Photo of Moraine Park, a large expansive meadow and the Big Thompson River meandering through the park. Elk browsing along the river and throughout the park. Exposed rock outcroppings on Rams Horn Mountain visible in the background.

Rehabilitate Headquarters East Water System and Moraine Park Campground

Rocky Mountain National Park » Rehabilitate Headquarters East Water System and Moraine Park Campground » Document List

Rocky Mountain National Park is seeking the public's engagement and input on proposed infrastructure changes and improvements to Moraine Park Campground and nearby areas.

The proposed project will take place in the eastern portion of the park, at the following locations:
- Moraine Park Campground (MPCG)
- The northeast section of Moraine Park focused near the Moraine Park Discovery Center, the portion of Bear Lake Road located just west of the Moraine Park Discovery Center, and along Moraine Park and Fern Lake Roads.

MPCG is accessed via Bear Lake Road and is the largest of the park's five front country campgrounds. It is open year-round and has 244 campsites that can accommodate a variety of camping equipment types, including up to 40-foot RVs, sprinter vans and tents. Over 30,000 campers stay at MPCG annually.

The proposed project will include repairs and improvements to water, wastewater and electrical distribution systems servicing MPCG, nearby areas in Moraine Park, Beaver Meadows Entrance facilities and park housing units located on the western portion of High Drive within the park's boundary. This infrastructure was installed in the 1960s and is well past the typical 30-year service life. This project will also relocate electric powerlines underground to reduce system damage caused by snow, wind, falling tree branches, electrical hazards or wildfire.

The proposed Moraine Park Campground and Utility Rehabilitation Project will be funded by the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA). GAOA's National Parks and Public Lands Legacy Restoration Fund, supported by revenue from energy development, provides up to $1.9 billion per year for five years to make significant enhancements in national parks and other public lands to ensure their preservation and provide opportunities for recreation, education and enjoyment for current and future visitors.

GAOA, the recently passed Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and other construction funding sources are part of a concerted effort to address the extensive maintenance backlog in national parks. Thanks to GAOA funding, Rocky Mountain National Park will be able to address critical deferred maintenance issues at MPCG and nearby areas that are related to water and wastewater systems and electrical utilities which serve thousands of visitors each year.

At MPCG, this proposed project will also improve the visitor experience by rehabilitating the ranger station, replacing the campground entrance kiosk and improving the area near the dump station. Additionally, the project will update approximately 15 campsites to improve accessibility, address flooding and drainage issues and improve the health of nearby wetlands areas. Another camp host site will be added to the campground and electrical service will be extended to approximately 60 RV campsites. No changes are planned for the existing restroom buildings, amphitheater, or campground shuttle bus stop. There may be temporary closures and impacts to the Moraine Park Discovery Center and along the Bear Lake, Moraine Park, and Fern Lake roads.

Why is this project important? The water and utility infrastructure at MPCG has not been updated since the campground was first built in the 1960s. Increased visitor usage, evolving trends in recreation, the need to improve access for all campers, and deferred maintenance for critical water and utility systems have all created a need to rehabilitate the campground and nearby areas.

It is anticipated that MPCG will be closed for project construction from late May 2023 to June 1, 2024. Additional project work will take place in the campground after June 1 and some campsites may be impacted or temporary closures may take place.

Public engagement is an important part of the park's planning process. Rocky Mountain National Park accepted public comments on this proposed project for 30 days, beginning on March 10, 2022. This feedback is being used in the on-going design process for the project.

Contact Information

Rocky Mountain National Park Information Office at 970-586-1206