Don't miss out on the park's many ranger programs. Whether you are a small child or a grown adult, these programs are designed to entertain and educate. They are certain to be a highlight of your trip.
Ranger Programs in Rocky Mountain National Park
While you are in Rocky Mountain National Park, take advantage of the free ranger-led programs. There are numerous programs running all the time. The national park rangers will expand your understanding of this incredible place, even if you’ve been coming here for years. Their deep insight into the geology, plants, animals, and human history of the park is an incredible gift which they would love to share with you.
The park service offers a wide range of educational events. You can attend interactive talks about the lives of bears, bighorn sheep, elk, birds, beavers, or other park residents. Learn about the human history of the park at the Holzwarth Historic Site or visit the park’s greenhouse with a ranger and learn how they restore damaged areas.
Rangers also offer walks and hikes, taking the time to point out things you would never have noticed by yourself. In the winter, they’ll lead you out into the forest on snowshoes, even if you’ve never done it before and introduce you to the wild side of winter in Rocky.
Many evenings rangers hold presentations at one of the park’s outdoor auditoriums, giving you a chance to sit in the great outdoors and learn from an expert. There are also numerous programs held at the park visitor centers both day and night. Often, they will invite scientists and other guest lecturers to come and share about a topic in which they have special expertise. The number of programs and quality of programing is truly outstanding.
Most programs are designed to educate the adult and entertain the child by offering a great combination of education, visual story-telling, and hands-on interaction. You’ll come away amazed by all that these rangers provide.
You can find a list of the current ranger programs being offered throughout the park at this link. This information can also be found in the park newspaper that you can get at the park entrance stations and at the park visitor centers.
Ranger Programs Summer 2023
East Side (near Estes Park)
- Bighorn Basics Talk: Daily at 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 2:30 pm, 3:30 pm. Meet at Sheep Lakes Information Station.
- Bird Walk: Wednesday, Friday at 7:30 am. Meet at Upper Beaver Meadows Trailhead. Plan to walk 1.5 miles.
- Fire to Flowers Walk: Monday, Saturday, Sunday at 8:30 am. Meet at Upper Beaver Meadows Trailhead.
- Lions, Moose & Bears Talk: Daily at 10:00 am, 1:00 pm. Meet at Beaver Meadows Visitor Center.
- Lily Lake Stroll (guided walk): Tuesday, Thursday at 4:30 pm. Meet at Lily Lake parking area.
- Sprague Lake Stroll: Daily at 2:00 pm. Meet at Sprague Lake.
Junior Ranger Activities (near Estes Park)
- Discovery Hike for Kids: Daily at 10:00 am. Meet at Moraine Park Discovery Center.
- Moraine Park Ranger Talk: Daily at 2:00 pm. Meet at Moraine Park Discovery Center.
- Junior Ranger Headquarters at Hidden Valley: Open daily for kids and families. Check out self-guided explorer bags and join informal pop-up kids programs daily 10:00 am - 12:00 pm and 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
West Side - Kawuneeche Valley (near Grand Lake)
- Critter Chat Talk: Daily at 1:00 pm. Meet at Coyote Valley Trailhead.
- Fire Ecology Walk: Starting June 18th, Daily at 10 am. Meet at Green Mountain Trailhead.
- Glimpse Into the Kawuneeche Valley: Daily at 3:00 pm. Meet at Holzwarth Historic Site parking area.
- Life on the Homestead Talk: Daily at 11:00 am. Meet at Holzwarth Historic Site (.5 mile walk from the parking area).
- West Side Stories Talk: Daily at 4:00 pm. Meet at Kawuneeche Visitor Center.
Alpine Visitor Center (Trail Ridge Road)
- Tundra Nature Walk: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday at 10:00 am. Meet at Medicine Bow Curve.
- Wild Mountain Weather Talk: Daily (excluding Saturday) at 2:30 pm. Meet at Alpine Visitor Center
- Twilight Guided Walk: July/August, please check back later for updated information.
If you want to go deeper, then consider taking one of the many courses offered by the Rocky Mountain Conservancy. They are a non-profit organization which supports the mission of Rocky Mountain National Park, and they offer numerous courses on a wide range of topics, with some of the courses even earning college credit. Their courses range from the natural history and cultural history to the arts and outdoor skills. As a bonus, every course you take helps to support Rocky Mountain National Park.