Mountaineering in the Rocky Mountain National Park
NPS Logo


This book is offered with the hope that it may prove of use or interest to those who already know the mountains and perhaps stimulate the interest of others who love the great out-of-doors, and help them to obtain a greater degree of pleasure and benefit from the mountains than they would otherwise receive. One reason that the beckoning peaks are not more often visited is because of the difficulty of obtaining reliable information regarding their approach.

Because of the necessity of placing some arbitrary limit upon the scope of this book, we have first limited the region to be considered, and second, have limited the peaks to be discussed to those exceeding 11,000 feet in elevation. This limit allows us to include practically all peaks above timberline. Detailed information regarding the lesser peaks is not so difficult to obtain. We have been forced to exclude almost everything but the barest reference to the beautiful streams, waterfalls, lakes, and forests that abound throughout the region. These beauty spots offer great attractions to those who do not hear the call of the peaks, and serve to furnish an added measure of pleasure to those who make the pilgrimage to the lofty shrine of the "templed hills." Interesting and useful descriptions and logs of the trails in the park are contained in the booklet entitled "The Geologic Story of the Rocky Mountain National Park," by Willis T. Lee. (See pages 45-83.)

Mountain climbing is by no means a new or novel form of recreation. Switzerland and other mountainous areas have annually attracted thousands of visitors and certain localities of our own country have been visited each year by those whose love of the outdoor life leads them into the unfrequented places.

The number of people who choose this form of pleasure is increasing each year, and there seems to be little doubt that it will and should increase as our mountain areas become more easily accessible to those of moderate means and those who have only a limited time to spare from other activities of life.

Mountain climbing does and should appeal to men and women who are sound of limb, mentally alert, and appreciative of the beauties and variety that nature offers in such profusion

In this book an attempt will be made to suggest the most suitable equipment and clothing, but the fact remains that mountain climbing as a pastime requires less expensive equipment and paraphernalia than almost any other form of sport. The oldest and stoutest clothes one happens to possess are about all the necessary outfit needed. Food is simplified rather than elaborated. One furnishes his own motive power, and the expense of a trip may thus be kept to a minimum.


Mountain climbing creates in one a desire to know more about natural sciences, such as flower, plant and tree life, bird and animal life, mineralogy, geology, and almost every other form of nature study. The more knowledge one has on these subjects or any one of them, the more pleasure he finds in trips into nature's workshop.

A climb in the mountains builds up one's strength and adds new thoughts, new interests, and new information. It gives one a feeling of accomplishment in the very fact of having overcome the difficulties that intervened between the foot of the mountain and its summit and it affords many pleasant recollections for the afterdays.

In the development of an increasing interest in mountaineering among the youth of our country, lies an opportunity for a tremendous moral and physical gain to our Nation.

Mountaineering, in its broader sense, promotes the health and strength of the body, it teaches self-reliance, determination, presence of mind, necessity for individual thought and action, pride of accomplishment, fearlessness, endurance, helpful cooperation, loyalty, patriotism, the love of an unselfish freedom, and many other qualities that make for sturdy manhood and womanhood.

In the open, one learns the character of his companions with more rapidity and certainty than in the more conventional life of cities. A friend is defined as one with whom you would like to go camping again. Strong and weak characteristics rapidly develop. Selfishness can not be hidden. True and lasting friendship is often built up in a short time.


<<< Previous <<< Contents>>> Next >>>

Last Updated: 5-Jan-2007