The 30-mile-long Continental Divide Trail runs right through the middle of the park, splitting it into its Eastern and Western sections. As one of the park’s biggest attractions, the trail runs along parts of the actual Great Divide, which is the invisible border that sits atop the Rocky Mountains, shaping whether the water flows to the east or the west.
2. The park features the country’s highest continuous paved road, Trail Ridge Road. Reaching its highest point at 12,183 ft., Trail Ridge Road is 48 miles of pristine mountain views, 11 of which sit above treeline, offering spectacular scenes of Rocky Mountain National Park.
3. Abner Sprague was the first person to pay the $3 National Park entrance fee, back in 1939. Sprague was a local homesteader, who was one of the park’s biggest advocates. One of the most popular spots in Rocky Mountain National Park is Sprague Lake, named after the Abner Sprague.
4. The tallest mountain peak in the park is Longs Peak. Sitting at 14,259 ft. it is the 14th highest peak in Colorado and one of the more difficult ones to summit.
5. In 1803 Rocky Mountain National Park was acquired during the Louisiana Purchase. The entire park stretches 415 square miles or 265,761 acres in size.
6. There are over 280 different bird species known to habitat in the park, such as the White-tailed Ptarmigan, Dusky Grouse, and the Gray Jay.
7. Because of the park’s range in elevation, from 7,600 ft. to over 14,000 ft., there is very diverse terrain that can be seen throughout the park, thus offering a wide variety of wildflowers. There are over 1,000 types, such as the Mountain Iris, Woodlily, Elephantella, and the state flower, the Colorado Columbine.
8. On average the park brings in 3 million visitors a year, with most of the visitors coming during the summer and fall months.
9. There are 600 buildings located inside the park, 150 of which are historic structures. Some historic sites and structures include numerous backcountry cabins like Fern Lake, Keyhole on Longs Peak, and Shadow Mountain.
10. Bighorn sheep are the symbol of Rocky Mountain National Park. With roughly 400 bighorn sheep currently residing in the park, visitors are bound to come across a few during their stay. With males weighing up to 300 pounds, they are the largest wild sheep.
With so many things to do in Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park is one spot that cannot be missed. Book your stay at Brynwood on the River and enjoy all that Estes Park has to offer!