Rocky Mountain National Park History

In 1915, Congress passed the Rocky Mountain National Park Act, and the National Park Service began the hard work of turning hundreds of thousands of acres of wilderness land into a majestic park that would attract visitors from across the world.

Some of the original work involved building roads and trails, suppressing fires and planting seedlings, and nurturing wildlife and controlling predators. As private land was purchased, buildings, roads, and fences were removed.

Trail Ridge Road was built in a six-year span, starting in 1926, which is a feat in itself, given that workers only had about four months of each year that were suitable for construction (mid-June to mid-October). Throughout the construction project, every effort was made to avoid damaging the fragile landscape that Trail Ridge Road crossed.

The next major investment in Rocky Mountain National Park came shortly after World War II, when the National Park Service rolled out “Mission 66,” which was implemented nationwide. In this round of improvements, overlooks, campgrounds, visitor centers, and employee housing were added to Rocky Mountain National Park.

In the ensuing years, more and more environmental laws have been passed by Congress to ensure the protection of the landscape and wildlife, and many of these have positively impacted Rocky Mountain National Park.

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