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Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge opens to self-guided tours by car

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013 10:58am MST
A golden eagle flies over Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge with the snow-capped Rockies in the background.  Image taken in March 2011. (ThorntonWeather.com)

A golden eagle flies over Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge with the snow-capped Rockies in the background. Image taken in March 2011. (ThorntonWeather.com)

There was a time activity at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal was centered on our nation’s defense as a location responsible for manufacturing chemical and conventional weapons.  Now a National Wildlife Refuge, the site is one of the hidden gems of the Colorado Front Range when it comes to wildlife viewing.

From World War II into the early 1980s the United States Army was the primary resident of the area.  Its use of deep injection wells to dispose of hazardous waste was responsible for earthquakes in the metro area for decades.

As the Cold War wound down, the government began to clean the site up.  It was an expensive project but one that saw the contaminated site transform into one that must be seen.

Encompassing more than 15,000 acres, Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge is home to a wide variety of native animals, birds and reptiles.  Deer, hawks, eagles and even buffalo are seen daily at the site in the heart of Denver.

A new visitor’s center opened at the refuge last year and now visitors can drive their own vehicles along nine miles of roads through the interior.  In the past touring the facility required riding on a bus operated by the facility.

If you have never been, the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge is a ‘must see’ for everyone.

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