segunda-feira, janeiro 26, 2015
View from Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park is a national park located in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, in the north-central region of the U.S. state of Colorado. It features majestic mountain views, mountain lakes, a variety of wildlife, varied climates and environments - from wooded forests to mountain tundra - and easy access to back-country trails and campsites. The park is located northwest of Boulder, Colorado, in the Rockies, and includes the Continental Divide and the headwaters of the Colorado River.
The park has five visitor centers. The park headquarters, Beaver Meadows Visitor Center, is a National Historic Landmark, designed by the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture at Taliesin West.
The park may be accessed by three roads: U.S. Highway 34, 36, and State Highway 7. Highway 7 enters the park for less than a mile, where it provides access to the Lily Lake Visitor Center which is closed indefinitely. Farther south, spurs from route 7 lead to campgrounds and trail heads around Longs Peak and Wild Basin. Highway 36 enters the park on the east side, where it terminates after a few miles at Highway 34. Highway 34, known as Trail Ridge Road through the park, runs from the town of Estes Park on the east to Grand Lake on the southwest. The road reaches an elevation of 12,183 feet (3,713 m), and is closed by snow in winter.
The California Zephyr serves Granby (near the west entrance of the park) by rail from Denver, crossing the Continental Divide through the Moffat Tunnel well south of the park. The park's website suggests Granby as an appropriate rail terminus for visitors, although it lies about sixteen miles from the park without public transportation connections.
The park is surrounded by Roosevelt National Forest on the north and east, Routt National Forest on the northwest, and Arapaho National Forest on the southwest.
Enos Mills, then a 14-year-old boy, moved to Estes Park in 1884. He explored the mountains of the area and wrote many books and articles describing the region. He later supported the creation of Rocky Mountain National Park, and he split his time between the mountains he loved and the cities of the eastern United States, where he lobbied for the legislation to create the park. The legislation was drafted by James Grafton Rogers, a Denver lawyer and avid outdoorsman. Mills' original proposal for park boundaries went from Wyoming all the way down to the Mount Evans area, including areas such as the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Much of the land was favored for mining, logging, and other operations, however, so the proposed park was reduced to an area approximating the current park borders. The bill passed Congress and was signed by President Woodrow Wilson on January 26, 1915. A formal dedication ceremony was held on September 4, 1915 in Horseshoe Park. The park has expanded over the years, with the largest parcel - the Never Summer Range - added in 1929.
Map of Colorado - the area of the Rocky Mountain National Park is in dark red