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RMNP’s most popular campground will likely stay closed into the fall

ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, Colo. — Rocky Mountain National Park’s Moraine Park Campground will likely remain closed this summer and fall due to construction delays.

The campground — the largest and most popular in the park — closed in May 2023 and park officials said they hoped the construction would finish in time to open in the summer of 2024. However, the work in the field didn’t line up with the anticipated schedule, officials said.

“The contractor is working to finish up the project while the weather is good by expediting the delivery of construction materials and increasing crew sizes and/or work hours,” a park spokesperson said. “Much of the work for this project includes underground utility improvements that will allow for year-round use of the campground for the next several decades, increase the campground’s accessibility, and move sites off of sensitive wetlands and create new sites.”

Those underground utility improvements will improve the water, wastewater, and electrical distribution systems. The water and utility infrastructure in the campground has not been updated since it first opened in the 1960s.

Pouring and smoothing concrete for a new campsite in Moraine Park Campground

National Park Service

Pouring and smoothing concrete for a new campsite in Moraine Park Campground

The campground, which is typically open yearround with 244 campsites, hosts more than 30,000 people each year, according to the National Park Service (NPS). The area, once carved out by glaciers, now offers beautiful views of the Rocky Mountains.

The spokesperson outlined in detail the aspects of this project:

  • In the campground: Replacing aging water distribution lines with new ones throughout the campground, rehabbing the failing sewer system, electrical upgrades including adding capacity for electric at 49 campsites, and burying overhead electric lines for fire safety, improving storm drainage to reduce sediment runoff and campsite flooding, rehabbing approximately two dozen individual campsites for either accessibility or removal from wetlands, installing bear boxes at each site, improving accessibility to comfort stations, dumpsters, utilities, and dump stations, ranger station and kiosk.
  • In areas outside of the campground: Replacing and increasing size of water tanks at three different locations to better serve the housing and headquarters areas, meet fire codes, and replacing water distribution to allow for year-round housing that is located near the Beaver Meadows Entrance. Overall water improvements include a new water treatment plant that serves all of the park’s headquarters area, housing area, campground, Beaver Meadows Entrance, and Beaver Meadows Visitor Center. This is the last of several phases of waterline replacements that have been completed over the past nine years.
  • Fall River Entrance construction: The construction is ongoing and should be complete later this summer. There is currently one lane in through the Fall River Entrance with one kiosk and two windows operations when staffing allows. When the project is completed there will be three kiosks, a transponder lane and new lane configuration for improved traffic flow from the park’s boundary.
  • Grand Lake Entrance construction: Construction has begun on the Grand Lake Entrance ranger station that was destroyed during the East Troublesome Fire in October of 2020. At least one lane entering the park and one lane exiting the park will be maintained during construction.
  • Replacement housing project on west side of park: Construction has begun on the housing complex on the west side of the park to replace housing that was destroyed during the East Troublesome Fire in October of 2020. The project also includes the construction of new utility systems, replacement of a water well and associated infrastructure at the existing park housing area, and removal of destroyed utilities infrastructure.

These improvements are funded by the Great American Outdoors Act. The act’s National Parks and Public Lands Legacy Restoration Fund, which is supported by revenue from energy development, provides up to $1.9 billion each year for five years to enhance national parks and other public lands, according to NPS. RMNP is using these funds to bolster Moraine Park Campground’s utilities, systems and overall user experience.

Click here to learn more about this project.

The below Denver7+ special presentation goes in-depth on Colorado’s crown jewel: Rocky Mountain National Park.

Denver7+ Special Presentation: Rocky Mountain National Park

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