ESTES PARK – Rocky Mountain National Park received its highest annual visitation in 2015. At the end of September, the park had already received record visitation. After including October, November and December visitation statistics, the park received a total of 4,155,916 visitors for 2015, which was a 21 percent increase over 2014. The highest visitation prior to 2015 was in 2014, when the park received 3,434,751 visitors. All months in 2015 set visitation records except for February and April.
Determining visitation is a difficult and imprecise effort. Visitation statistics are reliably accurate estimates and help park managers see overall trends. Fall visitation, particularly on weekends, continues to increase at Rocky Mountain National Park. The top ten busiest days in 2015 in order from first to tenth were: September 26, October 3, September 6, September 27, September 20, September 19, July 12, August 8, July 3 and July 26.
Many other national parks in the Rocky Mountain West also had increases in visitation last year. Rocky began its Centennial Celebration in September of 2014, which continued through September of 2015. Other national parks celebrating their Centennial Anniversaries have experienced growth in visitation as well. Additional contributing factors of the rise in visitation include lower gas prices and increased population along the Front Range of Colorado.
Park managers will continue to address what effect this level of visitation will have on visitor and staff safety, resource protection, visitor experiences and operational capacity.
For more information about Rocky Mountain National Park please call the park’s Information Office at (970) 586-1206 or visit http://www.nps.gov/romo