Thursday, June 9, 2011

Wonderful Opportunity for Birders in RMNP

News from the National Park Service:

Rocky Mountain National Park is hosting a migratory bird bash. Join us for an opportunity to learn more about migratory birds while exploring the park with experienced bird watchers. “Go Wild, Go Birding” is this year’s theme, created to celebrate the migration of birds to North American breeding grounds from South American wintering grounds.

The event will be held Saturday, June 11, starting at 8:00 a.m. at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center in Rocky Mountain National Park. After a short introduction, visitors and bird walk leaders will caravan into the park to view birds in a variety of habitats. In this guided walk, naturalists and expert birders will help beginners identify birds; all ages and abilities are welcome. Suggested items for the morning’s activities include warm clothes, water, good walking shoes, binoculars and a snack. The event will end at noon, but visitors are encouraged to continue their birding adventures throughout the day.

The event is being held to celebrate International Migratory Bird Day, which is celebrated each spring across the United States and Canada. International Migratory Bird Day recognizes the movement of nearly 350 species of birds from their wintering grounds in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean to nesting habitats in North America.

The activities are free of charge, but regular park entry fees apply.
For more information about programs at Rocky Mountain National Park, please visit

Please remember the Original On-line Visitors' Guide to Estes Park for all your RMNP vacation plans:!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Trail Ridge Road is Open in RMNP!

Trail Ridge Road - which spans Rocky Mountain National Park and connects Estes Park (on the eastern side of the park) with Grand Lake (on the western slope) opened today for the season! Park visitors have loved this picturesque drive, and the bragging rights that they drove on the United States highest continuously pave road. Reaching 12,183 feet above sea level, is nothing to sneeze at!

The National Parks Service reports, "This year snowplow operators faced many challenges while clearing the road; encountering the most snow they have seen this late in the season for thirty years." Kyle Patterson of NPS shares that the amount of winter snowpack, in combination with late spring storms really made snowplowing efforts difficult.

Historically, Trail Ridge Road is opened to the publice on Memorial Day weekend. The latest opening date (other than this year!) in the past 20 years was June 4, 1994, and the latest it has ever opened was June 26, 1943!

Because the weather conditions at this high altitude can change rapidly, park visitors should be prepared to adjust travel plans, and are encouraged to call the park's Trail Ridge Road recorded phone line at (970)586-1222. The NPS staff will update the recording during and after regular office hours if the road status changes.

For more information about RMNP's Trail Ridge Road, go to

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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Artists in Residence in RMNP - Summer 2011

(photo of artist Brian Slawson of Kansas)

Each year Rocky Mountain National Park sponsors an Artists in Residence program, seeking artists of all sorts (visual arts, poets, videographers, fine artists, etc.) to come stay in the William Allen White cabin in RMNP for two weeks during the months of June through September. The artists are provided with a serene, comtemplative, and inspiring environment where they can create. They are given the chance to share their creative works with the public at presentations held on Wednesday evenings at 7:30 p.m. at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center auditorium from June 8 through September 17.

The NPS shares "Artists have had a long-standing impact on the formation, expansion and direction of our country’s national parks. Musicians, composers, painters, writers, sculptors and other performing artists also draw upon the multifaceted quality of parks for inspiration. All of these artists translate the national park’s purpose, as a place of pleasure and preservation, into images which bring others enjoyment and a deeper understanding of the parks some may never visit. Rocky Mountain National Park’s Artist-In-Residence program provides artists the opportunity to become a part of a long established tradition of artists in our national parks."

For 2011, seven artists were chosen out of eighty-three aplicants. The artists selected along with their art medium are: Andrew Bedo, Photographer from Rosenberg, Texas; Scott Eldridge, Photographer from Vienna, Virginia; Mark McDermott, Visual Artist from Anchorage, Alaska; Brian Slawson, Visual Artist from Topeka, Kansas; Walt Hester, Photographer from Estes Park, Colorado; Emily Harrington, Visual Artist from Missoula, Montana; Roger Wolfe, Video Photographer from Fort Collins, Colorado. In addition to these artists, a special selection was included this year; Leah Kegerreis, an eight-year-old artist from Texas.

If you are interested in having your own RMNP artistic experience, check out this sketching class.

Remember the original travellers' guide to Estes Park for all your vacation planning:!