Rocky Mountain National Park has record breaking year |

Rocky Mountain National Park has record breaking year

Rocky Mountain National Park set a record for the number of visitors in a year in 2014.
Byron Hetzler/ | Sky-Hi News

It was a record-breaking year for Rocky Mountain National Park.

Rocky hosted 3,434,754 visitors in 2014, surpassing the previous record of 3,380,044 visitors reached in 2000. The park had already surpassed the 2000 visitation numbers by the end of October.

According to officials with Rocky Mountain National Park, determining visitation numbers is, “a difficult and imprecise effort.” The figures provide a rough view of overall trends. The Park Service states that visitation statistics are, “reliably good estimates.” Autumn weekend visitation numbers have increased continually at Rocky, contributing to the highest numbers ever seen at the park.

The procedures used to determine visitation numbers were revised in 2012. Traffic visitation is tallied at Lumpy Ridge and Lily Lake. The Park Service uses regression formulas to calculate traffic visitation at the west entrance to the park.

Visitation numbers for 2014 were significantly above visitation numbers from 2013 when Rocky experienced both severe flooding from heavy rainstorms and a federal government shutdown that saw the park closed for a short period of time.

Visitation numbers for Rocky are tallied annually and have been kept since the park opened in 1915. That year Rocky received only 31,000 visitors. The visitation numbers have increased gradually over the years but began decreasing in 2001 with most years after 2001 showing a slight decrease in visitors.

Rocky Mountain National Park is celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year with events and commemorative celebrations being held from early September 2014 through September this year.

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