Nature & Science

All of Rocky's features are inseparably connected. Elemental forces of sky and earth still shape the sturdy rock foundation that supports life up to 14,000 feet above sea level. Riparian (wetland) ecosystems speckled across the lower elevations of the park contain lush plant life and dense wildlife. As you move higher, the landscape gives way to evergreen forests and high mountain lakes. Topping out on the alpine tundra reveals a harsh land where life nestles close to the ground in one of the earth's most extreme environments.


Many animals can be found in every ecosystem of the park. Each one plays a specific role in the ongoing performance of survival.

Flowers in Horseshoe Park

A bright color spectrum is found amidst the classic greenery of the park. Plants can be large or small.

Environmental Forces
Environmental Factors

Let's break it down. The elemental forces of air, water, earth and sky are the building blocks of the park.

Iris in Moraine Park
Natural Features and Ecosystems

Elevation defines what unique features are present in three ecosystems that make Rocky the nation's highest national park.

Beaver Mountain Fire
Wildland Fire

Become mesmerized by the critical function of fire in the park. Learn how it contributes to plant and animal diversity.

Natural Resource Vital Signs
Natural Resource Vital Signs

This report describes the status of important resources in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Last updated: March 18, 2019

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1000 US Hwy 36
Estes Park, CO 80517


970 586-1206
The Information Office is open year-round: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. daily in summer; 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Mondays - Fridays and 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Saturdays - Sundays in winter. Recorded Trail Ridge Road status: (970) 586-1222.

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