Carved by glaciers cutting through peaks reaching 12,000 feet into the sky, Rocky Mountain National Park has been visited by hunters, trappers, miners and minivans for over 10,000 years. Covering 415 square miles of alpine tundra, montane and riparian ecosystems, this year our nation’s 10th National Park turns 100 years old and it has plans to celebrate the centennial all year long.
At the turn of the last century, naturalists such as Enos Mills, with the support of local conservation groups, brought the need for the area’s preservation to Congress. In 1915, Woodrow Wilson signed the Rocky Mountain National Park Act into law, helping to pave the way the following year for the creation of the National Parks Service.
A century later, the Colorado Mountain Club, which played a major role in helping to designate the area as a national park is offering member-led hikes of 100 of the 125 named peaks in the park all summer long through 2015. Other centennial celebrations include the Climber’s Oral History Project, which features interviews with local, pioneering peak climbers in conjunction with the Estes Park Museum’s “Climb On” exhibit. bit.ly/RMNPcent