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David Ramirez, left, and Monica Palacios, right, look at the scenery around Bear Lake on Nov. 3, 2019 in Rocky Mountain National Park. Bear Lake is an easy hike from the parking lot with a multitude of longer hikes in the area. The couple were visiting from Maryland.
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For the second year in a row, Rocky Mountain National Park edged out its own record for visitation in 2019.

The park received a total of 4,678,804 visitors, which was a 1.7% increase over the previous record of 4,599,242 in 2018. Since 2012, visitation has risen by 44%, according to a news release.

Park managers continue to absorb the responsibilities for increased levels of visitation, including visitor and staff safety, resource protection, visitor experience and operational capacity, the release stated. Since 2016, park staff has restricted vehicle access during the summer and early in fall in the Bear Lake Road corridor, the Wild Basin area, and the Alpine Visitor Center, to prevent overflowing parking lots and traffic congestion. Other areas of the park experience high visitation as well, particularly when these restrictions are in place.

Park staff continues to develop draft concepts to address the multitude of day use challenges and opportunities to enhance park visitors’ experiences. These concepts will be shared with the public later in the year and will involve a stakeholder-engaged planning process.More information about the Rocky Mountain National Park is available atnps.gov/romo or the park’s Information Office at 970-586-1206.

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