The journey to make this mighty wilderness Rocky Mountain Park began in 1884 when 14-year old Enos Mills came to the Longs Peak area. This talented and dedicated naturalist wrote eloquent books about the area's natural history. In 1909, he proposed that the area become the nation's tenth national park to protect the wilderness from the destruction of mining, logging, and agricultural activities. Mills' vision was that for many years to come people would visit Rocky Mountain Park and experience the wilderness in the same way that he had. Therefore, he spent several years lecturing across the country, writing thousands of letters and articles, and lobbying Congress to create a national park that would encompass over 1,000 miles. Most civic leaders were in favor of the idea as was the Denver Chamber of Commerce and the Colorado Mountain Club. His tireless efforts along with the support of others resulted in the creation of Rocky Mountain National Park in 1915.
In 1976 the United Nations recognized Rocky Mountain Park's natural ecosystems as an International Biosphere Reserve. The reserve is a part of a network of protected samples of the world's major ecosystem types that is devoted to conserving nature and genetic material, and promoting scientific research in the service of humanity. It provides a standard by which the effects of human activity on the environment can be measured.
Visitors to Rocky Mountain Park will experience a wilderness wonderland like no other. The diversity of life is truly amazing. Elk, mule deer, moose, bighorn sheep, black bears, coyotes, cougars, eagles, hawks, and various smaller animals mesmerize wildlife-enthusiasts of all ages. In June and July the meadows and hillsides explode with botanical color from the assortment of wildflowers.
There are many activities to keep young and old interested and engaged in this wild place. However, Rocky Mountain Park is a hiker's paradise. More than 355 miles of trails provide both novice and experienced hikers with many opportunities to escape the crowds and relish in the tranquility and beauty of the streams, meadows, and mountains. Various hiking trails, lake hikes, summit hikes, and waterfall hikes give hikers a myriad of choices.
While at Rocky Mountain Park, visitors have many choices for accommodations including Rocky Mountain resort communities like the Village of Grand Lake. Grand Lake is one of Colorado's unspoiled hideaways. Visitors can walk along wooden boardwalks to visit unique shops and galleries, rustic architecture, and fantastic lodges and restaurants. They should not be surprised to see a moose wandering around along the way.
Visitors to Rocky Mountain Park can get lost for days in the beauty and power of this wilderness area. They can hike along many trails that lead to breathtaking natural spaces. Once their hikes are complete they can head to a quaint Rocky Mountain resort community such as the Village of Grand Lake, a hideaway amongst the mountains.