Construction began in early November for a new and improved entrance station at the Fall River Entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. The Fall River Entrance is one of two major entrance stations on the east side of the park and is located on U.S. Highway 34, just inside the park boundary. Initially, it was anticipated that the project would be completed by late June. However, due to unforeseen site conditions and utility coordination challenges the revised schedule is for completion in late fall.
The Fall River Visitor Center and the Rocky Mountain Conservancy Nature Store are open during this construction project. The Gateway Gift Shop and Trailhead Restaurant, located next to the visitor center, are also open and welcoming visitors.
During this major construction project, only one lane at Fall River Entrance is operational to enter the park and one lane to exit. Park visitors are encouraged to avoid the Fall River Entrance and use the Beaver Meadows Entrance. During this major project, park visitors should expect extended wait times at both major east side entrance stations.
Originally designed for summer operations nearly 60 years ago, the facilities at the Fall River Entrance Station no longer meet the safety or operational needs of the park. When the entrance station was designed, the park had approximately one and a half million annual visitors. By 2019, annual visitation had almost tripled, to over four and a half million annual visitors. Improvements are needed to improve visitor access and convenience, reduce traffic congestion, and provide a safe and efficient space for park employees.