From 10,000 BC to Now

Timeline | History of Rocky Mountain National Park

10,000 BC   |  Indian hunters enter the Park as glaciers retreat

1200-1300 |  Ute Indians enter North Park, Middle Park, and Rocky Mountain National Park

circa 1800  |  Arapaho Indians make first appearance in the Park

1820          |  Stephen A. Long Expedition travels the plains and are the first non-Indians to see Longs Peak.

1858         |  Joel Estes starts a ranch in what is now Estes Park

1874         |  Abner Sprague homesteads in Moraine Park and builds Sprague's Ranch (later Stead's Ranch).  First dude ranch in the Park.

1895-1935 |  Grand Ditch is built to bring water from Never Summer Range across La Poudre Pass to the plains for agriculture

1907         |  Enos Mills, James Grafton Rodges, and others begin lobbying for the establishment of a national park

1914         |  Arapaho pack trip provides 30 Indian names for mountains and other features in the park

1915         |  January 26 - Rocky Mountain National Park created by Congress

1915         |  September 4 - Rocky Mountain National Park dedicated in Horseshoe Park

1916         |  August 25 -  Congress enacts Organic Act establishing the National Park Service

1929-1933 |  Trail Ridge Road constructed

1936         |  Hidden Valley becomes a ski area;  closed in 1992 and removed by 2002

1937-1947 |  Colorado-Big Thompson Project and Alva B Adams tunnel completed under Park

1967         |  Beaver Meadows Visitor Center, Park Headquarters designed in Frank Lloyd Wright style, opens

1977         |  Inclusion in the UNESCO International System of Biosphere Reserves

1978         |  Establishment and designation of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail

1982         |  Lawn Lake dam collapses - flood kills 3 people and severly impacts Estes Park

1986         |  Designation of the Cache la Poudre River within RMNP (14 miles) as a unit of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System

1996         |  Designation of Trail Ridge Road as an All American Road and State Scenic Byway

2000         |  New Fall River Visitor Center opens

2003         |  Grand Ditch breech occurs

2004         |  Hidden Valley reopens for winter sledding and summer picnics

2007         |  Final Elk and Vegetation Management Plan/EIS released.

2009         |  March 30 - Addition of approximately 249,339 acres of RMNP in the National Wilderness Preservation System

2010         |  Trail Ridge Road resurfaced

2012-2013 |  Bear Lake Road resurfacing completes the reconstruction or resurfacing of all major paved roads in the Park in the last 10 years

2015         |  100th Anniversary Celebration of Rocky Mountain National Park

2016         |  100th Anniversary of National Park Service