DOINews: NPS: Rocky Mountain National Park Turns 100

Last edited 09/05/2019

Side-by-side photos of winter scene at park and logo from centennial
Rocky Mountain National Park celebrates 100 years. Learn more on the park's centennial website here. Photo by Ann Schonlau, NPS.

On Jan. 26, 1915, President Woodrow Wilson signed the legislation creating Rocky Mountain National Park.

The culmination of more than six years of advocacy, Rocky Mountain National Park was created to preserve the high-elevation landscapes and wilderness character of the southern Rocky Mountains for the benefit and enjoyment of this and future generations.

“The people of Colorado have many things to be thankful for at the beginning of this new year”, wrote the Rocky Mountain News, “but perhaps none of them … means more to the future of the state than the creation of Rocky Mountain National Park. The passage of this bill is the crowning result of one of the best organized and most efficiently managed campaigns ever conducted by Colorado people to obtain a benefit for the state.”

An official public dedication was held later that year on Sept. 4, 1915. Thousands of people gathered in Horseshoe Park to hear Enos Mills, Stephen Mather, F.O. Stanley, and many others express their joy and support for the creation of the country's newest national park.

One hundred years later, Rocky Mountain National Park attracts more than 3 million visitors annually and is one of America's premiere wildlife watching destinations. Ninety five percent of the park enjoys elevated protection as designated wilderness, and Trail Ridge Road allows visitors to view the alpine tundra on the country's highest continuous paved road. Human and natural history continue to provide inspiration and wonder to new and returning visitors.

On Sept. 3, 2014, Rocky Mountain National Park began a year-long celebration of its 100th anniversary. Continuing through this coming September, special programs and events throughout the park and the surrounding communities will celebrate the wilderness, wildlife, and wonder that millions of people have come to appreciate and enjoy. The celebration will culminate on Sept. 3 and 4 with rededication events on both sides of the park.

On Sept. 18 and 19, Rocky Mountain National Park will host an employee/alumni reunion at the YMCA of the Rockies. Former employees and past interns of Rocky Mountain National Park are invited to return to the park and celebrate the centennial with new and old friends alike.

Please visit the park's centennial website for more information on events and how to get involved.

Submitted by: Barbara Scott, centennial coordinator, Rocky Mountain National Park, NPS

Jan. 26, 2015

Related Links:

NPS-Rocky Mountain National Park
NPS-The Morning Report

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