As COVID-19 continues to spread in Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park is taking action to prevent the spread of the virus.

Announced on March 20, Rocky Mountain National Park will be closed to all park visitors until further notice. The closure is in place 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This follows prior operational changes meant to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, like the shuttering of visitor centers. This past week, Rocky Mountain National Park waived all entrance fees to promote social distancing.

During the closure, Rocky Mountain National Park urged would-be visitors to take advantage of digital tools used to explore the iconic natural space. A number of multimedia presentations and experiences can be found on the park’s website.

Rocky Mountain National Park is the most popular of Colorado’s national parks, attracting around 4.5 million visitors per year. March and April are two of the less trafficked months of the year, attracting roughly 150,000 visitors a piece.

As COVID-19 numbers in Colorado have passed 300, a number of businesses and attractions have been shut down, including the iconic Manitou Incline. Some fear that the shutdown of natural spots could continue. However, something to consider is that both of these natural spots are adjacent to tourist towns, with the large number of visitors potentially putting local residents at risk. In the event of a statewide ‘shelter in place,’ Coloradans would likely still be able to enjoy the outdoors for the sake of exercise as is currently the case during the active ‘shelter in place’ in San Miguel County.

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