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Rocky Mountain NP’s Only Year-Round Campground Closes Until Summer 2024 for Renovations

The Moraine Park Campground — Rocky Mountain National Park's largest — will close for over a year for renovations and improvements including new RV sites, drainage updates, and more.

rocky mountain national parkIt will tough to find a campsite in Rocky Mountain National Park when its biggest campground closes for a year starting this May; (photo/Shutterstock)
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Rocky Mountain National Park’s biggest established campground needs an update. Moraine Park Campground was built in the 1960s, and it has served hundreds of thousands of campers since then — without any update to its water and utility infrastructure. 

That ends this year, when federal funding from the Great American Outdoors Act will allow park officials to “rehabilitate” the campground and other nearby areas, according to the National Park Service (NPS)

“Increased visitor usage, evolving trends in recreation, the need to improve access for all campers, and deferred maintenance for critical water and utility systems have all created a need to rehabilitate the Moraine Park Campground and nearby areas,” the NPS said in a press release. 

Unfortunately for campers, these improvements mean the area will remain closed from late May 2023 until early summer 2024. The Moraine Campground serves about 30,000 campers each year, with 244 sites for RVs, frontcountry, and hike-in camping.

There are four other reservation-only campgrounds in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP): Timber Creek, Aspenglen, Glacier Basin, and Longs Peak. They will continue to operate as normal. Visitors can also register for wilderness permits for campsites in the park’s backcountry areas.

Moraine Park Campground Renovations

The renovation work will include updates to the campground’s aging water, wastewater, and electrical distribution systems. The project will also improve accessibility and drainage at 15 wetland campsites by moving them out of their current locations, where they’re prone to flooding.

The Park will also move several electric power lines underground. That should “reduce system damage” caused by snow, wind, falling tree branches, electrical hazards, and wildfires, park officials said. About 60 RV campsites will also receive electrical hookups.

rusted drainage pipes and leaking water in the moraine park campground
One example of aging water and drainage infrastructure in Moraine Park Campground; (photo/NPS)

Even the campground’s ranger station will get a makeover. That means a new entrance kiosk and improvements to the dump station area. 

The NPS plans no changes for the existing restroom buildings, amphitheater, or campground shuttle bus stop. In addition to the closure of the campground itself, other impacts could occur at the Moraine Park Discovery Center, and along the Bear Lake, Moraine Park, and Fern Lake roads, officials said. 

Funding for the update comes from a national parks fund included in the Great American Outdoors Act. The legislation was signed into law in 2020, and includes $1.9 billion per year for 5 years for improvements to public lands and parks. 

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