Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain Regulations

You can help preserve and protect the park by honoring the following NPS regulations. Contact a visitor center if you have any questions. 

Camp only within designated campsite areas.

• All weapons, including air pistols and rifles, bows and arrows, crossbows and slingshots are prohibited. The use of fireworks and firecrackers is also prohibited.

You can help preserve and protect the park by honoring the following NPS regulations. Contact a visitor center if you have any questions. 

Camp only within designated campsite areas.

• All weapons, including air pistols and rifles, bows and arrows, crossbows and slingshots are prohibited. The use of fireworks and firecrackers is also prohibited.

• Gathering firewood within the park is prohibited. Pur-chase bundles of firewood at campgrounds and in neighboring towns. Fires may be built in established fire pits only. Put out fires properly. 

• Stay on established trails—"shortcutting" them damages the environment.

• Remember to pack out everything that you pack in.

Pets are permitted in campgrounds, picnic areas and along roads, provided they are on leashes not exceeding six feet. They must be under control at all times and never left unattended, even in a car or at a campsite. Pets are not permitted on trails, in areas away from roads or away from any developed area. Kennels are available in Estes Park. 

• Please take home only pictures and memories. Vandalism or removal of rocks, plants, fossils or any item is strictly prohibited. Some of the park's wildflowers are protected species. Please don't pick or trample them. 

• It is illegal to feed, pet, hunt, capture or disturb wildlife in any way. While some animals seem accustomed to people, they are wild and may cause injury. Take wildlife pictures from the road or trailside.

Safety Tips

• Be prepared for rapid changes in weather year-round. Carry extra clothing and rain gear (ask a ranger about essential items to bring). 

Swimming isn't recommen--ded in lakes, rivers or tributar-ies. The water is very cold and the current is strong. Don't risk it. 

Giardia lamblia flourishes everywhere in the streams and lakes of the Rockies. This tiny protozoan causes Giardiasis, whose symptoms include diarrhea, cramps and bloating. Always carry adequate water supplies and don't drink any water from streams or lakes unless you are able to purify it using a filter, iodine or by boiling for 10 minutes.

• Visitors from lower elevations may experience high-altitude sickness: shortness of breath, fatigue, dizziness, headache, rapid heartbeat and occa-sion--ally nausea. It takes several days to adjust to the elevation change, but symptoms can be minimized by resting, eating lightly, drinking more water, avoiding cigarettes, alcohol and caffeine and limiting strenuous activity. 

Hypothermia occurs when you are so chilled that your body can no longer warm itself. This can happen at any time, even on a cool summer day if you are tired and wet. Warning signals include shivering and disorientation. Seek shelter and warm yourself by drinking warm liquids. Medical assistance may be necessary.

Lightning poses a hazard at all altitudes. If you are hiking and see a storm coming in, retreat to a building, car or forested location. 

• To prevent blisters, wear comfortable, broken-in shoes or boots that suit your needs and the terrain. Likewise, choose quality outdoor socks to wear for cushioning and protection.

• Snow often lingers well into the summer on steep mountain slopes. It's easy to lose your footing on these slippery snowfields.

• Contact a ranger or visitor center for assistance with any medical emergency or call (970) 586-1203 or 911.