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Rocky Mountain Conservancy — Field Institute

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The Rocky Mountain Conservancy is the official non-profit partner of Rocky Mountain National Park whose mission is to engage people in philanthropy and education of public lands. The Field Institute provides custom and regularly scheduled educational adventures and bus tours for people visiting Rocky Mountain National Park. Topics include: hiking, birding, photography, wildflowers, wildlife, geology, history, astronomy and more! With advanced notice, any offering can be customized for a family or group, and many field classes carry teacher re-licensure credit through Colorado School of Mines and BOCES.

Events

May 21, 2018

Birds at Twilight
May 24, 2018

Evening twilight marks the transition time when nocturnal birds become active. While many daytime species can still be located, Wilson’s snipes, owls, common nighthawks and common poorwills start their nightshift hunting at twilight. We...

Birds at Twilight <p>Evening twilight marks the transition time when nocturnal birds become active. While many daytime species can still be located, Wilson’s snipes, owls, common nighthawks and common poorwills start their nightshift hunting at twilight.</p> <p>We will explore the haunts of these birds, seeking both to see and hear these mysterious creatures. We will discuss natural history and ecology as we visit, search and listen.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

A swelling on a twig or a hole in a stem, a stray feather or a piece of eggshell, an abandoned nest or a mound of soil: so many different things tattle the comings and goings of secretive creatures that otherwise remain invisible. This...

Life Signs: Tracking the Invisible <p>A swelling on a twig or a hole in a stem, a stray feather or a piece of eggshell, an abandoned nest or a mound of soil: so many different things tattle the comings and goings of secretive creatures that otherwise remain invisible.</p> <p>This event will demonstrate how to acquire then develop the observation skills necessary to read wild life signs as if they were a newspaper.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

No other animal on earth flies as fast as the falcon, which as the capability of hitting speeds in excess of 200 mph and looks more like a guided missile with feathers than a bird. Some were hammered hard by pesticides (DDT), causing two of...

Falcons: Streamlined for Speed <p>No other animal on earth flies as fast as the falcon, which as the capability of hitting speeds in excess of 200 mph and looks more like a guided missile with feathers than a bird. Some were hammered hard by pesticides (DDT), causing two of North America’s six species to become endangered species, including the world famous peregrine.</p> <p>Rocky Mountain National Park played an important role in recovering the peregrine to the extent that it is no longer considered endangered. Learn about this role as well as the evolution and natural history of all six North American species. At least three live falcons will be used to enhance the event. An afternoon field trip will visit historic peregrine release areas as well as current nesting and hunting habitats.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

The premier attraction of Rocky Mountain National Park is the scenic and breathtaking byway named Trail Ridge Road. As the nation’s highest continuous paved highway, this road meanders through various life zones on its way through the park...

Journey to the Top! A Trail Ridge Road Adventure <p>The premier attraction of Rocky Mountain National Park is the scenic and breathtaking byway named Trail Ridge Road. As the nation’s highest continuous paved highway, this road meanders through various life zones on its way through the park and over one of the largest, most pristine stretches of alpine tundra in the lower 48 states.</p> <p>A professional educational guide will provide participants with a unique overview of the park’s history, flora, fauna, and geology while they view passing landscapes from the comfort of a 14-passenger bus or 12-passenger van, with opportunity for taking pictures at the many pull-off stops along the way. Some of the more notable features that guests will visit are the Alluvial Fan, Rainbow Curve, Milner Pass (Continental Divide), and the Alpine Visitor Center.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Toss your sketchbook and some simple tools into your daypack, and explore Rocky Mountain National Park with us! Through instruction, demonstrations and free exploration time, you will be able to capture the beauty around you. On the first...

Sketchbook Journaling: Wilderness, Wildlife, & Wonder in Watercolor <p>Toss your sketchbook and some simple tools into your daypack, and explore Rocky Mountain National Park with us!</p> <p>Through instruction, demonstrations and free exploration time, you will be able to capture the beauty around you. On the first morning, participants will learn (or sharpen) some basic sketching and observation skills and then head out to practice these skills in a variety of locations throughout the Park.</p> <p>Approaches will include simple sketches with pencil, ink, colored pencils and watercolor.</p> <p>Beginners are welcome and encouraged.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Orchids of RMNP
Jun 9, 2018

The orchids comprise the world’s second most diverse family of wildflowers; yet perceived as plants of tropical rainforests, they can seem out-of-place in the Rocky Mountains. Learning that perhaps as many as 30 orchid species grow wild in...

Orchids of RMNP <p>The orchids comprise the world’s second most diverse family of wildflowers; yet perceived as plants of tropical rainforests, they can seem out-of-place in the Rocky Mountains.</p> <p>Learning that perhaps as many as 30 orchid species grow wild in Colorado seems remarkable enough, but finding orchids growing wild in RMNP makes the place seem all the more beautiful. In some places, certain orchids may be among the park’s most abundant wildflowers. We’ll start the day learning what botanical traits make a wildflower an orchid, then take that information afield to find them; and, once we find them, we’ll discuss their connectedness to other wild life.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

People from the past come to life in these presentations about the history and adventures of several past residents and visitors to the Estes Valley. Join these characters as they recount tales of humor, exploration and danger; learn what...

Campfire Ghost Stories: Iron Thumb <p>People from the past come to life in these presentations about the history and adventures of several past residents and visitors to the Estes Valley. Join these characters as they recount tales of humor, exploration and danger; learn what life was like for them during their stay in and around Rocky Mountain National Park. Enjoy time for campfire questions and roasting marshmallows after the program.</p> <p>Iron Thumb is a fictitious character born out of the research and study of 19th century mountain men on the American frontier. His character will tell what it was like to live as a beaver trapper in the 1800s, including dangers, humorous adventures and everyday tasks for survival in this once-harsh land. Participants at this campfire program will learn about the clothing, tools, and lifestyle of these often-misunderstood characters in history.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

A story exists all around us as we walk through the woods. Animals use the same area we do, but often go unnoticed since much of their activity occurs off trails, at night, or early/late in the day. Do you know how to read the signs they...

Predator/Prey: A Dynamic Relationship in the Web of Life <p>A story exists all around us as we walk through the woods. Animals use the same area we do, but often go unnoticed since much of their activity occurs off trails, at night, or early/late in the day.</p> <p>Do you know how to read the signs they leave behind? If not, this event is for you. We will look at predator/prey dynamics that include a scientific method for addressing questions via a non-intrusive field technique. The overall goal of this event is to provide participants information on reading signs left behind by predators and prey and to improve situational awareness (for safety as well as understanding the animals that live in the places you visit).</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Sunset Safari
Jun 15, 2018 - Jul 27, 2018

Would you like to experience the sunset from above 12,000 feet? Join the Rocky Mountain Conservancy – Field Institute on a sunset safari over Trail Ridge Road. Enjoy the changing light, active wildlife, and calmness of dusk as you...

Sunset Safari <p>Would you like to experience the sunset from above 12,000 feet? Join the Rocky Mountain Conservancy &#8211; Field Institute on a sunset safari over Trail Ridge Road.</p> <p>Enjoy the changing light, active wildlife, and calmness of dusk as you ascend in elevation from 7,522 feet in Estes Park to more than 12,090 feet along the Tundra Communities Trail at Rock Cut. Along the way, a professional guide will lead interpretive walks and talks to discuss geology, flora, fauna, and the cultural history of Rocky at a number of pull-outs before arriving at Rock Cut to view the sunset over the Never Summer Mountains.</p> <p>Participants will have plenty of opportunities to take photos at pull-outs and enjoy the comfort of a 14-passenger bus or 12-passenger van.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

This all-day birding excursion will begin with a brief indoor session, followed by a day spent in the field within Rocky Mountain National Park. We will identify birds by sight and voice and learn about their natural history. This is prime...

Birds of the Kawuneeche Valley <p>This all-day birding excursion will begin with a brief indoor session, followed by a day spent in the field within Rocky Mountain National Park. We will identify birds by sight and voice and learn about their natural history.</p> <p>This is prime time to find birds nesting, and we expect to locate woodpeckers, bluebirds, swallows, and wrens at their cavity nests. We will break for lunch at a restaurant in Grand Lake and then resume our field explorations in the Kawuneeche Valley.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Why do the seasons change? How do moon phases happen? It all has to do with going round and round! On the weekend before the summer solstice, take part in hands-on activities that explain how our days get longer and shorter. Explore the...

Solstice, Moonbeams & Stars: Family Astronomy <p>Why do the seasons change? How do moon phases happen? It all has to do with going round and round! On the weekend before the summer solstice, take part in hands-on activities that explain how our days get longer and shorter.</p> <p>Explore the circular orbit of the moon to see how our lunar phases work. Then learn about some of the other fascinating celestial objects that circle around in the Milky Way and provide us with curiosity and imagination about our universe.</p> <p>End the night by using a telescope to see the wonders of the night. This event is designed for families with children ages 5-12.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Grand Lake Safari
Jun 19, 2018 - Aug 28, 2018

Rocky Mountain National Park contains breathtaking scenery, ample wildlife viewing, and opportunities to connect with the past as you travel across Trail Ridge Road, the scenic and awe-inspiring by-way across the Continental Divide. A...

Grand Lake Safari <p>Rocky Mountain National Park contains breathtaking scenery, ample wildlife viewing, and opportunities to connect with the past as you travel across Trail Ridge Road, the scenic and awe-inspiring by-way across the Continental Divide.</p> <p>A professional guide will provide participants with an overview of the park’s history, flora, fauna, and geology while they view passing landscapes from the comfort of a 14-passenger bus or 12-passenger van. Opportunity for taking pictures will be provided at the many pull-off stops along the way such as the Alluvial Fan, Rainbow Curve, Alpine Visitor Center, Milner Pass (Continental Divide), Holzwarth Historic Site, and the historic town of Grand Lake.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Birding with a Naturalist
Jun 21, 2018 - Sep 6, 2018

Spend the morning discussing the migration, nesting (summer), habitat, conservation, natural history, and ecology of mountain birds. Have fun in the field while learning to identify, enjoy, and appreciate birds. Participants will learn to...

Birding with a Naturalist <p>Spend the morning discussing the migration, nesting (summer), habitat, conservation, natural history, and ecology of mountain birds.</p> <p>Have fun in the field while learning to identify, enjoy, and appreciate birds. Participants will learn to identify as many species as possible by sight and by songs/calls. By learning to identify birds by sound, you can develop a good sense of what birds are nearby.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Since the story was first told in the 1940s, thousands of Estes Park visitors have been intrigued and entertained by “The Blue Mist” at campfire gatherings, often at places like the Fall River Lodge, Stead’s Ranch, and at the livery of the...

Campfire Ghost Stories: Miner Bill & the Blue Mist <p>Since the story was first told in the 1940s, thousands of Estes Park visitors have been intrigued and entertained by “The Blue Mist” at campfire gatherings, often at places like the Fall River Lodge, Stead’s Ranch, and at the livery of the YMCA of the Rockies.</p> <p>Local cowboy-wrangler Bill Robinson was the first to give listeners goosebumps telling the fireside legend of the reclusive William “Miner Bill” Currence (ca. 1868-1951), a real-life figure from this area’s past. While Robinson created “The Blue Mist” as a fictional tale, it is framed with references to local history as well as allusions to the natural yet strangely sudden weather phenomena that occur in the mountains.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Photojournaling: The Story Behind the Photos
Jun 22, 2018 - Jun 24, 2018

Photos are worth a thousand words, so the saying goes. But how much more impact does a photo have when it is accompanied with a written story? This will introduce photographers of all levels to the world of journaling to accompany their...

Photojournaling: The Story Behind the Photos <p>Photos are worth a thousand words, so the saying goes. But how much more impact does a photo have when it is accompanied with a written story? This will introduce photographers of all levels to the world of journaling to accompany their photos.</p> <p>We will go over the basics of photographing wildlife, landscapes, and wildflowers in Rocky Mountain National Park as part of a story. We will go out into the field to capture a story or two along Trail Ridge Road and in the Kawaneechee Valley. Then we will download, edit, and print out our photos and start enhancing the story with words. Participants will walk away with a bound copy of their story/stories.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Butterflies are easily observed insects which fly in every life zone of Rocky Mountain National Park. This event will begin with an indoor introduction to basic butterfly biology, butterfly behavior and butterfly identification. In the...

RMNP Butterflies: East of the Divide <p>Butterflies are easily observed insects which fly in every life zone of Rocky Mountain National Park. This event will begin with an indoor introduction to basic butterfly biology, butterfly behavior and butterfly identification.</p> <p>In the field, we will visit several different habitats on the east slope of the park to search for summer species, such as Rocky Mountain Parnassian, blues, several fritillaries, hoary comma, and Weidemeyer’s admiral. We will learn to ID these species and also discuss their life histories and ecology, host-plant associations, and conservation concerns.</p> <p>The event will focus on butterfly observation through binoculars and digital photography; however, the instructor will have a net-and-release permit to allow participants a close-up look at a variety of species.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

This two-day event is for beginner painters or those who have little experience in painting in watercolor. Participants will learn how to handle brushes to make strokes that express their ideas; learn to mix color and use the color wheel;...

Painting the Kawuneeche <p>This two-day event is for beginner painters or those who have little experience in painting in watercolor. Participants will learn how to handle brushes to make strokes that express their ideas; learn to mix color and use the color wheel; learn how to incorporate very basic composition, design, value patterns and structure into their work.</p> <p>The beauty of the Kawuneeche Valley with its meadows and wildflowers, streams, river and wildlife will be our inspiration.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

What stories hover like phantoms behind the contemporary face of Rocky Mountain National Park? Roam the park with award-winning writer Mary Taylor Young, author of the park’s centennial history Rocky Mountain National Park: The First 100...

Phantoms: The Primordal, Prehistoric & Hidden History of RMNP <p>What stories hover like phantoms behind the contemporary face of Rocky Mountain National Park? Roam the park with award-winning writer Mary Taylor Young, author of the park’s centennial history Rocky Mountain National Park: The First 100 Years. Discover traces of park history that lie hidden beneath the surface and off the beaten path, places and events that are generally not interpreted by the park, but are apparent when you know where to look.</p> <p>See billion-year-old rocks, and discover a game drive wall used by prehistoric hunters. Find Apache Fort, site of an early Indian battle. Visit the location of the 1915 RMNP Dedication Ceremony. Discover the “phantom” Big Thompson entrance station, a main park entry that was obliterated in the 1960s. Explore early ranches, the last remnant of a guest lodge, and the site of the park’s ski area. Check out a 1930s CCC camp. Witness the changes floods in two different centuries have left on the park. Wander inside an elk exclosure, and see 21st century wildlife management in action.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Nestled deep within the valleys of the Rocky Mountains lie the tales of the native people who were the first to walk this land, remnants of the gutsy early settlers and mountain men, the foundations of the town of Estes Park, and many other...

Peak to Peak: Historical Highway 7 Bus Adventure <p>Nestled deep within the valleys of the Rocky Mountains lie the tales of the native people who were the first to walk this land, remnants of the gutsy early settlers and mountain men, the foundations of the town of Estes Park, and many other hidden landmarks.</p> <p>Join the Rocky Mountain Conservancy for a historical tour through the town of Estes Park and along Highway 7. While traveling in a 14 passenger mini bus or an 11 passenger van, an educational guide will lead interpretive walks and talks to discuss cultural history and significant landmarks on the Peak to Peak scenic byway.</p> <p>Throughout this tour there will be opportunities to tour sights listed on the national register of historic places with the Rockies as a backdrop.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

This two-day event will give you the techniques needed to capture the landscape in watercolor. We will open our eyes to the beauty surrounding us and learn ways to paint skies, mountains, water, trees, and much more. You need to be familiar...

Watercolor Brushstrokes: Painting the Landscapes of RMNP <p>This two-day event will give you the techniques needed to capture the landscape in watercolor. We will open our eyes to the beauty surrounding us and learn ways to paint skies, mountains, water, trees, and much more. You need to be familiar with drawing and painting in watercolor.</p> <p>We will be indoors the first half-day and on location the remaining time.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Birding the Life Zones
Jun 30, 2018 - Jul 1, 2018

Rocky Mountain National Park is a birder's paradise during the nesting season. During this two-day event, we will explore the various ecosystems (life zones) of the park to find 50-70 bird species. We will identify hawks, falcons, eagles,...

Birding the Life Zones <p>Rocky Mountain National Park is a birder's paradise during the nesting season. During this two-day event, we will explore the various ecosystems (life zones) of the park to find 50-70 bird species.</p> <p>We will identify hawks, falcons, eagles, ducks, white-tailed ptarmigan, brown-capped rosy-finches, swifts, broad-tailed hummingbirds, swallows, tanagers, sparrows, warblers, American dippers, wrens, woodpeckers, owls, nuthatches, chickadees, kinglets, jays, common ravens and other corvids, and a number of other members of the area’s avifauna. We will discuss the natural history of both the birds and the montane, subalpine, alpine and riparian environments they inhabit.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Rocky Mountain National Park contains breathtaking scenery, ample wildlife viewing, and opportunities to connect with the past as you travel across Trail Ridge Road, the awe-inspiring by-way across the Continental Divide. A professional...

East Across the Divide: A Trail Ridge Road Bus Adventure <p>Rocky Mountain National Park contains breathtaking scenery, ample wildlife viewing, and opportunities to connect with the past as you travel across Trail Ridge Road, the awe-inspiring by-way across the Continental Divide. A professional educational guide will provide participants with an overview of the park’s history, flora, fauna, and geology while they view passing landscapes from the comfort of a 14-passenger bus or 12-passenger van.</p> <p>Opportunity for taking pictures will be provided at the many pull-off stops along the way such as the Holzwarth Historic Site, Milner Pass (Continental Divide), Alpine Visitor Center, Rock Cut, Forest Canyon Overlook, and Lava Cliffs.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

The western part of Rocky Mountain National Park offers a grand opportunity to see some of the oldest rocks in Colorado as well as some beautiful examples of very recent (geologically speaking) glacial features. At this event, participants...

Geology of the Western Slope <p>The western part of Rocky Mountain National Park offers a grand opportunity to see some of the oldest rocks in Colorado as well as some beautiful examples of very recent (geologically speaking) glacial features.</p> <p>At this event, participants will learn how geologists interpret the nature and history of the rocks they study, as well as the processes that created and deformed the rocks. We will be looking far back in time and deep into the Earth to understand how metamorphism changed sediments that may have been more than two billion years old into the 1.75-billion-year old schists and gneisses that dominate western RMNP's bedrock. We will examine the effects of tremendous tectonic forces that began more than 69 million years ago and caused these rocks to be heaved up more than two miles above sea level. The extensive volcanic activity that occurred just 25 million years ago in the Never Summer Range on the west side of the park will be another topic of our investigation.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Wildflowers of RMNP
Jun 30, 2018 - Jul 1, 2018

Explore the wonder and diversity of the park’s wildflowers with former Rocky Mountain National Park interpretive naturalist Leanne Benton. The park’s vertical topography allows for a variety of habitats, and this event will search out lush...

Wildflowers of RMNP <p>Explore the wonder and diversity of the park’s wildflowers with former Rocky Mountain National Park interpretive naturalist Leanne Benton. The park’s vertical topography allows for a variety of habitats, and this event will search out lush wildflower displays from montane meadows to high alpine ridges.</p> <p>Participants will get up-close with the mountain flora to discover their adaptations for survival and interesting stories behind their beautiful faces. Identification techniques will be honed, and participants will gain confidence using a simple flower key. Day 1 will focus on montane and subalpine wildflowers. Day 2 will focus on alpine wildflowers.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

From Meadow to Tree Line
Jul 1, 2018 - Sep 9, 2018

Whether you’re gazing skyward through conifer branches or peering down into valleys below, Rocky Mountain National Park is a beautiful and curious place. Often when visiting the mountains, we allow ourselves to be swept up by the high...

From Meadow to Tree Line <p>Whether you’re gazing skyward through conifer branches or peering down into valleys below, Rocky Mountain National Park is a beautiful and curious place.  Often when visiting the mountains, we allow ourselves to be swept up by the high country and forget the interesting things occurring throughout the meadows and forests all around.</p> <p>In From Meadow to Tree Line, join our naturalist-guide on a 14-passenger mini-bus or 12-passenger van as we revel in the low elevations of Rocky Mountain National Park. We will spend the morning in the park’s most distinctive and breathtaking locations - Alluvial Fan, Many Parks Curve, Moraine Park, and more - learning about the little things that make this region so fascinating. Come explore the forests and meadows as we discuss the cultural and natural history of Rocky Mountain National Park.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Hidden Valley Nature Hunt
Jul 3, 2018 - Jul 31, 2018

Using a GPS unit, discover the natural treasures of the Hidden Valley Area. Follow the clues left in nature to uncover the hidden mysteries that are located in this subalpine ecosystem. This event is designed for kids who want to spend time...

Hidden Valley Nature Hunt <p>Using a GPS unit, discover the natural treasures of the Hidden Valley Area. Follow the clues left in nature to uncover the hidden mysteries that are located in this subalpine ecosystem.</p> <p>This event is designed for kids who want to spend time in Rocky Mountain National Park learning about nature while enjoying the adventure and fun of practicing a new skill.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Kids' Art in the Park
Jul 4, 2018 - Aug 1, 2018

Through this series, children will unleash their creative potentials through various art forms including painting, sketching, and crafting. These artistic activities will allow participants to see the world through a new lens and discover...

Kids' Art in the Park <p>Through this series, children will unleash their creative potentials through various art forms including painting, sketching, and crafting. These artistic activities will allow participants to see the world through a new lens and discover that nature is an artist itself.</p> <p>Each day will focus on a different art medium, offering a new perspective and skill set. Rocky Mountain National Park is a beautiful place, and this is an opportunity for participants to take home their very own piece of it.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

In 1896, Abner Sprague spent the night trapped on a mountain precipice in a ferocious snowstorm wondering if he would live to see morning. He did, and in 1941, he caught the entire nation’s attention by trying to enlist in the Army at age...

Campfire Ghost Stories: Abner Sprague <p>In 1896, Abner Sprague spent the night trapped on a mountain precipice in a ferocious snowstorm wondering if he would live to see morning. He did, and in 1941, he caught the entire nation’s attention by trying to enlist in the Army at age 91 to fight in World War II.</p> <p>Abner Sprague lived with an unstoppable spirit, and he typified the pioneer resourcefulness of those who settled on lands that would someday become Rocky Mountain National Park. This program will feature an exciting living history reenactment of the life of Abner Sprague, appropriate and meaningful for all ages. Amid a campfire setting, participants will have the opportunity to hear the thrilling tales of Sprague’s life, followed by time for discussion and reflection on how this pioneer story has meaning for our understanding of Rocky Mountain National Park and the dawn of the area’s tourism.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Who Pooped in the Woods? A Mammal Mystery
Jul 5, 2018 - Jul 19, 2018

Who doesn’t love a good mystery? Who Pooped in the Woods? will have you solving real-life mysteries from start to finish. You’ll learn how to recognize different animal signs like scat (a fancy word for “poop”) and tracks, and you’ll get to...

Who Pooped in the Woods? A Mammal Mystery <p>Who doesn’t love a good mystery? Who Pooped in the Woods? will have you solving real-life mysteries from start to finish.</p> <p>You’ll learn how to recognize different animal signs like scat (a fancy word for “poop”) and tracks, and you’ll get to take home your very own cast of an animal track!</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Spend the day exploring the flora of the park with a former RMNP interpretive ranger and Master Herbalist. Our attention will be focused on native plants and their current usage as food and medicine and, where applicable, historical uses...

Edible & Medicinal Plants of the Rockies <p>Spend the day exploring the flora of the park with a former RMNP interpretive ranger and Master Herbalist. Our attention will be focused on native plants and their current usage as food and medicine and, where applicable, historical uses will be discussed.</p> <p>Herbal remedies based on popular traditions, herbal lore and cultural customs will be complemented with therapeutic value discovered by scientists for a holistic portrayal of medicinal plants found in the Rocky Mountains. Learn what plants can be safely eaten, the parts used and their preparation. It will touch upon topics such as pharmacology, physiology, care in plant identification, conservation, and ethical considerations.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Kids' Fly-fishing & Stream Ecology
Jul 6, 2018 - Jul 20, 2018

Fly-fishing is a sport that dates back centuries. In Rocky Mountain National Park, it draws beginners and seasoned anglers alike. Join Rocky Mountain Conservancy as we give kids a taste of what fly-fishing is all about. During the morning,...

Kids' Fly-fishing & Stream Ecology <p>Fly-fishing is a sport that dates back centuries. In Rocky Mountain National Park, it draws beginners and seasoned anglers alike. Join Rocky Mountain Conservancy as we give kids a taste of what fly-fishing is all about.</p> <p>During the morning, children will learn about what lives in the riparian ecosystem, the aquatic food web, and fly-casting techniques. Toward the end of the program, children will get their lines wet as they to try to catch fish on their own. All fly-fishing gear will be provided.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Lions, Coyotes, & Bears! Oh, My!
Jul 6, 2018 - Jul 26, 2018

Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a predator in Rocky Mountain National Park? This exciting new event will take a look through the eyes of these mysterious animals. Through adventure in their habitats, crafting of your very own...

Lions, Coyotes, & Bears! Oh, My! <p>Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a predator in Rocky Mountain National Park? This exciting new event will take a look through the eyes of these mysterious animals.</p> <p>Through adventure in their habitats, crafting of your very own predator, and other fun activities, you will learn all about the sneakiest animals in Rocky Mountain National Park and what it is like to walk in their paws.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Learn the history of the Town of Estes Park, the Estes Valley, and Rocky Mountain National Park, all of which share a common ecosystem and an interrelated history. Following a brief overview using historic photographs, we will travel to...

Historic People & Places: Estes Park, the Estes Valley & RMNP <p>Learn the history of the Town of Estes Park, the Estes Valley, and Rocky Mountain National Park, all of which share a common ecosystem and an interrelated history. Following a brief overview using historic photographs, we will travel to Bond Park in downtown Estes Park where we will talk about the platting and early development of “the Village.” From there, we will visit the site of the Joel Estes-Griff Evans ranch on Lower Fish Creek, the sites of the Earl of Durnraven’s Estes Park Hotel and Horace Ferguson’s Highlands Hotel. Entering Rocky Mountain National Park, we will visit the site of the 1915 Dedication, the site of Fall River Lodge, and the site of the cabins where convicts spent the winter of 1913 while beginning construction of Old Fall River Road up and over the Continental Divide.</p> <p>The day will conclude with a visit to the site of Horsehoe Inn in Horseshoe Park, the site of Sprague’s/Stead’s Ranch in Moraine Park, and the site of the Hondius Ranch in Upper Beaver Meadows.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Butterflies enthuse people, mosquitos exasperate people, several thousand insects go unnoticed, and a few nifty insects catch our attention by serendipity. The amazing pine sawyer that lands on your shirt sleeve, the beautiful blue pleasing...

In Pursuit of Rocky's Ten Most Interesting Insects <p>Butterflies enthuse people, mosquitos exasperate people, several thousand insects go unnoticed, and a few nifty insects catch our attention by serendipity.  The amazing pine sawyer that lands on your shirt sleeve, the beautiful blue pleasing fungus beetle that crawls across the log where you sit, the sweat-bee that pollinates orchids, the robber-fly that prevents pollination, and ants that squeak: such insects tell the stories of life and living in Rocky Mountain National Park.</p> <p>This field event, rather than getting overwhelmed by the diversity of insects, will concentrate on finding, identifying, and understanding a select few insects with interesting ecological connections.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Kids' Map & Compass Exploration
Jul 10, 2018 - Jul 24, 2018

Through this fun exploration of the surrounding environment, kids will understand how maps work, know what legend symbols are used, and will be able to create their own map of the Beaver Meadows area. The different parts of a compass will...

Kids' Map & Compass Exploration <p>Through this fun exploration of the surrounding environment, kids will understand how maps work, know what legend symbols are used, and will be able to create their own map of the Beaver Meadows area.</p> <p>The different parts of a compass will be taught, and mapping techniques will be used and displayed through games including a navigational scavenger hunt. A basic understanding of navigation will be gained, and an ability to plan a route and orienteer with or without a compass will be explored.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

What's Hiding Underwater?
Jul 11, 2018 - Jul 27, 2018

Streams and ponds have an abundance of creatures living just below the surface and around the shoreline. By using dip nets and hand lenses, kids will explore the stream and learn about some of the macroinvertebrates found in the shallow...

What's Hiding Underwater? <p>Streams and ponds have an abundance of creatures living just below the surface and around the shoreline. By using dip nets and hand lenses, kids will explore the stream and learn about some of the macroinvertebrates found in the shallow waters of the Big Thompson and Colorado Rivers.</p> <p>Fish species will be discussed, and evidence of larger animals will also be searched for as the group moves along the river bank. The role that these different organisms play in the food web will be examined.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Hear thrilling tales of adventure from pioneers facing perilous encounters and daring escapes. Abner Sprague recounts the 1896 camping trip that left his party lost in a blizzard above timberline. The Earl of Dunraven comes face-to-face...

Campfire Ghost Stories: Rocky Mountain Tales of Survival <p>Hear thrilling tales of adventure from pioneers facing perilous encounters and daring escapes. Abner Sprague recounts the 1896 camping trip that left his party lost in a blizzard above timberline.</p> <p>The Earl of Dunraven comes face-to-face with a mountain lion. Joe Mills describes a midnight rescue on wind-whipped Longs Peak. A snow-blinded Enos Mills makes a dangerous descent from the Continental Divide.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Geology Rocks!
Jul 12, 2018 - Aug 2, 2018

Discover what puts the “rock” in Rocky Mountain National Park during this geologic adventure! When visiting RMNP, folks may drive by, walk on, or overlook hundreds of rocks scattered throughout the landscape, but now kids will have the...

Geology Rocks! <p>Discover what puts the “rock” in Rocky Mountain National Park during this geologic adventure! When visiting RMNP, folks may drive by, walk on, or overlook hundreds of rocks scattered throughout the landscape, but now kids will have the opportunity to learn about their origins and how to identify rocks and minerals. Kids will explore one of the most recognizable geologic landforms within the park (the Alluvial Fan) and create their own pieces of geologic history to take home.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Old Fall River Road Trip
Jul 13, 2018 - Sep 14, 2018

It is easy to forget that travel in Rocky was not always as simple as it is today. Join us as we switchback through time traversing the park’s oldest road up to the Alpine Visitor Center. The rugged Old Fall River Road (built in 1913) will...

Old Fall River Road Trip <p>It is easy to forget that travel in Rocky was not always as simple as it is today.</p> <p>Join us as we switchback through time traversing the park’s oldest road up to the Alpine Visitor Center. The rugged Old Fall River Road (built in 1913) will bring us to the hard-to-reach regions of Rocky Mountain National Park to see spectacular waterfalls and historic buildings. Marvel at the handiwork of our past, and see how it has been intricately paired with engineering feats of today. We will stop at the Alpine Visitor Center before returning to Estes Park along awe-inspiring Trail Ridge Road.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Plants for Young Sprouts
Jul 13, 2018 - Jul 27, 2018

Not all of Rocky Mountain National Park’s creatures have fur, feathers, and scales! In fact, some of the oddest, most-curious creatures have bark and blossoms! In this hands-on, exploration-based program, let your young sprout discover what...

Plants for Young Sprouts <p>Not all of Rocky Mountain National Park’s creatures have fur, feathers, and scales! In fact, some of the oddest, most-curious creatures have bark and blossoms! In this hands-on, exploration-based program, let your young sprout discover what Rocky’s leafy giants and human visitors have in common. Do plants drink, even if they don’t have mouths? Do they sweat, even though they don’t have foreheads?</p> <p>Kids will leave with their own woodland creature crafted from plant materials.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Secret Places of Rocky Mountain National Park
Jul 13, 2018 - Aug 10, 2018

A prudent sense of safety keeps us looking at the ground as we walk, and trails trick us into looking straight ahead to see what’s coming. The consequence of looking down and looking ahead is that we miss what’s around. Places become...

Secret Places of Rocky Mountain National Park <p>A prudent sense of safety keeps us looking at the ground as we walk, and trails trick us into looking straight ahead to see what’s coming. The consequence of looking down and looking ahead is that we miss what’s around. Places become something we pass through so offhandedly that we — person and place — become ephemeral to each other. Marvelous old trees, spectacular wildflower assemblages, hard-to-find animals, and other wild life surprises can remain hidden in secret places along the trails.</p> <p>In the Secret Places program, we will explore just off familiar beaten paths with a mind for discovering the wild life richness that bestows character on place.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

“The combination of heavy snowfall, bitter wind, low temperatures, and mountainous topography in alpine areas creates the most severe climate in the world,” writes alpine researcher Joyce Gellhorn in her book Song of the Alpine. In the...

Alpine Superheroes: Survival in a Land of Extremes <p>“The combination of heavy snowfall, bitter wind, low temperatures, and mountainous topography in alpine areas creates the most severe climate in the world,” writes alpine researcher Joyce Gellhorn in her book Song of the Alpine.</p> <p>In the extreme environment of the alpine tundra, where humans are only seasonal visitors, a diversity of plants and animals survive and thrive. This event will explore the physical factors of climate and topography that challenge life and the survival strategies of alpine plants and animals.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Amphibians are experiencing a massive decline globally. They are by far the most at-risk class of vertebrates, with over a third of species currently being threatened with extinction. The causes of this decline are complex and vary from...

Boreal Toad Research: An Effort in Endangered Species Conservation <p>Amphibians are experiencing a massive decline globally. They are by far the most at-risk class of vertebrates, with over a third of species currently being threatened with extinction. The causes of this decline are complex and vary from species to species, but one of the major factors involved is the disease chytridiomycosis, caused by the recently emerged fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). In the past few decades an extremely virulent strain of Bd has spread around the world, causing the decline or extinction of many amphibian species. One of the species that is particularly vulnerable to Bd is Colorado’s only high elevation toad species, the Boreal toad. They used to be a common sight in Colorado, occupying areas around mountain wetlands above 8,000 feet. Now, largely due to Bd, they only persist in a few isolated pockets, including at multiple sites in Rocky Mountain National Park.</p> <p>This event will give participants an overview of the current attempts at saving the Boreal toad in Colorado, with an emphasis on anti-Bd probiotic treatments. We will visit a declining Boreal toad habitat on the west side of the Park, collect some soil samples, then practice the microbiological methods used to isolate our target probiotic organism, J liv.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Learn about Rocky’s hummingbird populations and their habitat while observing field ornithologists as they safely capture and band these remarkable birds. Marking individual birds remains essential to determine population size, migration...

Hummingbirds: Field Research East of the Divide <p>Learn about Rocky’s hummingbird populations and their habitat while observing field ornithologists as they safely capture and band these remarkable birds.</p> <p>Marking individual birds remains essential to determine population size, migration corridors, and survivorship. Genetic and statistical analyses are complementing and expanding understanding of these important migratory pollinators. Participants will visit typical habitat, observe and identify types of food sources, and learn about factors influencing hummingbird survival. An indoor session following the field site visit will describe the hummingbird family, the geographical distribution of species, and results of analysis techniques.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Bears are the iconic symbol of the American wilderness. North America has three of the world’s eight species. Historically, the park had two of the three - now only one. Learn the natural history of all three North American species: their...

North American Bears: Ecology, Behavior & Evolution <p>Bears are the iconic symbol of the American wilderness. North America has three of the world’s eight species. Historically, the park had two of the three - now only one.</p> <p>Learn the natural history of all three North American species: their evolution, behavior, and habitat needs. With a morning illustrated indoor session and afternoon field trip, you will learn which areas of the park provide proper black bear habitat, what they eat, and their population status. In addition, instruction as to where to view and safely photograph North American bears will be provided.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Thunderstorms? Bears? Trails that lead to nowhere? Learn to prepare for whatever nature throws your way! At this event kids will learn the basics of outdoor survival from what to pack for a hike to how to survive a night alone in the...

Rocky Mountain Survivor: Kids' Survival Basics <p>Thunderstorms? Bears? Trails that lead to nowhere? Learn to prepare for whatever nature throws your way!</p> <p>At this event kids will learn the basics of outdoor survival from what to pack for a hike to how to survive a night alone in the wilderness. Participants will also learn to make a fire and build a shelter using materials found outdoors.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Bugs, Beetles, & Butterflies
Jul 19, 2018 - Aug 2, 2018

While bugs are often seen as annoying and gross, they are actually quite extraordinary! They are able to lift impressive amounts, fly far distances, and jump to astonishing heights. Learn the basics of our little bug friends through art and...

Bugs, Beetles, & Butterflies <p>While bugs are often seen as annoying and gross, they are actually quite extraordinary! They are able to lift impressive amounts, fly far distances, and jump to astonishing heights.</p> <p>Learn the basics of our little bug friends through art and exploration as we capture bugs with nets, study them with magnifying glasses, and even create our own to take home. Learn what bugs are and what they need to live. It may shock you to discover what our tiniest of neighbors are capable of!</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Learn about Rocky’s hummingbird populations and their habitat while observing field ornithologists as they safely capture and band these remarkable birds. Marking individual birds remains essential to determine population size, migration...

Hummingbirds: Field Research West of the Divide <p>Learn about Rocky’s hummingbird populations and their habitat while observing field ornithologists as they safely capture and band these remarkable birds.</p> <p>Marking individual birds remains essential to determine population size, migration corridors, and survivorship. Genetic and statistical analyses are complementing and expanding understanding of these important migratory pollinators. Participants will visit typical habitat, observe and identify types of food sources, and learn about factors influencing hummingbird survival. An indoor session following the field site visit will describe the hummingbird family, the geographical distribution of species, and results of analysis techniques.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Identifying Plants & Their Families
Jul 19, 2018 - Jul 20, 2018

Are you ready to examine plants on a closeup and personal level? To discover their true identity? Using hand lenses and identification keys we will familiarize ourselves with the particulars of some common plant families and their species...

Identifying Plants & Their Families <p>Are you ready to examine plants on a closeup and personal level? To discover their true identity? Using hand lenses and identification keys we will familiarize ourselves with the particulars of some common plant families and their species so that you can continue this fascinating way of observing plants on your own.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

The bighorn sheep is the rightful symbol of Rocky Mountain National Park and the state of Colorado. It is one of the most highly esteemed mammals in North America, representing the majestic rugged mountains of the park. There are few...

Bighorn Sheep: Ecology & Management <p>The bighorn sheep is the rightful symbol of Rocky Mountain National Park and the state of Colorado. It is one of the most highly esteemed mammals in North America, representing the majestic rugged mountains of the park. There are few people, if any, who are not impressed by the sight of a large bighorn ram bearing its crown of massive horns.</p> <p>Spend a day with wildlife biologist Gary C. Miller learning about the ecology, population dynamics, behavior, food habitats, and mortality causes of bighorn sheep. Learn how to identify a ram from a ewe, a yearling from a lamb, and how to age rams by rings on their horns. You will also learn how to identify the scat of sheep, elk, deer and moose. Participates will discuss the importance of escape terrain and where ewes have their lambs. Learn what sheep eat and visit two mineral licks, learning why they are so important to the survival of the sheep. Gary will also discuss important park management issues related to bighorn sheep.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

James Hutton, who lived in Scotland during the 18th century, made three great discoveries that geologists use to read geologic history. They are 1) the present is the key to the past, 2) the Earth is much older than people thought, and 3)...

Geology in the Park: Reading the Rocks to Discover the Past <p>James Hutton, who lived in Scotland during the 18th century, made three great discoveries that geologists use to read geologic history. They are 1) the present is the key to the past, 2) the Earth is much older than people thought, and 3) rocks can form from cooling magma.</p> <p>We will use his and other discoveries to read the geologic story of the park. We will examine common rocks and minerals to see how they form deep in the Earth’s crust, discuss the tectonic forces that brought them to the surface, and observe the weathering processes that recycle them back into the Earth. Learn how mountains form, how old they might be, and what went before. Discussion topics include geologic time, radiometric dating, plate tectonics and Earth history.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

This two-day event will take you several steps beyond the basics to a deeper understanding of aerial perspective, linear perspective, simplifying shapes, linking values and more exciting compositional choices to challenge you and take your...

Painting the Kawuneeche <p>This two-day event will take you several steps beyond the basics to a deeper understanding of aerial perspective, linear perspective, simplifying shapes, linking values and more exciting compositional choices to challenge you and take your paintings to the next level. We will paint using the glorious Never Summer Mountains as a backdrop for our inspiration.</p> <p>Time will be spent developing the art of seeing abstractly for more dynamic and stronger compositions. Expect to work with analogous, complementary and discordant colors as a way of thinking about value and intensity, and as a step toward more expressive use of color in your paintings. This is designed as a plein-air program, but we will be spending time indoors in our light-filled room at Trail River Ranch. You will need to be prepared for outdoor work by packing small, light and portable. Whether you paint in acrylic, gouache or transparent watercolor, this event is designed to move you along towards stronger paintings and achieving more confidence as a painter.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Colorado is home to 19 bat species, and 8 are found in the vicinity of Rocky Mountain National Park. The evolution, ecology, behavior, anatomy, threats, and population status of Colorado’s bats will be discussed. Examples of survey...

Bats of Colorado & RMNP <p>Colorado is home to 19 bat species, and 8 are found in the vicinity of Rocky Mountain National Park.</p> <p>The evolution, ecology, behavior, anatomy, threats, and population status of Colorado’s bats will be discussed. Examples of survey equipment, video, and acoustic materials will be used to reinforce the lecture’s content. After dinner, we will travel to nearby foraging habitat to observe and listen to bat activity. We will drive as close as possible to the field sites, but participants should come prepared for short hikes.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

This event will help you discover the hidden world of nature. We’ll learn to use the creative controls on a camera to capture beautiful images of flowers, insects, bark patterns, the wonderful textures of lichens, great artistic shots of...

Bringing the Small World to Life <p>This event will help you discover the hidden world of nature. We’ll learn to use the creative controls on a camera to capture beautiful images of flowers, insects, bark patterns, the wonderful textures of lichens, great artistic shots of water features, and much more.</p> <p>We’ll also delve into the software tools for focus stacking (allowing nearly unlimited depth of field). Discover the amazing world of close-up photography with professional photographer Bob Dean. Part of getting great images is using the best natural light. We’ll be doing our field work at the beginning and end of the day, saving the indoor work for evenings and mid-day. Since Colorado’s summer weather can include rainy afternoons and evenings, we’ll have an option to do studio work.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Wind makes aspen leaves and conifer needles whisper, but they do so in different voices. In flight, some birds’ wings whistle, some trill, some buzz, and some are silent. Subalpine fir and balsam poplar both enrich the air after a summer...

Engaging Nature Through All the Senses <p>Wind makes aspen leaves and conifer needles whisper, but they do so in different voices. In flight, some birds’ wings whistle, some trill, some buzz, and some are silent. Subalpine fir and balsam poplar both enrich the air after a summer rain. Wood nymph and pipsissewa contend for the most beautiful fragrance of all our wildflowers. A fresh gumweed defines what sticky is, and an old mushroom defines what slimy is. Being truly outdoors involves more than what the eyes can see. Engaging the Senses will explore how using all our senses can enrich our time engaging nature.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Enjoy an all-day hike on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park through wildflower meadows and subalpine forests to spectacular Granite Falls. Participants will learn about the wild life of this area including the role that the Green...

Hike with a Naturalist: Granite Falls <p>Enjoy an all-day hike on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park through wildflower meadows and subalpine forests to spectacular Granite Falls. Participants will learn about the wild life of this area including the role that the Green Mountain Fire has played in shaping a portion of the landscape covered in this hike.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

This highly interactive workshop is based on Eli’s new book, Right Brain Photography (Be an Artist First). He takes a unique spin on photography by encouraging you to bring out your inner artist and “see with your imagination, not your...

Landscape Photography: Creating an Artistic Eye <p>This highly interactive workshop is based on Eli’s new book, Right Brain Photography (Be an Artist First). He takes a unique spin on photography by encouraging you to bring out your inner artist and “see with your imagination, not your eyes”. You will learn several in-camera techniques including composition, scanning and extracting, how to handle difficult light metering, the advantage of "un-labeling" in photography, photographing the grand vistas, and much more to capture the best of what Rocky Mountain National Park has to offer.</p> <p>This event is suitable for beginning, intermediate, and advanced photographers.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Thousands of species of mushrooms lurk in the woods and grasses of Colorado. This event will cover basic mushroom biology, common Colorado mushrooms, how mushrooms make their living, poisonous mushrooms, and how to recognize major mushroom...

Wild Mushroom Expedition <p>Thousands of species of mushrooms lurk in the woods and grasses of Colorado. This event will cover basic mushroom biology, common Colorado mushrooms, how mushrooms make their living, poisonous mushrooms, and how to recognize major mushroom families.</p> <p>You’ll also learn how to make the beautiful spore prints that can be vital to identification. In the field, you’ll get hands-on experience collecting and identifying mushrooms, learn how not to get lost while on forays, and be trained in the art of the mushroom hoot.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Sunset Safari
Aug 10, 2018 - Aug 31, 2018

Would you like to experience the sunset from above 12,000 feet? Join the Rocky Mountain Conservancy – Field Institute on a sunset safari over Trail Ridge Road. Enjoy the changing light, active wildlife, and calmness of dusk as you...

Sunset Safari <p>Would you like to experience the sunset from above 12,000 feet? Join the Rocky Mountain Conservancy &#8211; Field Institute on a sunset safari over Trail Ridge Road.</p> <p>Enjoy the changing light, active wildlife, and calmness of dusk as you ascend in elevation from 7,522 feet in Estes Park to more than 12,090 feet along the Tundra Communities Trail at Rock Cut. Along the way, a professional guide will lead interpretive walks and talks to discuss geology, flora, fauna, and the cultural history of Rocky at a number of pull-outs before arriving at Rock Cut to view the sunset over the Never Summer Mountains.</p> <p>Participants will have plenty of opportunities to take photos at pull-outs and enjoy the comfort of a 14-passenger bus or 12-passenger van.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Create a travel sketchbook by documenting your travel experiences. This event focuses on techniques for both beginner and moderately experienced sketchers. Experiment with quick sketches, notes, stamps, maps, collecting ephemera, adding...

Creating a Travel Sketchbook <p>Create a travel sketchbook by documenting your travel experiences.</p> <p>This event focuses on techniques for both beginner and moderately experienced sketchers. Experiment with quick sketches, notes, stamps, maps, collecting ephemera, adding color, and drawing techniques. Discussions regarding new directions, materials, approaches, drawing techniques, and sketching outdoors will be included. You will leave with new ideas for capturing the moment and documenting your experience in one of our nation’s favorite national parks in a very personal and unique way.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

This is designed for the recreational traveler who has little or no experience using a GPS and/or GPS owners who would like to gain a greater understanding of their receivers. Emphasis will be placed on understanding and using a handheld...

Find Your Way There-& Back! GPS Basics <p>This is designed for the recreational traveler who has little or no experience using a GPS and/or GPS owners who would like to gain a greater understanding of their receivers. Emphasis will be placed on understanding and using a handheld GPS unit.</p> <p>Topics include: The Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), how it works, GPS functions and limitations including GPS setup for maximum utility, GPSs in your hand and in your car, collecting and managing waypoints and tracks, creating routes, use of GPSs with U.S.G.S. and other topographic maps, and computer applications for GPS data management and display. All materials are provided, and a few GPS receivers will be available for loan. An understanding of U.S.G.S. topographic maps is helpful, but is not required. An optional exercise in Rocky Mountain National Park will be conducted in the afternoon, depending upon weather and level of interest.</p> <p>By the end of this event participants will have the knowledge to navigate in the backcountry with greater confidence.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Enjoy a breathtaking hike with views of the Continental Divide along the way to a stunning mountain lake at the foot of the backside of Longs Peak. Learn about the natural history and geology of this unique area inside Rocky Mountain...

Hike with a Naturalist: Black Lake <p>Enjoy a breathtaking hike with views of the Continental Divide along the way to a stunning mountain lake at the foot of the backside of Longs Peak. Learn about the natural history and geology of this unique area inside Rocky Mountain National Park with chances to view wildlife along the way.</p> <p>Other highlights of the day will include Alberta Falls, Mills Lake, Jewel Lake and Ribbon Falls.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

You’ve driven Old Fall River Road from Endovalley to the Alpine Visitor Center, but did you know the west side of the old route still lies like a phantom between Trail Ridge and Grand Lake? Old Fall River Road opened in 1920, Rocky’s first...

The Ghost of Old Fall River Road <p>You’ve driven Old Fall River Road from Endovalley to the Alpine Visitor Center, but did you know the west side of the old route still lies like a phantom between Trail Ridge and Grand Lake?  Old Fall River Road opened in 1920, Rocky’s first through-highway across the Continental Divide. Eclipsed by Trail Ridge Road, it was closed and partly obliterated in the 1930s. After 50 years, Old Fall River Road was reopened to traffic, but only on the east side.</p> <p>Learn the secret history of the road, and discover its ghosts. Retrace the road from Horseshoe Park to Milner Pass. Learn about the convict cabins; compare historical photos with the landscape today, and discover what happened to this landmark road on the west side. We’ll drive the current road to AVC, then walk the old west-side route, largely erased by the Park Service, but vestiges are still visible if you know where to look. (RMC van will pick up the group at Milner Pass for return to the Field Institute.)</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

In the summer months, the tundra of Rocky Mountain National Park is not just a crown jewel for wildflowers, but also for wildlife. High-country dwellers, like pikas and marmots, offer hours of viewing entertainment, while the pleasant...

Residents of the High Country <p>In the summer months, the tundra of Rocky Mountain National Park is not just a crown jewel for wildflowers, but also for wildlife. High-country dwellers, like pikas and marmots, offer hours of viewing entertainment, while the pleasant surprise of elk, ravens, coyotes, long-tailed weasels, and many more amazing animals can be behind any rock or beyond any turn in the trail. All of these furry or feathery friends have great stories to tell of their behaviors, evolution, and survival strategies. Take a closer look at the animals that call the tundra home.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Butterflies fly in every life zone of Rocky Mountain National Park. This event will begin with an indoor introduction to basic butterfly biology, butterfly behavior, and butterfly diversity. In the field, we will visit several different...

RMNP Butterflies: West of the Divide <p>Butterflies fly in every life zone of Rocky Mountain National Park. This event will begin with an indoor introduction to basic butterfly biology, butterfly behavior, and butterfly diversity. In the field, we will visit several different habitats on the west side of the Park to search for late summer species, such as Rocky Mountain parnassian, Scudder’s sulphur, silver-bordered fritillary, mourning cloak and dark wood-nymph. We will learn to ID these species and also discuss their life histories, ecology, host-plant associations and conservation concerns, including the impact of loss of lodgepole pine stands to bark beetles. The program will focus on butterfly observation through binoculars and digital photography; however, the guide will have a net-and-release permit to allow participants a close-up look at a variety of species.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

A moraine offers hikers a unique perspective as they journey through lush ferns and ancient spruce trees from Hidden Valley to Horseshoe Park. Participants will study wildflowers and have the opportunity to look for bear signs and...

Moraine Magic: Explore with a Naturalist <p>A moraine offers hikers a unique perspective as they journey through lush ferns and ancient spruce trees from Hidden Valley to Horseshoe Park. Participants will study wildflowers and have the opportunity to look for bear signs and three-toed woodpeckers as they progress from subalpine to aspen-lined montane ecosystems.</p> <p>Join naturalist Kevin as he examines this ecosystem, and discover the magic a moraine holds for those who dare to explore.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

This two-day event focuses on Colorado’s top predator, mountain lion (Puma concolor). Experienced mountain lion researchers will lecture on mountain lion ecology, ongoing research, human-mountain lion interaction, and community stewardship...

Mountain Lion: RMNP's Top Predator <p>This two-day event focuses on Colorado’s top predator, mountain lion (Puma concolor). Experienced mountain lion researchers will lecture on mountain lion ecology, ongoing research, human-mountain lion interaction, and community stewardship of our wildlife resources. It is arranged to include equal portions of indoor time and time in mountain lion habitat.</p> <p>Morning presentations and lectures indoors are followed by hands-on instruction in the field, including demonstrations of research methods, tools, and data collection. In addition to an ecological overview of the species, students will receive practical instruction on how to “read” the signs left by mountain lions. They will learn also about mountain lion safety, the latest research techniques, key management issues, and how communities across the West are becoming involved. After participating, individuals will be better equipped to understand the role of mountain lion in western ecosystems, including its relationship with the people and communities of the Front Range.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

On this mountain summit hike, participants will have the opportunity to travel through rich subalpine forest as they gaze down upon Estes Park and the surrounding plains communities. Folks will learn about mountain ecology with chances to...

Hike with a Naturalist: Twin Sisters Mountain <p>On this mountain summit hike, participants will have the opportunity to travel through rich subalpine forest as they gaze down upon Estes Park and the surrounding plains communities. Folks will learn about mountain ecology with chances to view wildlife such as pine squirrels, martens, and grouse. Breathtaking views await those who summit, and rocky outcroppings offer folks a chance to sit and ponder the vastness of the land below.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Have you ever wondered how a non-hibernating animal like yourself might fare trying to survive in the alpine year-round? Watch the American pika demonstrate its survival strategy. Pikas and their hibernating neighbors—yellow-bellied...

The Persevering Pika: Secrets of Alpine Survival <p>Have you ever wondered how a non-hibernating animal like yourself might fare trying to survive in the alpine year-round?</p> <p>Watch the American pika demonstrate its survival strategy. Pikas and their hibernating neighbors—yellow-bellied marmots, chipmunks and squirrels—are easy to watch in the summer and fall as they forage among the alpine wildflowers. Learn how to spot different animal behaviors that provide clues to how each survives the long, cold winter. Pikas don’t hibernate; so you’re sure to learn a few survival tips from these resourceful little beasts.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Elk Expeditions
Sep 7, 2018 - Oct 13, 2018

The fall rut is a spectacular display of elk mating behavior which includes bugling, posturing, and herding. This widely attended and extraordinary event will be available for viewing from the comfort of a 14-passenger bus or 12-passenger...

Elk Expeditions <p>The fall rut is a spectacular display of elk mating behavior which includes bugling, posturing, and herding. This widely attended and extraordinary event will be available for viewing from the comfort of a 14-passenger bus or 12-passenger van staffed by a professional educational guide who will discuss elk ecology, interpret activity and answer questions pertaining to elk.</p> <p>Elk artifacts such as antlers, skulls, and fur will also be available for participants to see and touch.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Don’t put your camera away after the sun sets! There’s a whole different park to photograph when the stars come out. And you don’t need a telescope. This event will discuss and demonstrate various techniques and camera settings necessary to...

Night Sky Landscape Photography <p>Don’t put your camera away after the sun sets! There’s a whole different park to photograph when the stars come out. And you don’t need a telescope.</p> <p>This event will discuss and demonstrate various techniques and camera settings necessary to photograph the Milky Way, the moon, the stars, and other objects in the night sky with landscape features by using digital cameras and standard lenses. We’ll discuss how to plan shots using star charts, software and apps to determine what will be seen in the night sky. A tutorial will be presented on how best to edit, process and archive these images on a computer. This is best for intermediate level and above.</p> <p>Participants should have a digital SLR or mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses that allows manual adjustments to the settings.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

If you love spending time in Rocky Mountain National Park and have wanted to get involved on a management level, consider becoming a citizen scientist! Learn how the Estes Park Environmental Center (EPEC) plans their water, air, flora, and...

Data Discoveries: How to Become a Citizen Scientist in RMNP <p>If you love spending time in Rocky Mountain National Park and have wanted to get involved on a management level, consider becoming a citizen scientist!</p> <p>Learn how the Estes Park Environmental Center (EPEC) plans their water, air, flora, and fauna monitoring studies, and get first-hand experience collecting reliable data. Spend time in the beautiful Fall River Biological Corridor from Horseshoe Park all the way up to the alpine tundra. Get your feet wet in Fall River while taking water quality data. Take in the views from Trail Ridge Road while measuring air quality. Look through a camera lens while doing repeat photography. Observe wildlife habits from our camera trap images. Most importantly, help the National Park and EPEC collect meaningful data relevant to management issues in this class and in the future.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Participants will enjoy miles of open tundra and sensational views of Longs Peak, Mt. Meeker and the towns along the front range as they climb to a picturesque cirque lake at the foot of the iconic diamond on Longs Peak. Marmots, pika and...

Hike with a Naturalist: Chasm Lake <p>Participants will enjoy miles of open tundra and sensational views of Longs Peak, Mt. Meeker and the towns along the front range as they climb to a picturesque cirque lake at the foot of the iconic diamond on Longs Peak. Marmots, pika and krummholz trees can be viewed along the way as well as spectacular geologic formations such as tarn lakes and boulder fields.</p> <p>Seasonal changes in alpine plants and wildlife will be discussed as autumn colors can be seen gracing the sides of the surrounding mountains on this breathtaking hike.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

From Elk to Aspen: An Adventure by Bus
Sep 14, 2018 - Oct 13, 2018

As early morning sunlight bounces through golden aspen leaves and elk bugles radiate from open meadows, it is impossible to ignore the magic of fall in the Rockies. Experience these autumnal wonders from the comfort of our 14-passenger bus...

From Elk to Aspen: An Adventure by Bus <p>As early morning sunlight bounces through golden aspen leaves and elk bugles radiate from open meadows, it is impossible to ignore the magic of fall in the Rockies.</p> <p>Experience these autumnal wonders from the comfort of our 14-passenger bus or 12-passenger van as we journey between breath-taking locations within Rocky Mountain National Park. Our naturalist-guide will regale you with tales about plants and animals, wanderers and settlers, and tell you how the survival of Rocky’s current and past inhabitants is shaped by this rugged climate. Spend a morning discovering the intricacies that make Rocky Mountain National Park such an intriguing location.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Great wildlife images don’t just “happen.” They are created when the right opportunity presents itself, and the photographer is there and ready! Being there and ready requires a unique combination of skills – knowledge of wildlife...

Photographing Wildlife: When, Where, & How <p>Great wildlife images don’t just “happen.” They are created when the right opportunity presents itself, and the photographer is there and ready! Being there and ready requires a unique combination of skills &#8211; knowledge of wildlife behavior and habits, understanding photographic equipment and techniques, and patience, perseverance and practice on the part of the photographer.</p> <p>This event will introduce photographers of all experience levels to acceptable methods for approaching wild subjects and the photographic equipment and techniques to further their understanding, development and enjoyment of making great wildlife images.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

May 21, 2018

Photographing the Wildlife of Kawuneeche
Sep 20, 2018 - Sep 22, 2018

Seeing wildlife in Rocky Mountain National Park is not at all unusual. However, making great photographs of what you see sometimes presents a challenge and many times results in disappointing images. This field adventure will introduce...

Photographing the Wildlife of Kawuneeche <p>Seeing wildlife in Rocky Mountain National Park is not at all unusual. However, making great photographs of what you see sometimes presents a challenge and many times results in disappointing images.</p> <p>This field adventure will introduce photographers of all experience levels to acceptable methods for approaching wildlife subjects and the photographic methods, equipment and techniques to further their understanding, development and enjoyment of making great wildlife images. Rustic, welcoming accommodations and home-cooked meals will be provided by Shadowcliff Mountain Lodge, a nonprofit lodge and retreat center located in Grand Lake.</p> 1895 Fall River Rd. Estes Park, CO America/North_Dakota/Center

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