Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wildlife in Rocky Mountain National Park - Coyotes

Dont be a Slouch in the New Year!
As the New Year rolls in, humans aren’t the only creatures getting used to the changes winter brings. The animals of Rocky Mountain National Park are experiencing winter in full swing, and the new crop of coyote pups are no exception. In areas like Rocky Mountain National Park where hunting is not permitted, coyotes often form long relationships, producing pups with the same mate year after year. Each year, some of these lucky pups are granted the privilege of living in their parents’ territory and helping to raise the next litter of pups. These select coyotes learn how to raise pups, share food, and some of the female yearlings may even nurse the new pups. The yearlings that are not selected to stay, head off to find a mate and a new location to call home – often miles from their parents’ home range. Perhaps all too similar to the human parents’ plight, there are a small number of coyote yearlings who don’t venture off to forge their own family or help mom and dad out, while still living in their parents’ home range. These coyotes are called slouches.

So don’t be a slouch – make the New Year the best it can be by visiting your Rocky Mountain National Park! To plan your trip, go to for all your lodging needs. You can find a wealth of information on RMNP at

Guest Blogger: Jared Gricoskie from Yellow Wood Guiding or 303-775-5484

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter Fun in RMNP - bring the kids!

Snow accumulations are varying greatly depending on the elevations in Rocky Mountain National Park. On the west side of the park there is roughly 6 inches of new snow today at the Kawuneeche Visitor Center, with snow still falling. Sunday there was 7.4 inches of new snow and Saturday saw 6 inches of new snow. Kawuneeche Visitor Center is located at 8,720 feet near Grand Lake.

On the east side of the park there was 11.5 inches of new snow early this morning at Bear Lake, elevation 9,475 feet. Hidden Valley (9.240 feet) received over a foot last night. It has been snowing all day above 9,000 feet. Visitors are taking advantage of the fresh snow and enjoying backcountry skiing, snowshoeing and snowplay, including sledding at Hidden Valley. Hidden Valley is the only place sledding is allowed in Rocky Mountain National Park. At this time below 9,000 feet on the east side the snow is just starting to accumulate, all day we have received much moisture with a rain/snow mix. Visitors should expect winter driving conditions in higher elevations in the park.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Experience RMNP During the Holidays

Rocky Mountain National Park News Release
The holiday season is a great time to visit Rocky Mountain National Park.
In addition to beautiful scenery, wildlife viewing and a variety of winter recreational activities to do on your own, some fun activities with park rangers are offered. Rocky Mountain National Park has a calendar full of fun family activities for the holidays.

On the east side of the park:Winter Storytime – December 26 through January 2 at 10:30 a.m. daily Read with a Ranger! Hear stories about the wonders of the winter season.
Meet at Fall River Visitor Center (located on Highway 34) for this 30 minute program.

Skins and Skulls – December 26 through January 2 at 3:00 p.m. daily Meet Rocky’s wildlife! Come to this 30 minute program at Beaver Meadows Visitor Center (located on Highway 36) for a hands-on experience.

Snowshoe Ecology Walks – December 29 & 31 at 12:30 p.m.
Join a ranger for a beginner level snowshoe tour exploring the natural world of a subalpine forest. Ages 8 years old and above. Participants will need to bring their own snowshoes which can be rented at sporting goods stores. Reservations required - call (970) 586-1223 beginning December 22.

Spirit of the Mountains – Shown by request daily See the stunning 23 minute park film at Beaver Meadows Visitor Center (located on Highway 36).

On the west side of the park:Ski the Wilderness – Join a park ranger for this 1.5 hour cross-country ski tour of the Kawuneeche Valley. For ages 8 and above. January 1 at 9:30 a.m. Reservations required - call (970) 627-3471 no more than seven days in advance.

Snowshoe in the Kawuneeche – Beginner-level snowshoe tour with a ranger.
December 18 and January 1 at 1:00 p.m. Intermediate-level snowshoe tours held December 19, December 26 and January 2 at 1:00 p.m. For ages 8 and above. Reservations required - call (970) 627-3471 no more than seven days in advance.

For more information about Rocky Mountain National Park please visit or call the park’s Information Office at (970) 586-1206. All park visitor centers and the Information Office will be closed on December 25.

To plan your holiday visit to Rocky Mountain National Park this holiday go to

Kyle Patterson 970-586-1363 NPS

Monday, December 13, 2010

Bear Lake - Dusted in Snow

Winter Wonderland in Rocky Mountain National Park -- won't you come play?

Find out about Bear Lake, and other winter activities at:
Photo Credit: Larry VanSickle

For visitor information:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sprague Lake - RMNP Blanketed in Snow

Photo Credit: Larry VanSickle to learn about Winter Activities in the park.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Fly Fisherman's Christmas: Make Their Dreams Come True with a Little Help from Kirks Flyshop

If you have a fly fisherman in your life, you won't want to miss this opportunity to tuck a special something under the tree! On December 11, from 2 - 5 pm Kirks Fly Shop in Estes Park is hosting a variable "who's who" of industry celebrities in the fly fishing world. Come meet these authors during a book signing:

John Barr – author “Barr’s Flies
Landon Mayer – author “How to Catch the Biggest Trout of Your Life
Charlie Craven – fly tier, owner Charlie’s Fly Box & author of “Basic Fly Tying
Rob Kolanda – member of US Fly Fishing Team & featured fly tier
Riley Cotter – member of US Fly Fishing Team & featured fly tier & Umpqua Fly Rep
Todd Hosman – author “Fly Fishing RMNP”, “Colorado Trout Flies”, and more
Jim Rubingh – co-author “Colorado Greenback Cutthroat Trout” – A Fisherman’s Guide

They will be offering refreshments, food, and storewide savings of 20-75%! Kirks Fly Shop is located at 230 E. Elkhorn Avenue, Estes Park CO.
(photo credit: Rudy Malmquist)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Big Horn Sheep - Love on the Rocks in RMNP

Today's Guest Blogger is Jared Gricoskie of Yellow Wood Guiding

Here in Rocky Mountain National Park, December is the Big Horn Sheep's mating season. Big Horns spend most of the year in small bands of females and lambs, with the males in separate bands of mixed ages. Most of the time females just want to eat grass generally on a southern facing slope, but for as little as 48 hours a year the ladies are in estrus and looking for the right guy. During these extremely brief mating periods, females attract males through scent and may attract more than a handful of suitors. Females select males on a basis of body size, horn size, and fitness. They attract a few males and then run, much like a scene from a school yard where the boys chase the girls. During the pursuit, the lead male will often turn on the males behind him and clash. The sounds of two rams crashing their heads together can be heard from over a mile away. In the end, the female selects a male to mate with and will very likely not interact with him again. So be sure to scan the rocky southern facing cliffs around Estes Park during the first two weeks of December. For Big Horn Sheep, love really is on the rocks.

Labels: , ,