Rocky Mountain National Park is such a special place that many people want their ashes to be scattered here after they pass away. The National Park Service allows this, but there is a process that needs to be followed.
This process includes obtaining a no-cost permit from the NPS. This page will take you through the process of filling out the application, rules to abide by, and a few suggestions of where to conduct the scattering ceremony. Please note that there is no charge for the permit to scatter ashes in RMNP. However, regular usage fees apply- please visit our “Permits and Passes” page for more details on how to access different areas of the park.
The guidelines below need to be kept in mind when filling out the request:
1. There are no designated sites for scattering of ashes, but the location you choose must be away from developed areas (parking lots, trailheads, campgrounds, picnic areas, buildings).
2. Scattering of ashes must be at least 200 feet (70 adult steps) from any water source such as a lake or stream.
3. Discretion should be exercised in spreading ashes; doing so is generally a very private moment and care should be given not to disturb other park users.
4. Ashes should be spread about and not buried or placed in a pile.
5. No markers, cairns, displays, signs, or plaques may be placed in the park.
6. It is recommended to request to scatter ashes early in the morning. Afternoons are usually more crowded and afford less privacy and solitude, whereas early mornings tend to offer a bit more privacy for the memorial.
If you are unfamiliar with Rocky Mountain National Park, we have listed a few scenic areas that could be used as a scattering of ashes ceremony location. These location do not require hiking in, though there may be minimal walking involved depending on exactly where you plan to scatter ashes. Other sites may be requested; below are just a few recommendations of scenic meadows.
• Upper Beaver Meadows
• Mill Creek Basin
• Moraine Park
• Horseshoe Park
• Hidden Valley
Applicants must designate a date and location on their applications. Please do not put a range of dates or generally list your location as "RMNP.” Be specific to the area you would like to go. This will ensure a shortened processing time.
Please note that the permits to scatter ashes discussed on this page are only valid within the boundaries of Rocky Mountain National Park. The RMNP NPS division cannot issue permits for other NPS sites, Forest Service locations, Estes Park, or any other natural area within Colorado.
Download the 2023 Application for Scattering Ashes and submit via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also direct any questions about the application process to this email address.